Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Warsaw: Chopin, Copernicus, Conrad, Church, Concert and Cake


After a hearty breakfast, we hopped on the 127 bus to check out the Copernicus Science Centre (Centrum Nauki Kopernik). We decided not to enter the centre as we wanted to spend most of the day at other museums which we were more interested in.


So we took a quick 15-20 minute stroll towards our next destination. The autumn colours were as lovely as ever, with the abundance of orange-brown leaves all over the place. 


We arrived at the Fryderyk Chopin Museum (Muzeum Fryderyka Chopina) and got tickets for 22zl each.


From the top of the museum, you could get an amazing view of both of the magnificent murals which had a combination of the historical and current culture all in one. The colours were absolutely vibrant and beautiful.


As a pianist myself it was really interesting to see the works, the history and the life of Chopin documented in his own handwriting.


The museum was extremely interactive and very entertaining as you could 'activate' parts of the exhibition with the given key card. There were also five different floors displaying different categories of his life.


More murals around the museum were all music-themed and it was very exciting for me to say the least.


We took a stroll towards Nowy Świat street, one of the main streets filled with shops and other historical attractions.


One of the ones was a plaque commemorating Joseph Conrad, a well-known Polish-British writer. Some of his works include "Heart of Darkness", "The Secret Agent" and "Under Western Eyes". 


Our eyes got slightly greedy and we popped into the Grycan Cafe which had a whole range of desserts ranging from cakes to tarts to ice cream.


They also had a delicious coffee infused with some Advocaat, an egg liqueur, which I really grew to like when I first tried it in Poland last year.


We also got ourselves a slice of traditional Polish cake called "piernik staropolski z bakaliami".
It was a gingerbread cake with nuts and raisins topped off with a chocolate ganache and was drizzled with more chocolate sauce. mmmm.


Continuing up the same Nowy Świat and got to the statue of Copernicus who is of course holding the model of the solar system to commemorate his contribution of coining the idea of the Sun being the centre of the universe.


Right opposite Copernicus' statue was the Church of the Holy Cross (Bazylika Świętego Krzyża),


Within the church, its pillars and walls have several well-known Polish hearts embedded in them (they were each placed within an urn before they were embedded).


One of them being, Chopin himself.


Close up.


When we arrived, there was a group of people setting up lots of equipment in preparation for a concert which we then found out from a kindly old Polish grandpa (who communicated with me through my Google translate and bare knowledge of the language) that the concert was going to be on tonight and it was for free as it was a voluntary concert.


So we decided to head to the concert to listen to some live classical music later that night.


The Hulencourt Soloist Chamber Orchestra gave an amazing performance with absolutely talented musicians and the acoustics within the church were phenomenal.


We also stopped by the Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)


Before entering we saw a ma-hassive chair outside its doors


We bought tickets to go to the 30th floor to get a great view of the city.


We got a slight glimpse of the palace architecture but we didn't opt for the guided tour which was offered.


So instead we just walked around the top of the clock tower!
So here's a gimplse of Warsaw from up up and away!


For our last dinner in Warsaw, we went to Zapiecek on Nowy Świat which is a restaurant I definitely recommend to all! They have franchises all over the place and they have a large variety of Polish delicacies and it was absolutely delicious!!!


I got some flaki - one of my absolute favourite Polish dishes
A warm peppery soup with tender slices of beef tripe


Pierogi - Polish dumplings. 
The restaurant allowed us to mix and choose the pierogi fillings as long as you order 9 pieces so I got an equal portion of pierogi ruskie (cheese+potatoes), pierogi mięsem y pieczarką (meat and mushrooms) and pierogi z liściastym szpinakiem i żółtym serem (spinach and cheese)  


I also tried their delicious grzane wino (mulled wine) which even came with the option to add a shot of rum or vodka into it. The spices and the fruitiness was so nice and warm..it was as if Christmas came early or something! It was great! 

Anyway, I have one more day left in Warsaw and then it's off to Limerick I go!

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