A Travellerspoint blog

In the eye of the storm

Typhoon Mangkhut

storm

On Sunday 16th September Hong Kong was at the mercy of Typhoon Mangkhut - a superstorm that muscled its way into our lives after wreaking death and destruction in the Philippines. For several hours the entire population was housebound by a number ten signal typhoon. We sat terrified in our storm-battered flats exchanging videos and photos of destruction. The exchange terrified us as much as the storm. When it was finally safe to venture outside, the scenes of devastation were heartbreaking. Trees were uprooted everywhere, windows were smashed in, scaffolding had collapsed, streets were flooded. One week later my walk down from work along a public right of way makes me feel like I am Indianna Jones. I am leaping downed trees, ducking under fallen trees and fighting my way through branches. Pavements are impassable in places as they are covered with destroyed foliage. I love to swim and have just been able to start again now they have finally removed all the downed trees from my pool. I've experienced typhoons before, terrible ones included, this one was the stuff of nightmares.

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Our front door after the typhoon.

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Outside our building, someone's golf cart imprisoned in branches.

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The buildings across from my house. Fallen trees everywhere.

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Well established trees with large roots brought up half of the pavement.

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These trees were centimetres from crashing through people's windows.

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This used to be a popular seating area and picnic site.

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Trying to clean up the mess.

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Schools closed for two days. This was a basketball court near my school.

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My way down from school.

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This used to be a clear path; now it is an obstacle course.

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Queueing up to jump trees to get home.

Posted by irenevt 08:07 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged trees hong typhoon kong devastation Comments (4)

Last Days.

Warsaw New Town.

sunny

We had been happily travelling around different parts of the world for more than six weeks, but all good things must come to an end. It was the last day of our holiday. We had a late check out at five pm, then it would be off to the airport and a flight back to Hong Kong. The long shadow of work was looming.

We decided to spend the day exploring Warsaw's new town. New town is a bit of a misnomer as it dates from the fourteenth century, though like the whole of Warsaw it was destroyed during the second world war and rebuilt. Warsaw's new town is right next to its old town. It lies on the other side of the Barbican Gate. We did not enter it from the Barbican Gate end but rather from the northern end which was closer to our hotel.

The first sight we saw was Sapieha Palace which was built by Jan Fryderyk Sapieha, Grand Chancellor of Lithuania. This palace became home to the Sapieha family. Later, in the nineteenth century, the palace became an army barracks. Nowadays it is a school.

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Sapieha Palace.

Next we came to The Church of St. Francis which dates from the seventeenth century. This church was bombed during the Warsaw Uprising, resulting in the deaths of forty people who were sheltering in its cellars.

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The Church of St. Francis.

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The Church of St. Francis.

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Painted building near The Church of St. Francis.

We then walked down towards the River Vistula and came across The Church of the Visitation of Blessed Virgin Mary, or more informally just St. Mary’s Church. This is one of the oldest churches in Warsaw and dates from the fifteenth century.

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The Church of the Visitation of Blessed Virgin Mary.

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The Church of the Visitation of Blessed Virgin Mary.

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The Church of the Visitation of Blessed Virgin Mary.

Just behind this church there is a small park with a statue of Marie Curie who was born in Warsaw's new town. There are also beautiful views over the River Vistula and over the multimedia fountain park which opened near the banks of the river in May 2011. This park hosts music, water and light shows. Some kind of event was going on on the banks of the Vistula when we visited.

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Event on the banks of the Vistula.

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Multimedia Fountain Park.

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Marie Curie.

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Marie Curie.

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Marie Curie.

Next we walked into the new town's market square which is home to St. Caisimir’s Curch which dates from the seventeenth century. During the second world war this was used as a hospital. There are statues of saints outside the church. There are also several attractive painted buildings in market square and a well which is located on the site of the former town hall.

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St. Caisimir’s Curch

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Outside St. Caisimir’s Curch

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In Market Square.

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In Market Square.

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In Market Square.

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In Market Square.

We then walked along Freta Street, which is the main street of the new town. It has many restaurants and shops. It leads all the way to the Barbican Gate. Near that gate stands the lovely Church of the Holy Spirit which dates from 1717. Also on Freta Street we passed the house where Marie Curie was born.

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Freta Street.

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Freta Street and the Church of the Holy Spirit.

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Marie Curie's birthplace.

Also on Freta Street is the lovely seventeenth century Dominican Church of Saint Hyacinth.

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Church of Saint Hyacinth.

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From the old town looking back at the Barbican on the Church of the Holy Spirit.

Then it was a bit of last minute shopping and off to the airport. The holiday was over at last.

Posted by irenevt 01:06 Archived in Poland Tagged town warsaw new Comments (2)

Wandering around Warsaw.

Jewish Quarter, modern Warsaw, heading back into the old town.

We woke up early and headed to breakfast, conscious of the fact that we only really had one full day and a day with a late checkout to look at Warsaw and anxious to get started.

We decided to start by wandering through the former Jewish Ghetto area. With hindsight I would say we should have done this as part of a guided walking tour for a number of reasons. The ghetto was demolished totally and it is really only monuments that remain to show what was here or what happened here. These monuments are widely spread out and not easy to find. Often information about the monuments is in Polish only and their significance is lost on you unless you understand Polish or have researched really well. I think a guided walking tour would save a lot of wasted time trying to find things and be able to fill in all the gaps about what it would have been like to live in this terrible place during the war.

The Warsaw Ghetto was established by the German authorities in the predominately Jewish neighborhood of Muranów in 1940. It consisted of a large ghetto and a small ghetto connected by a footbridge across Chłodna Street. Walls topped with barbed wire were built around this area to keep the Jewish people inside. Jews who had lived outside this area before the war were forcibly moved here, causing terrible overcrowding. More than 400,000 Jews were imprisoned here with very limited rations of food. Many died of starvation. Many more were deported to Nazi concentration camps such as Treblinka. One estimate is that around 300,000 Jews from this ghetto were gassed or shot and 92,000 died of hunger or disease. In 1943 in an event known as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Jews attempted to fight back against their Nazi oppressors and stop deportations. Their rebellion was doomed to failure and large numbers of Jewish people were killed or deported and the ghetto was destroyed. A new Warsaw concentration camp was built on the ghetto area where the Nazis began imprisoning non-Jewish Polish people.

The first sight we saw was The Ghetto Heroes Monument which commemorates the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. It is located in the place where the first armed resistance of the uprising took place. The first monument here was a circular one designed by Leon Suzin. It bore the inscription: "For those who fell in an unprecedented and heroic struggle for the dignity and freedom of the Jewish people, for a free Poland, and for the liberation of mankind. Polish Jews". Later a second, larger monument, sculpted by Nathan Rapoport was created in 1948. It is a wall with figures in the centre. The wall symbolizes the ghetto walls, but also the wailing wall in Jerusalem. The central figure in the frieze is Mordechai Anielewicz, leader of the Jewish Combat Organization, or ŻOB.

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The Ghetto Heroes Monument.

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The Ghetto Heroes Monument.

Near the Ghetto Heroes Monument stands the Polin Museum which is the museum of Polish Jewish history. This opened in 2014. We did not go inside it.

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Polin Museum.

Next we encountered a bench and statue dedicated to Jan Karski, a Polish Resistance Army soldier, who managed to get news to the outside world about Hitler's mass exterminations of the Jews. Karski survived the war and after it lived in the USA where he worked as a university professor.

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Jan Karski.

Next we walked to the nearby Kniefall von Warschau Monument. This commemorates German Chancellor Willy Brandt spontaneously dropping to his knees in an act of penance and humility when he visited sites connected to the Holocaust in Warsaw in 1970. This monument was unveiled in December 2000, on the eve of the thirtieth anniversary of Brandt's gesture.

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Kniefall von Warschau Monument.

Next we walked to Chłodna Street in the district of Mirów. This street was between the large and small ghettos. It did not become part of the ghetto as it was on a tram line and was needed for transportation by the non-Jewish population. The Jews unable to leave the ghetto area had to cross from the small ghetto to the large ghetto via a footbridge above Chłodna Street. A monument called “A Footbridge of Memory” by Architect Tomasz Lec marks the site. Tall metal poles mark either side of the bridge and these are connected by optical fibres which are lit up like a bridge at night. We only saw it by day.

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A Footbridge of Memory.

Near here we also found a monument to Jerzy Popiełuszko. He was a Polish priest, who supported the Solidarity Movement, and spoke out against communism. He was persecuted by the authorities and they tried to kill him. In 1984 they succeeded he was murdered by three agents of the Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

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Monument to Jerzy Popiełuszko.

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Monument to Jerzy Popiełuszko.

Next we walked to the very beautiful Church of St Andrew the Apostle. This is a Roman Catholic Church and was one of the loveliest we saw in Warsaw. We did not go inside.

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Church of St Andrew the Apostle.

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Church of St Andrew the Apostle.

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Church of St Andrew the Apostle.

The last Jewish site we saw, and it took us a ridiculous amount of time to find it, was a piece of the original ghetto wall. We also passed a memorial to Gurt, dedicated to the soldiers of the Armia Krajowa Group IV "Gurt", which fought here during the Warsaw Uprising, in 1944.

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Ghetto wall.

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Gurt memorial.

We now entered a more modern part of central Warsaw with glass skyscrapers and murals on the walls of buildings.

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Murals on buildings.

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Murals on buildings.

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Murals on buildings.

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Skyscrapers.

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Skyscrapers.

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Skyscrapers.

One of my favourite buildings in Warsaw is the Palace of Culture and Science. It is 237 metres high, so can be seen from a long way away and acts as a landmark when people get lost. It helped us work out which way to walk to our hotel on our first day. It was opened in 1955 and was designed by Soviet architect Lev Rudnev. The architectural style of this building is known as "Seven Sisters", because there are seven famous buildings in Moscow built in a similar style. Basically it looks like a giant tiered wedding cake. I have come across buildings like this in many Eastern European countries. The building is now used as an exhibition center and office complex, as well as containing cinemas, theatres, museums, a swimming pool, congress hall and the tourist information office. Now that is what I call multi-functional.

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The Palace of Culture and Science.

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The Palace of Culture and Science.

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The Palace of Culture and Science.

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The Palace of Culture and Science.

From the Palace of Culture and Science we walked along Al. Jerozolimskie, which means Avenue of Jerusalem as this was once a predominantly Jewish area. This street is home to many prestigious hotels. Eventually we reached the palm tree. The palm tree stands on a roundabout surrounded by many, many cars. The palm tree is not really a tree, though it looks real. It is actually a steel column covered with real bark and polyethylene leaves. It was designed by artist Joanna Rajkowska who was inspired to create it after a visit to Israel.

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The palm tree.

On one side of the roundabout there was a statue of Charles de Gaulle. He is walking away from what was once the Communist Party Headquarters. De Gaulle lived in Warsaw in the 1920s and played a part in the 1920 Battle of Warsaw in which the polish army drove back the red Russian army. The statue was a gift from France.

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Charles de Gaulle.

We then walked up Nowy Swiat, which later changes its name, towards the old town. There are many sights here. These include the Nicolaus Copernicus statue in front of the Polish Academy of Sciences. This was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and completed in 1830. Nearby stands the Holy Cross Church which was undergoing restoration when we visited. A bit further on is the Church of St. Joseph of the Visitationists with its statue of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński outside it. Stefan Wyszyński was the Primate of Poland. He was well known for his heroic stand against Nazism and Communism. Another lovely building is the Presidential Palace with an equestrian statue of Prince Józef Poniatowski outside it. He was a Polish leader and army general. There is also a beautiful Carmelite Church and nearby it a statue of poet Adam Mickiewicz. This street is also home to the University of Warsaw.

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Talented busker.

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Statue.

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Adam Mickiewicz and the Caramelite Church.

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Adam Mickiewicz.

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Adam Mickiewicz.

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Presidential Palace and statue of Prince Józef Poniatowski.

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Statue of Prince Józef Poniatowski.

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Bolesław Prus, Polish writer.

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Jan Twardowski, poet.

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The Church of St. Joseph of the Visitationists and statue of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński.

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Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński.

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Warsaw University.

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Warsaw University.

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Copernicus.

Before heading for dinner we took a detour to Piłsudski Square and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, dedicated to all those soldiers who died serving their Polish homeland. The Tomb is lit by an eternal flame and protected by armed guards. The tomb stands in front of a lovely park Saxon Gardens which has statues and ponds and plenty of benches to relax on. Here we were entertained for a while by the bubble man, blowing huge soapy bubbles to amuse children, and being constantly harassed by adults, who after all are still children at heart, and who just can't walk by without bursting those bubbles.

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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Saxon Gardens.

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Saxon Gardens.

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Maria Konopnicka, Polish writer.

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The Bubble Man.

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The Bubble Man.

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Near Saxon Gardens.

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Józef Piłsudski, Polish statesman.

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Polish ballerina.

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And her main rival.

We had a look at the Warsaw Grand Theatre, crowds were arriving for a performance just as we arrived.

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Warsaw Grand Theatre.

Finally we had a quick look at the Polish Nike statue. This commemorates the heroes of Warsaw and depicts a woman ready to battle with a sword. It has the inscription. “To the Heroes of Warsaw 1939-1945”

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Polish Nike.

It had been a long day, our feet were getting sore, our tummies were starting to rumble, so we returned to our hotel for dinner and drinks.

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Cheers, Benny!

Posted by irenevt 00:33 Archived in Poland Tagged architecture monument warsaw soviet jewish ghetto Comments (5)

A Phoenix from the Ashes.

Wonderful Warsaw.

sunny

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A Warsaw rose.

This was our second visit to Warsaw. We visited many years ago when we were working in Poland and living in the small town of Lebork, near Gdansk. Our first visit was just a day visit which took place in the heart of winter and we were with a teaching colleague who just wanted to eat constantly, so we did not see much on that visit. This visit was much better.

We flew from Birmingham Airport on a Ryan Air flight to Modlin Airport which is located forty kilometres north of Warsaw. This is not Warsaw's main airport and we had to travel into the city via a bus to Modlin train station then a train to Warszawa Gdańska Station. The people opposite us on the train had two beautiful pet dogs on their knees and one kept licking me. It was so cute.

At Warszawa Gdańska Station we set off to find our hotel the Ibis Warszawa Stare Miasto - which means Warsaw old town. This location was handy for sightseeing in the old town, new town and Jewish area. The hotel was very nice and unlike most Ibises provided free bottled drinking water and a mobile phone with a sightseeing app, though we did not use it.

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Our hotel room.

We wanted to maximise our daylight time, so quickly went out after check in and headed towards the old town. Just outside the hotel there is a monument called the Monument to the Fallen and Murdered in the East. It looks like a railway carriage filled with crosses and some stars of David. This monument is dedicated to the people killed during the Soviet invasion of Poland and in subsequent Soviet clamp downs on the Polish people. It was designed by Maksymilian Biskupski and was unveiled in 1995. It is located in front of the Ibis Warszawa Stare Miasto Hotel at the intersection of Muranowska and General Władysław Anders streets.

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Monument to the Fallen and Murdered in the East.

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Monument to the Fallen and Murdered in the East.

After looking at the monument, we continued on to the Krasiński Palace which now houses the National Library. This palace was built for the Krasiński family in the seventeenth century. Sadly, it was destroyed in 1944 during World War II. Reconstruction began in 1948. There is a park behind the palace, but we did not visit it this time. There are some interesting winged horse sculptures in front of this building. These were created in 2008 by Beata Konarska and Pawel Konarski who belong to the Warsaw design studio Konarska-Nokarski. They are quite fun and colourful.

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Winged horses outside the Krasiński Palace.

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Winged horses outside the Krasiński Palace.

On the other side of the road stands the Supreme Court of Poland. One of the most famous monuments in Warsaw can be found in front of the court on Krasiński Square. This is the Warsaw Uprising Monument, which was created by Wincenty Kućma and Jacek Budyn and unveiled in 1989. It is dedicated to the memory of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

The Warsaw Uprising occurred between August and October 1944. It was an attempt by the Polish resistance movement to drive the occupying Nazis out of their city. The Russian army under Stalin were nearing Warsaw when the uprising began. Instead of helping the Polish people, they stood back and let the Germans kill them, so that when they tried to seize the city themselves, they would meet with little Polish resistance. The Nazis were so angered with the Polish people for opposing them that, once they had quelled the uprising, they expelled the remaining population and destroyed almost ninety percent of Warsaw's buildings. The Russians then stepped in and took over after the German army left. The Soviets opposed the building of this monument wishing to whitewash over their part in the failure of the uprising. The monument is huge and very striking. It shows armed Polish resistance fighters launching a surprise attack on their enemy. Some are emerging from the sewers which they used to cross the Nazi occupied city. The structure behind the figures represents a falling building.

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The Supreme Court of Poland.

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The Warsaw Uprising Monument.

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The Warsaw Uprising Monument.

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The Warsaw Uprising Monument.

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The Warsaw Uprising Monument.

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The Warsaw Uprising Monument.

As I said above almost ninety percent of Warsaw was destroyed in the Second World War, but so much of it has been rebuilt and restored. Warsaw has risen like a phoenix from the burnt out ashes of its tortured past. Warsaw's old and new towns stand as a symbol of never giving up or accepting defeat. The restoration here is amazing. We next walked to the rebuilt walls of the old town and stopped to look at the Monument of the Little Insurgent. This shows a child in a helmet way too big for him, holding a large gun. It commemorates all the young people who helped during the Warsaw Uprising either as fighters or runners. The sculpture is based on a statuette created by Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz and was unveiled in 1983. Behind the statue an inscription reads "Children of Warsaw, let us go into battle, for every stone we shall give our blood.”

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The Monument of the Little Insurgent.

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The Monument of the Little Insurgent.

We then walked along the outside of the old town walls and came to the statue of Warsaw shoemaker Jan Kilinski, a hero who fought against the Russians during the Uprising in 1794.

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Warsaw's city walls.

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Jan Kilinski Statue.

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Jan Kilinski Statue.

We continued walking along the outside of the old town walls till we reached the Royal Castle which is located in Castle Square. The original castle dates from the fourteenth century. It was later expanded in the sixteenth century after King Sigismund III made Warsaw capital of Poland in 1596. The castle was completely destroyed in 1944 during the Second World War. Rebuilding began in 1971 and the castle re-opened in 1984. We wandered around the courtyard but did not go inside the building. Castle Square is busy and colourful, surrounded by lots of old buildings. In the centre of the square stands a 22m high column with a statue of King Sigismund III on top of it. Sigismund's statue was toppled in World War II and re-erected in 1949.

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The Royal Castle.

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The Royal Castle.

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Castle Square.

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Is that a princess?

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Castle Square with Sigismund's Column.

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King Sigismund III.

We then wandered into the heart of the old town - Market Square. This colourful square is surrounded by beautiful buildings and filled with stalls selling paintings and souvenirs. In the centre of it there is a bronze statue of Syrenka - a warrior mermaid. This was made by Konstanty Hegel in 1855. Syrenka is the city’s protector.

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Market Square.

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Market Square.

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Market Square.

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Market Square.

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Market Square.

Past the Market Square one of the prettiest areas of the old town is around the Barbican gateway and the city walls there. The Barbican was built in 1540 to help defend the city.

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Walls and Barbican.

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Old town walls, Warsaw.

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Old town walls.

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Old town walls.

In addition to these sights the old town of Warsaw also has some beautiful churches. We visited St. John's Archcathedral which is a Roman Catholic church. It is located next to Warsaw's Jesuit church. Behind the cathedral in Canon Square there is an old church bell, dating from 1646. It is known as the wishing bell. Walking around it is said to bring good luck.

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Jesuit Church and St John's Archcathedral.

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Jesuit Church.

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Door of Jesuit Church.

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Inside the Jesuit Church.

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Inside St John's Archcathedral.

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The wishing bell behind the cathedral.

Not far from the wishing bell there is a viewing area with lovely views over the Vistula River.The strong man statue is located here. This was created by Stanislaw Czarnowski and depicts a man hurling a boulder.

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Strong man statue.

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The River Vistula.

After this we were getting tired and hungry, we set off in the direction of home, stopping at a little restaurant near our hotel where I had pierogi, Polish dumplings, and my husband had bigos, a pork and cabbage stew, all washed down with wonderful Polish beer. We had draft Żywiec which was lovely. When we lived in Poland more than twenty years ago it was not easy to find draft beer. Now it is plentiful.

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Enjoying the Polish beer.

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Pierogi.

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Bigos.

Posted by irenevt 04:36 Archived in Poland Tagged food architecture beer monuments poland Comments (4)

Travels around the UK.

Birkenhead.

overcast

We spent three weeks in the UK this summer, but most of it was visiting family and friends or shopping, or catching up on all the t.v. we have missed in Hong Kong. The only new place we visited was Birkenhead near Liverpool. We went there because my husband's team, Walsall, were playing Tranmere Rovers. We stayed there for two nights in the Premier Inn.

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Birkenhead Premier Inn.

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Birkenhead Premier Inn.

My first impression of Birkenhead as we walked from the station to the hotel was that it was pretty run down as lots of buildings were closed and boarded up. So many places in the UK have regenerated themselves from their industrial past. My first thoughts were: 'What went wrong here?' but later when I had looked on-line and done a bit of research, I discovered Birkenhead was not so bad. There are things to see if you know where to look.

One thing that interested me as a Scot was that Birkenhead was largely developed from a small village into a once thriving town by fellow Scot, William Laird. Laird was a Scottish shipbuilder who helped found the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead. Laird came originally from Greenock, near Glasgow, but in 1810 moved to Liverpool. He later bought land next to the small village of Birkenhead across the Mersey from Liverpool and set up the Birkenhead Iron Works. Later still, he founded a ship yard together with Johnson Cammell & Co. of Sheffield and began to build ships for the East India Company.

Laird commissioned Edinburgh architect James Gillespie Graham to design a town centre near his shipyard. In style this centre was very similar to Edinburgh's new town. It centred around Hamilton Square. This square takes its name from Laird's wife's maiden name. The most noticeable building here is the town hall which dates from 1887. In the centre of the square there is a park with a war memorial and a monument to Queen Victoria.

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Birkenhead Town Hall.

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Birkenhead Town Hall.

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Queen Victoria monument.

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Town hall and cenotaph.

That night we ate in Birkenhead Wetherspoons which is called The Brass Balance as it occupies the site of a former brass balance manufacturers. The food was OK, but service was not great.

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The Brass Balance.

Next day we planned to go to Chester in the afternoon to visit a friend, but in the morning we headed for Birkenhead Park. This was the first ever publicly funded park in the world. It was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and opened in April 1847. Central Park, New York is based on this park. The park includes a Roman Boathouse, a rockery, ponds, meadows and a Swiss Bridge. On our way to the park we passed the former Majestic Ballroom, which is now a Chinese restaurant. The Beatles played here live seventeen times between 1962 and 1963. Then we had a quick look at Birkenhead Market and ate some very tasty rolls at a snack bar here.

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The former Majestic Ballroom.

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The Beatle who got away.

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This building near Birkenhead Market used to be a school.

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The Pyramids shopping centre is nearby.

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Breakfast at Birkenhead Market.

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They do excellent rolls here.

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At the market.

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Cricket at Birkenhead Park.

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Ponds.

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Ponds.

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Swiss Bridge.

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Roman boathouse.

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Roman boathouse.

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Grand entranceway.

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Pond.

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The Rockery.

That evening after our visit to Chester, my husband went off to his football match. I was feeling very very ill for some reason and went to bed.

By the next day I was feeling much better. We only had until midday before we had to check out and leave, so I dragged Peter out early to see the historic Birkenhead Priory. I knew it had been closed on the two other days of our visit, but I did not realise it would still be closed until 1pm that day. Hopeless we were leaving at twelve. We just looked at it through the fence. We could tell it would be interesting if we could only get in there. In particular I wanted to climb the tower as it has views straight into the Cammell Laird Shipyard. Coming from the ship building town of Clydebank myself, I was interested in that. Apparently Birkenhead Priory is the oldest standing building on Merseyside. It dates from 1150 and was founded by Benedictine monks. These monks provided hospitality to travellers and ran the first regulated ferry service across the Mersey. The site of the priory is also occupied by the tower of St Mary's Church. St Mary's was Birkenhead's first ever parish church. There is also a memorial here to those who lost their lives on board the Laird built submarine, Thetis, in 1939. Admission to the priory, if you are lucky enough to find it open, is free. In summer it is open from Wednesday to Friday from 1pm to 5pm and on Saturday & Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

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Birkenhead Priory.

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Birkenhead Priory.

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Birkenhead Priory.

While the walk to the priory was pretty pointless in itself, I suddenly noticed there was a great view from the riverbank nearby, so we walked down to the River Mersey to the old monks' ferry landing point and walked along the riverside path to the Mersey Ferry Visitors Centre and Pier. This was a beautiful walk and turned out to be the highlight of our visit even if the skies were dull and overcast. It is still possible to catch a ferry'cross the Mersey from the Mersey Ferry Visitors' Centre, though we did not have time to do this.

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The monks ran the first ferry across the Mersey from here.

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Looking over the Mersey to Liverpool Cathedral.

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Monk's Ferry.

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Liverpool skyline.

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Liverpool skyline.

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Looking towards the Liver Building.

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Boat on the Mersey.

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Boat and skyline.

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In the Mersey Ferry Visiitor Centre.

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In the Mersey Ferry Visiitor Centre.

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Ferry cross the Mersey. This one is Snowdrop. The others are Iris and Daffodil.

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Mersey ferry.

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At the Mersey Ferry Visitors' Centre.

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Early version of the submarine.

Finally, it was time to leave. Another thing I liked about Birkenhead was its rather old railway line and station. It is situated on the Wirral Line which connects Liverpool, Chester and Ellesmere Port. The main station in Birkenhead dates from 1886.

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Birkenhead Railway.

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Birkenhead Railway.

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Old clock tower now stranded on a traffic island outside Birkenhead Station.

Posted by irenevt 06:39 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (8)

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