Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Warsaw 2009: Downtown

We passed through the downtown area a number of times, several times a day in fact ... our hotel (centrally located :-) was sort of on the wrong side relative to most of what we wanted to see. :-) But Warsaw is an easy city to make your way around in - the public transport system is wonderful, with lots of streetcars and buses. There's also a metro covering part of the city. We used the streetcar mostly. I love watching a strange city go by through the window of a moving streetcar or bus ... it makes me feel I'm getting to know the place a little. :-)

These are some of the pictures I took from around the city center.

The Palace of Culture, and a streetcar, on a foggy day.

The Palace of Culture by night. One of my previous Warsaw posts has more pictures of the Palace; look here.

The Muzeum Narodowe, ie, the National Museum. It houses a collection of various art treasures from different periods. The most impressive things we saw there were the enormous paintings by Jan Matejko ... these were kept concealed from the Nazis during WWII, so that they never left Poland, in fact AFAIK never left the city. That sounded reasonable when I read about it in the guide book, but when I saw the paintings ... !! o_O The biggest one of them is bigger than my living room. And I'm not exaggerating. It's deeply impressive to me that they managed to conceal and preserve these priceless treasures for years under such horrible conditions.

A peculiar building along a street that we passed daily. I don't remember what it was now ... if I ever knew. And looking at it I really can't begin to guess. :-D

And if only I could remember what this building was ... !! We were told what it was like three times but immediately forgot it every time. :-D It's something important, anyway, as I'm sure you can tell. ;-)

My mother outside the famous Fotoplastikon ... of which I had never heard before our visit. :-) But it was pretty cool though, I'm glad we went to see it. And the price was unbeatable. :-) Unfortunately all the pictures I took inside totally suck ... but we both really liked this old water fount set in the wall outside the entrance. Fancy. :-) There are a couple of interior shots on the site I linked to if you're curious.

There were several fancy-looking multiplexes, and we did want to go to a movie, but because the Poles dub all foreign movies it would have been pointless. :-( That's something we Scandinavians aren't used to; only movies for children are dubbed here. If you come to Oslo, or any other Norwegian city or town big enough to have a movie theater, you can safely go to any movie screening except the most babyish ones ... they'll only be subtitled. If you're here in the summer and there's a big Norwegian blockbuster on (such as they are ;-) you may be in luck and it may be subtitled in English for your viewing pleasure. :-)

In the courtyard of a random apartment building.

Many buildings were beautifully lit after dark ... and there were lots of billboards and other ads all over the place. Not very Eastern bloc to my eyes. :-) I wished I could have gone to see Coraline, but again, pointless.

One of the main streets crossing the main square, close to the main railway station, and one of the biggest malls in the city. And of course people waiting for the streetcar. :-)

To see the rest of my shots from downtown Warsaw, go here.

1 comment:

Paz said...

nice shots and interesting, as usuall