Emerging like a phoenix from the ashes of WWII, Warsaw is essentially a post-war city. Its handful of historic precincts have been meticulously reconstructed, but most of its urban landscape is modern, from the dull products of the Stalin era to the more creative efforts of recent years.
The city is divided by the Vistula River into two very different parts. The western, left-bank sector includes the city centre proper and the Old Town to the north. Almost all attractions, as well as the lion's share of tourist facilities, are on this side of the river. The right-bank part of Warsaw, the suburb of Praga, has no major sights and hardly ever sees tourists.
A decade after the fall of communism, Warsaw has turned into a thrilling, busy city swiftly catching up with the West. It's Poland's most cosmopolitan, dynamic and progressive urban centre, dotted with luxury hotels, elegant shops and a diverse range of services.
12 Mar 1999 - Warsaw, PolandOn our arrival in Warsaw from Krakow we had quite a few hours left to eat up before our flight back to Bulgaria. Therefore we spent the day looking around mainly the "old" section. This section is actually very new but the original part of this city was totally destroyed during the war.
Writing this 6 years after I visited Warsaw, I can seem to remember anything else about it. My lasting impression is the general atmosphere and old charm that this city still has. I always thought that smoking was banned on international flights but it appears that this fact may actually have been wrong. I was at the back of the plane but this is where people came to smoke and to pollute my air with their vile toxins.
On top of this, I was sat next to a door but the pilot on two occasions came over to the door and examined it. After examining and scratching his head he then grabbed hold of the door and pulled it a few times to make sure it was shut - at 10 000 meters!!!! I made sure that my seat belt was securely buckled. I'm not a nervous flier but when the pilot makes a couple of trips to check that door is shut during flight it makes even the most secure flyer worry!
Warsaw - The 'old' square in Warsaw
Here is Richard pulling another of his rigid grimaces in the main square.
Warsaw - A picturesque church in the 'old' town
Just me posing in front of this church.