I'll be honest with you, Poland was never high on my travel bucket list. It just seemed like a country that was just...well, there. Grey, cold, former Soviet Union country - that was the impression that I had in my head when I was planning the trip. The only goal I had for the weekend was to see one of my best friends again and catch up, the country? Eh. Not so much. But all of my stereotypical images were knocked way out of the ballpark after the weekend stay. 

One of my favourite parts of travelling is to see the history of the place. After suffering through the bombings of the Polish Invasion and World War II, the Old Town (Stare Miasto) district in Warsaw was rebuilt in the same manner as it was before, complete with the Royal Castle. It was really interesting to see the documentations of war time in the bits and pieces of the original structure left behind as before, they were only sentences on paper that you would read about. 

I know that humans tend to be averagely taller with latter generations, but every time I see the furnitures in royal castles, it's always amusing to think of a tiny person ruling the country. My friend and I were gauging the size of the King's bed, concluding that it would be more suited as a lounging chair nowadays than a bed and the King, was at best, 1.6 meters tall. I kept poking fun at my friend, who is over 1.9 meters tall, would probably be considered a threat to the nation as he would most definitely be regarded as a giant. 
Look at all the sass that Chopin has with his dramatic tree. 
The weather was ridiculously good the weekend I was in Warsaw - by ridiculously good I mean it was sunny and 34 degrees. So it would have been slightly better if I was by the beach, but long walks in the parks which lead to long chats of everything and nothing under the shades was an equally good option. When you have good company, right? 

Łazienki Palace is located in the middle of Warsaw Park. My friend had literally told me to be careful of slipping just short seconds before I was heading down the stone steps to take a photo of the lake and the palace when I lost my footing and slipped. Thankfully there was a tiny fence that would've stopped me from plunging into the lake at the bottom if I hadn't managed to stop myself after a sliding down a couple steps. Only sustaining a couple of bruises, the photo that I managed to get was worth the injury. That and it seemed to make my friend's day as he just couldn't stop laughing. Bastard.

We must have come across at least 4 wedding parties when we visited Wilanów Palace. It wasn't hard to see why this national heritage that survived both World Wars would be a popular wedding place. The gardens were absolutely beautiful with the drop back of the river. I might have creeped on a wedding party and their photographer to snap that pintrest worthy wedding photo - if I may say so myself. 

The heat was making me delirious and that's pretty much the facial expression I had in all the photos that my friend took for me that afternoon. Well, it was either that or I was moving around too much to have a proper photo taken. It was really hot and there was barely air conditioning, alright? 

Storytime - I really needed to use the bathroom at one point, as you do. There was a maintenance woman standing outside the empty bathroom, so not sure if she was about to clean it or not, I asked her if I could use the bathroom in English, complete with finger pointing at the empty stall and big questioning eyes. I was expecting a yes/no answer, but was instead met with loud yelling in Polish. At this point I was more shocked by what was happening so when she finally finished her loud rant, I might have been really idiotic and asked her again if I could use the bathroom. Definitely not the smartest move as that just triggered her into another session of yelling. At this time, a guy came out from the men's and gave me an apologetic look as he passed me and the screaming lady. I think I was polite enough to stand there till she finished her second rant before I apologised to her and quickly left. I'm still not sure why I was the one apologising when I don't even know what she was screaming at me for. 
It's wearing a flower crown - how sweet is that? 
I had mentioned that I wanted to see remnants of the Soviet Union to my friend before I visited, what I didn't know was how obvious it would be. The tallest building in Warsaw, the Palace of Culture and Science was colloquially known as the Stalin Tower. Although it's probably safer to not mention the name of the former Soviet Union leader as it's understandably, a huge controversy in the country. Purely by mistake on part of the teller, I got my ticket to go up to the observatory for free. 

Before I wrap up the post, of course I had to insert my usual transportation disaster stories. My flight to Warsaw was delayed by near an hour as apparently the heat melted one of the runways at Warsaw Chopin Airport, but as the pilot giddily reassured us - "don't worry, only one of the runways melted" like it occurs more often than not. On the way back, after we had already boarded the plane and the safety doors were locked. We were informed that we would be locked in the plane and grounded for the next hour as there was a thunderstorm over Central Germany. I've never been grounded and locked in a plane before so that hour was definitely something new. During this time, there was some occasional yelling coming from several rows behind me, but after turning around a couple times and not seeing anything, I just shrugged it off. But when we finally landed in London, we were told to keep seated as there was going to be, I kid you not, police intervention. Turns out the yelling that could be heard throughout the first hour of the flight was a guy that got completely trashed and made a scene before passing out halfway through, so the police was called in upon landing to escort this man off to - eh, somewhere. Hands down one of the most dramatic flights I've ever been on, I don't think I'll ever be able to take an European trip without some kind of travel disaster story. 

The Warsaw I was expecting and the Warsaw that I was greeted with were two very different images. I was more than pleasantly taken aback by how gorgeous parts of the city was, plus the average living prices of the city made me feel a lot more richer than I actually am. For example, a main, dessert and two drinks came to be about £17? Plus, cabs from the airport to central city was just under £10? Like, I can afford to take cabs again. Transportation fees don't make me weep anymore. I would definitely recommend those of you on a budget and interested in history to hop over to Warsaw for a weekend. 

With Love, 
Daphne x