We’re looking forward to being able to fly direct to Singapore from Canberra.  Singapore Airlines starts the new route this month and we’ll be returning home to Canberra without the need to go via Sydney…yeh!   After a wonderful few days in Singapore, sometimes exploring the city on their very modern trains, we’re now in Warsaw for 4 nights.  So much to see and do including a Chopin concert and the museum.  Our hotel is across the road from the controversial/imposing Palace of Culture and Science – “a gift from Stalin” (photo below).  The other view from the hotel is of the vibrant and busy transport hub which includes trains, trams (foreground of photo), push bike hire (to right of photo), buses and cars…all near “Central Railway”.  We’re heading there now for our 2.5 hr rail journey to Kraków.  There was so much to see and do in Warsaw including the beautiful Old Town (see photos) as well as a variety of history museums, great restaurants, castles, palaces, parks and gardens.  Our train trip to Kraków today was excellent – staff brought lunch to the seat in First Class.  Paying a bit extra for First Class is worth considering – plenty of space, extra baggage room and bigger windows to take in the pretty views/countryside. The food/drink wasn’t as good as Eurostar between London & Paris but still quite nice – we chose a duck salad (3 choices…1 vegetarian).  A tip to save money – go on line and book directly with polrail.com.  Also look for legitimate taxis at railway stations…there are at least 2 good companies.

Where we stayed – Polonia Palace Hotel (photo below).  This hotel has a fascinating history and was one of the only historic buildings not destroyed in central Warsaw during WWII – because it was used as Nazi headquarters!  We loved the bar and restaurant at this hotel (great Polish dumplings) and the buffet breakfast was also outstanding…we particularly enjoyed their baked apples with cranberries and beautiful, natural yoghurt (see our latest food post).

Photos below: 2 more of our favourite traditional dishes in Poland were Whole Baked Apples with Cranberries (recipe will be posted as apples are coming into season in Australia now:); and Polish Nut Rolls...all varieties were beautiful! The hotel we stayed at in Warsaw (Polonia Palace Hotel…photo below) served both these plates at their stunning/elegant breakfast buffet. In fact the whole building was beautiful – one of the only historic buildings to survive the destruction of WWII because it was Nazi headquarters in Warsaw between 1939 and 1945 ie. the during of the War.  More recipes and information can be found on our latest Food post.

A few highlights in Warsaw:

POLIN MUSEUM of the HISTORY OF POLISH JEWS

Awarded the 2016 European Museum of the Year

– a short trip from Old Town & an easy walk from a tram stop.

An exceptional museum located in a symbolic place in the centre of Warsaw, in the district formerly inhabited by Jews, transformed by the Nazis into the ghetto during the war.  The museum encompasses a thousand years of Jewish history, culture and heritage:  before World War Two, Warsaw had the largest Jewish community in the world.

The museum building itself is an architectural gem – a landmark of modern Warsaw and also a monument to its rich past.  The edifice bears many meanings:  the main hall cuts the building in half, which symbolizes a rupture in Jewish history, caused by the Holocaust.

THE OLD TOWN (more to come)


Photo below: Warsaw Uprising Museum…So many great cafes and restaurants can be found at wonderful museums and galleries today – at home in Australia and in many parts of the world…on each trip we see things getting better in that regard and it’s inspiring! I love the way food is being connected with the Arts, History, Music, Culture…the list goes on – all so important in this totally mad world of ours! Never stop learning we say! If in Warsaw check out the fairly new Museum of the History of Polish Jews (POLIN) – it’s outstanding! It received the 2016 award for the European Museum of the Year. Even if you don’t get to Warsaw, if you’re interested in building and architecture like our family, it’s worth looking at it on the Net. It’s architecturally magnificent as well. Of course their cafe/restaurant is excellent too – after our visit we had a late/delicious/long lunch…mostly Jewish food of course. We skipped dinner that night!