This year, I made a goal of traveling to one new country each month. I will try my best to achieve this, but of course, I won’t kick myself for failing. Sometimes, life gets busy and it’s hard to set such strange goals! But the least I can do is try.
For January, the country that I chose to visit was Poland. It was a short trip, just for the weekend and only to one city, Warsaw. Next time, I’d really like to make it over to Krakow.
Warsaw blew my expectations out of the water. Having very little knowledge of Poland, besides what I’ve heard about in history class, I really didn’t know what to expect. I imagined that Warsaw would be a cold, stark place, still recovering from it’s past. Instead, what I found was a modern city filled with friendly locals. All of the small businesses were so hip! I felt like I was walking around in a very trendy city. The restaurants, bars, and hang out spots had this vibe that just made you want to go in. The branding and interior decor was ah-maazing.
Looking back at all of my photos, I realized that I didn’t really take that many. I think most of my “photos” ended up as “IG stories.” So if you’re interested in seeing my trip through video clips, you can head over to my IG account, @xlicious.
Our trip started off on Friday, January 18th at 1pm. I had taken the day off from work for this trip. We arrived in Warsaw by 3pm.
The WAW airport was very clean, and we didn’t find any pushy taxi drivers or bothering us. We called for an uber to take us to our hotel from the airport. While I was standing alone outside, a homeless man did approach me asking for money. Within less than a minute, 2 airports security guards came over to stop the man from talking to me. I was surprised by the responsive security at the airport.
In our Uber ride to the hotel, I enjoyed looking out the window and listen to the trance music that our driver was playing. He had one of his cellphones playing a video of an EDM concert and music from the concert. He was also shifting and weaving through traffic like we were in The Transporter. After we arrived at our destination, I told the driver “Dziękuję” (jen-koo-yea) — thank you in Polish — and he laughed and smiled back at me through his rear view mirror. That was the only real interaction we had the entire drive.
Arriving at our hotel, we found that the hotel room was super huge! It had 2 bathrooms, a bedroom, living room, and full kitchen. Totally not what I remember booking. I guess great value for the money. That’s kind of what our entire trip was like in Warsaw.
That night, we got dinner at Zapiecek (it’s a chain, but really good and one of the heartiest meals I’ve had in a long time), then got ice cream at N’Ice Cream Factory, and finished off the night at a bar. It was a pretty pleasant first day. I’m realizing as I get older, I don’t like to go the quick fast pace that I used to. Before during my travels, I’d have to hit up every single spot that I researched and star’d on Google maps. But now, I’m starting to learn to take it easier and go with the flow. What I don’t get to see the first time around, I can always save for the next time.
The bed at this hotel was so nice. I slept like a baby, minus the loud drunk people right outside my window for about an hour between 12am – 1am.
On Saturday, we started off the day in all the wrong places. We found ourselves walking around tirelessly for too long in the cold. Erick’s patience quickly wore away (I think it’s because he didn’t have his morning coffee). So we went to Kawiarnia Kafka to get caffeinated and out of the chilly air. It was a nice cafe. I can see myself going there regularly if I lived nearby.
After the cafe, we walked over to a lovely restaurant, Dziurka od Klucza. I can’t recommend it enough. The food was really good, and for the type of food and the portions, the price was unbeatable.
After lunch, we found ourselves in Old Town. This is probably the most famous of the tourist locations in Warsaw that everyone goes to visit. I thought it was pretty nice.
We checked out some markets around a church, and then ran into a sermon or ceremony going on?? I’m sorry, I should have done some research on what was going on at the time that I was there.
All I know is that there was this long polish flag that people were holding onto. It was interesting to see in person, though I do wish I knew what was happening. Walking around more, we headed towards the famous mermaid statue. Though it was surrounded by an ice skating rink. It was so cold, so of course we got some mulled wine to warm our hands and our stomachs!
After the mulled wine, we sort of went on a drinking splurge. I guess that’s what happens when it’s really cold. You just want to drink more. We found a craft brewery, which had a surprising large selected of home brew. This place was a gem. I’m trying to find the name of the place on Google maps, but it doesn’t look like it’s on there~
A cool place we went to was Lapidarium antique store. Erick might even tell you that this was one of the highlights of this trip. It has a mind blowing amount of history inside. Of course, what makes it more fun is that it’s all for sale. Pretty neat seeing a lot of items from the war.
The rest of the day, because of the cold, we decided to take it easy. We looked for another bar. This time, we ended up at Belgian Elephant Pub. It’s nice when you get time to relax with your partner in a bar sometimes and just talk about life. At least, that’s what we usually talk about.
By now, we’ve probably had too much to drink. We now wander around, as we need to kill time before our dinner reservation. The night is now here and it’s a lot colder. We run into various memorials and art pieces, both admiring and taking photos with them.
Eventually, we can’t take the cold, the walking, and the killing of time before our reservations… so we decide to head to the restaurant early. Our reservation was for Senses Restaurant (one of only two 1-Michelin Star restaurants in Poland).
We snooped out the restaurant before going in. They had a main entrance from the outside with flames lining the walkway. So instead, we went into the large building next door to try and “kill more time”. It was a large hall with great echo-capability. Sure enough, Erick wants to clap and make sounds “suuuuwoooooppp” to test the amplification. I nervously try to shut him up, since there is a second entrance into the restaurant from the hall that we are in. Stealthily, we walk past the second entrance hoping that the workers don’t notice us and we exit the building. Then we proceed to enter through the restaurant’s main entrance. HA! I think the workers totally knew what we did and that it was us being hooligans. What can ya do if your hubby’s immature?
Inside, they collect our jackets and walk us up to our table. There are only 2 set menus, the smaller one or the larger one. We opted for the smaller one, since we weren’t very hungry and apparently the entire meal takes about 3 hours (4 hours for the larger set). We weren’t ready to commit to sitting there for so long.
The food is a modern take on Polish cuisine. I prefer traditional Polish food. Don’t get me wrong, the food was very good, but I think what you pay for in the meal was more of the presentation and the experience. Less of the taste. You’ll have to see my IG, I documented every dish on there. There was at least 20 different plates, at LEAST.
That was our last night in Poland, and we left the next morning happy and satisfied. It was a weekend well spent.
Would I go to Warsaw again? Yes, but probably not in January. I can only imagine how nice Warsaw is in the spring or summer time! It must be nice. Have you ever been?
Next week I’m going to Barcelona for my February trip. Keep your eyes out for another blog post documenting it. I’ll try to take better pictures this time around, hehe. Until next time.