Diary for Paul & Tracey's Travels

Day 2 in Poland - Warsaw Old Town, the ghetto, and a trip to Tomaszow Maz


Woke up to another very overcast day. Went for an early morning stroll around the local streets. After breakfast we arranged with the hotel that we could retain our rooms until 1pm (and so leave our lugagge behind) - we then took a drive out to the north of Warsaw to visit Zoliborz, which was the area where the `Warsaw ghetto` was. There is nothing there now to tell of what happened here 60 years ago, but when walking around I felt a very sombre atmosphere, although that may have been the weather ! We got back to the car, and headed a couple of miles back south to the Old Town. The drive took us about 30 minutes, but we had been warned about the heavy traffic in Warsaw. The main square is quite breathtaking - a huge open area dominated by the castle and monument in the centre. It is amazing to think that most of it has been rebuilt (in the original style) since WW2. Nowadays a major dual carriageway runs right underneath the square but you would not know it was there. I am sure that on a fine day there would be fine view over the city, but not today. Having driven back to the hotel to collect our bags we set off south out of the city, but clearly took a wrong turn as we found ourselves back at the airport, from which it took several attempts to get back on the road we needed. At about 2pm we pulled off the main road at a services which turned out to be a very posh looking restaurant which appeared to be expecting a wedding party judging by the seat and table decorations. Any way they were happy to feed us and despite their limited English and our non existant Polish, we need a nice meal. Back to the main road and the rest of the journey to Tomaszow Maz was incident free. We are here to visit a company tomorrow which is building us a family narrow boat, and they had arranged for us to stay in a hotel about 5 miles outside town in village called Spala. Driving out of Tomaszow we were struck by the huge area of derelict factories on the outskirts of town. The Hotel Moscicki is on the edge of a huge area of woodland which at this time of year is very orange. The hotel is very comfortable, with friendly staff, although no English is spoken. Lovely food in the restaurant. I ended the day watching the film `Speed` with a Polish voice over as there was no speaking programmes. A good day. I hope the weather brightens up a bit tomorrow.