When I first went to the Chopin Memorial at then Royal Baths Park in Warsaw it was to see a free convert, and it was crowded with people. The next time I went was in a midmorning run in the middle of the week, and it was empty.
I am not quite sure what to make out of the memorial – it is a rather strange shape, but nevertheless it is a lovely park – very quiet and peaceful when there is no convert taking place.
This is not something that I expected to see in a park in the middle of Warsaw – a beautiful Chinese pagoda! I was running through the Royal Baths park (as one does), and I saw a row of Chinese lanterns on either side of one of the paths in the park. I was wondering if they were there for a festival or something. Then I turned the corner and saw this lovely pagoda right in the middle of the park. Apparently the pagoda is a throw-back from when Europe was obsessed with all things Chinese in the 1700’s. Whatever the reason, it was beautiful, unexpected and a lovely spot to take a brief break before continuing on my exploration of Warsaw.
The Warsaw Uprising Museum is build inside an old power station with labyrinthine corridors that seem to wind all over the place. Now I know a little about the Ghetto Uprising, but I was completely aware that there was a separate city uprising when the population stood against the retreating Germans and the approaching communists. It was a very interesting and sobering experience.
Underground printing press
The room dedicated to the children was sad, yet interesting how involved children were in the basis survival of the city during world war 2. Children were often used as couriers to pass messages around (a big theme in Milage 18).
“Little Insurrectionist” – Child soldier
There was even a replicator of a Liberator B-24J bomber – you can see the eagle about to grab onto the swastika. The museum is full of interesting multi-media experiences – very modern and well-though out. A far cry from the museum’s of the past.
Liberator B-24J bomber
Bigos is one of my favorite Polish dishes, and it is ridiculously easy to make.
- Shred some cabbage (about 1/2 a cabbage)
- Fry it slowly with some meat (bacon, kielbasa, sausage or whatever)
- Add salt, pepper & some stock (maybe a little white wine if you want)
- Slowly simmer until thick and soft
This Bigos was from a restaurant in Old Town, Warsaw, so it arrived in the bread bowl, but I usually serve it as a side dish to whatever I am eating.
There are two composers that (in my opinion) are the the best ever piano composers. The first is Beethoven (a while ago I visited his grave in Vienna), and the other of course is Frédéric Chopin. Every single piece of music that Chopin wrote contains the piano.
They day we arrived in Warsaw there was a free Chopin concert at the Chopin memorial in the Royal Baths Park in the South of Warsaw, so as soon as we found our apartment we dropped our bags and dashed out to head off to the park.
The concert reminded me a lot of the Kirstenbosch concerts in Cape Town (except this one was free), but there were at least a thousand people sitting on benches and the lawns.
While I don’t know the pianist, he is (at least according to the announcer) one of the top Polish Pianists, and judging by his playing he clearly was! It was amazing to sit for an hour and just relax after a crazy long flight and listen to some Chopin.