The way to Daniel’s pub/vine/vinyl/concert venue “Pardon, to tu” lead us across Pilsudski Square past the tomb of the unknown soldier and through the Ogród Saski park. Spring was evident in all the trees just sprouting leaves, creating a nice atmosphere. I can imagine this park as a very poplar and lively place in summer. Throughout the park there are several statues depicting the different disciplines in science – I like astronomy best, since she has stars on her gown and the world in her hands.

From the park it was five more minutes til Plac Grzybowski 12, where Pardon, to tu is located. It is a slightly alternative place, pretty big, with an almost Berlin style living room atmosphere and interior. Daniel was quite surprised, since he hadn’t seen Anne in more than 12 years. Unfortunately we couldn’t talk much with him because he was rather busy, but he provided us with some great tips on what to see and where to eat, and we agreed to come back at night.

Warsaw - Palace of Science and Culture

Next stop was the nearby Palace of Culture and Science. The building is very impressive, every meter monumental, dwarfing anyone who dares to enter. Our first try got us the grumpy attention of the porters for the museum of evolution, telling us the main entrance was on the other side. So we walked along, and entered again into a big hall. Looking for a toilet we found one in the basement, and after business decided to take the elevator to the top floor – I was hoping for a great view on Warsaw.

Getting off on the 27th floor we quickly saw there was nothing interesting – the doors from the hallway were locked, and there was nothing to do and see. We tried 17th floor for luck as well, but there was nothing interesting either, just some mirrors with which we played a bit for taking pictures.

Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science - Mirror games

After a few minutes we heard an announcement in polish, and getting an elevator and picking nr 4 as the next random floor we joked that this was probably about us. A spot on joke, as on the fourth floor a 2 meter tall guy of the building security gruffly told us off (I guess) in Polish and escorted us back to the basement. Upon my apology in English he didn’t say much, but just towered over us in the elevator down, shook his head and looked down on us with a slightly resigned expression on his face, that clearly read “kids…”. Both Anne and I felt like small children who were told off for something stupid. Catching her eye I saw she was just as me almost bursting with laughter, and we literally broke out as soon as we were off and the guard was out of earshot. We decided to skip the rest of the Palace, even the technical museum as the place was so unwelcoming that didn’t seem worth the trouble. From the reaction of the guard I guess we were not the first foreign visitors who wandered off in the upper floors, so it would be a great improvement to mark the public and off limit areas more clearly. How about you, anyone been to the Palace of Science and Culture in Warsaw? What about your experiences?

Warsaw main station - stencil artistAfter the Palace of Science and Culture we headed over to the man station in order to buy a ticket back from Warsaw to Berlin for returning at the end of June. Booking online wasn’t possible, for Anne because the ticket was only available two months prior to travel date and had to be sent by post, she wouldn’t have gotten it in time. For me, because as the day of departure was more than two months. Unfortunately tickets were only available one month in advance – I’ll be curious how I will get back, since the train needs a reservation, and is often sold out. Not to mention that the ticket will be a lot more expensive if I have to get it on the day of travel. We’ll see how that turns out.

Warsaw - coffee break

After this disappointment we headed for coffee at one of the places Daniel had recommended, an indie place in a backyard street just off Nowy Swiat. It had gotten cold and we both felt tired, so we headed back to the hostel for a short nap. Rested, we went over to the Italian restaurant we had seen the evening before, and enjoyed some very fine pasta fresca with truffles and salsiccia and broccoli. After dinner we headed back to Pardon, to tu for drinks and to meet Daniel. The place was packed, we managed to grab the last small table, and spent a relaxed evening watching the people. Unfortunately Daniel was not around, and didn’t show up until 10, so we left – still had packing ahead, and wanted to have a nice breakfast at the french café before flying.