Decisions are such ephemeral things. Decisions made that night did not affect our activities the next day.
Very early the next day, we caught the train to Warsaw. We did, at the station, make a rookie mistake and try asking for tickets to Warsaw rather than writing down our destination. But of course it turns out that Warsaw is actually Warszawa, which is pronounced Var-shav-a.
Of course confusion with platforms and trains and we rushed hither and yon, but aided by an elderly Pole with a complicated story, we made it to the right platform and found our way back to Warsaw (oops, I mean Warszawa). We went back to the street with the cobblestones and the guesthouse we had left the week before.
Having left Krakow early, we had time for sightseeing in Warszawa, where we visited the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising. In 1944, Polish freedom fighters rose up against the Nazi and met annihilation and retribution. The museum tells this fascinating story. With photographs, recordings, artifacts, and more, exhibits recreate the atmosphere and events of the struggle of 1944, paint a picture of the realities of life under the Nazis, and present the Uprising as an example of the strength of the Polish spirit. The movie “Death of a City” shows Warsaw before the War — and after the Nazi backlash executed thousands of Poles and destroyed every building of importance in to Polish culture. It’s impossible to summarize the museum (and the history it presents) in a trip report. It’s overwhelming and inspiring — adjectives that equally well describe Poland and the Polish people overall.
What next? Make your choice:
Option one: Inspired by tales of how the Polish resistance used Warsaw’s sewers as an escape routes and fueled by bison grass vodka, we headed down a manhole (make that a “person-hole”) to explore the city’s underground. Eventually, we came back up and caught a plane to Paris.
Option two: We caught a plane to Paris.