Friday, March 27, 2015

Warsaw, Not Love at First Sight

Since adrenalin-driven activities are somewhat limited with a small kid on board, one can always take travelling as an occasion to visit friends. Our next trip was Warsaw, of course visiting friends again.

Warsaw will never cease to amaze you with its magnitude of dimensions. The popular saying ‘There is nothing (interesting) in Warsaw’ is an empty cliché. There are plenty of things. One just has to dig a bit harder and know a bit of history. You will not fall in love with Warsaw at first sight but if you are patient enough and learn a bit about the city's stormy history, you will be awarded with unexpected discoveries. The history breaths out there in the streets of Warsaw!

The best thing for parents and their offspring is to visit the Copernicus Science Center. Your kids as young as there years old will certainly enjoy the center, even if they are not particularly interested in science and astronomy. Weekends apparently tend to be heavily busy and lines are inevitable. 

Next to the Copernicus Center, just across the street, you will find the famous Warsaw University Library with its breathtaking roof garden. The building is said to be a unique collaboration between the city and the architects, applying a then pioneering principle of open access.  Thus the library is supposed to be a “centre for leisure and culture“. 

The culture aspect is here represented by an amazing roof garden, designed by Irena Baierska. It is a genuine oasis in the city full of building construction sites and new high-rise buildings that mushroomed due to the European Football Championship in 2012. Any kid of all ages will like to explore the garden's labyrinth of little avenues, hidden in the luxuriant vegetation.
After seeing the Warsaw University Library and its garden, you canrecharge yourself in a nearby trendy hipster cafe Kafka. 

We were blessed with sunny days, so one day we lounged in the Mokotow park, enjoying the warmth of sun and coldness of Polish beer. Rica appreciated the little pond (got all wet) and a playground nearby (got all dirty). Parks are a favorite place to relax with plentiful food options and beer stands and places to rent a bike. 

Visiting friends can also have one big advantage for parents of small kids – free baby-sitting. While Rica stayed with our friends and enjoyed their company (hopefully they enjoyed hers), we took a bike tour around the city. The bike paths are clearly marked and wide. 

The Warsaw's bike rental system made the biggest impression on me. You can cheaply rent one and explore the city and its numerous parks on a bike. It is probably the fastest and cheapest way to discover the spacious city.

On the last day of our stay I took a quick visit to the recently opened and yet unfinished Jewish Museum. It was very sunny that day (as you can say by the semi-naked people baking on the grass in front of the Museum).

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