Once Upon a Time in Warsaw

When it came my turn to select the cities for our Eurotrip, Warsaw was at the top of my list. My grandfather was from Poland, but he died before my third birthday — much too soon for me to ask all the questions about where he came from. So I’ve always known that once the opportunity presented itself, I would find myself in Poland.

Playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos with Gramps

In 2012, while on my Adventures of an Island Girl: Sydney Edition trip, I was finally able to meet my Polish cousins who, up until then, I knew very little about. During my quick trip to Melbourne, I got to learn about my Polish family tree, and learned that there were cousins still in Warsaw.

 

Which brings us back to this year’s trip. The original plan was to travel from Prague to Warsaw by bus. Twelve hours on a bus. Better judgement eventually prevailed and we cancelled the bus tickets and took the train instead. Somewhere along the way, though, my phone’s GPS got confused and we ended up in China.

 

Even my Snapchat geofilters came up with Guangzhou
Not quite where we’re supposed to be
Back in October, I facilitated an introduction to blogging workshop and as an icebreaker, I asked the attendees to think about their favourite words. Definitely not a question people often get asked. But, for pretty much all of this year, my favourite word has been serendipity. You see, for all of my planning and itinerary making, I failed to reach out to the family before actually getting to Warsaw.
 
As the stars would have it though, Children’s Day was just around the corner and the family was getting together for lunch at a restaurant within walking distance from our Airbnb. So there they were, in person, the names I had seen on the family tree five years prior.
 
Maybe it’s because too many months have passed, but I’m having difficulty putting into words my experience in Warsaw and the contentment I felt chatting and laughing with my cousins and listening to stories about my grandfather. So, here are some photos instead!

Warsaw
Posing by the Palace of Science and Culture

 

Standing by Syrenka, the Mermaid of Warsaw

 

Warsaw
Dancing the night away along the Vistula River. During the summer months, the river bank comes alive with pop-up bars, music (live bands and DJs) and just all round good vibes.

 

We visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum, a tribute to those who fought and died for independent Poland and its free capital. My grandfather’s sister, my grandaunt Christine, was one of these brave freedom fighters.
With my cousins Jarek…

 

…and Dominika, who made my Warsaw weekend truly unforgettable!

There’s just one stop left: Athens, Greece!

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Pingback: #ThisIs30: Athens Edition – Alybiz

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