Thursday, November 4, 2010

I love Warszawa

Me and Aunt Zofia in Warsaw
I spent this past weekend in Warsaw, Poland, with my family. It was a wonderful trip and I wish I could have stayed longer. I left on Friday morning at 9am and arrived around 5pm. It takes such a long time to travel even a short distance! To get to the airport I had to take a bus to Sofia and then a taxi from the bus station. The flight only lasted 2 hours, about the same time to fly from San Francisco to Seattle.  I stayed in Warsaw until Tuesday morning, not a very long trip but I will definitely be back soon.

My cousin took me to a concert of Russian music and the Chopin Museum, and we went to the 30th floor observatory of the Palace of Science and Culture (pictured above), which is the tallest building in Warsaw. My aunt Zofia's father was one of the builders back in the 1950s. We walked around the city center a lot and visited the contemporary art museum at Ujadowski Castle. We also talked a lot over glasses of rakia I brought from Bulgaria (they called it "southern vodka"). I love hearing family stories and getting to catch up on things with them. I don't see my aunt and cousin often and we normally only communicate via snail mail so it's great to have some face time.

This was my third visit to Warsaw and after walking around the city a little more and doing some exploring I've decided that I could really see myself living there one day. There's a lively atmosphere and I felt very comfortable on my own. Maybe one day I will return for a long-term stay. The weather was perfect: mostly sunny and a little bit cold but still pretty decent for late October. And the fall colors in the city parks were beautiful!

Ujazdowski Castle
Now I'm back in Pleven, done with teaching for the week and looking forward to not traveling anywhere this weekend. :) Next weekend begins a long trip with the Fulbright Commission and some friends to Krakow and Amsterdam. There's a day trip to Koprivishtitsa, a training conference in Krakow and then three of us are going to spend a few days in the Netherlands because we have some time off to go. We got a good deal on the tickets but it's going to involve a lot of back-and-forth travel which will not be very much fun. I'm excited for all of these trips but it makes me tired now to think about the traveling part!

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