It’s rather easy to sum up the night bus to Warsaw… freaking horrible. Starting with passengers slipping the bus driver a few litas to get a ride and skip the standard rate (I was so jealous I couldn’t do that). This lead onto the frequent stops so the driver could have a smoke and generally ensure we froze to death the entire way. In hindsight sitting near the front of the bus was probably a bad idea, but with the shady looking fellows at the back I wasn’t taking the chance.
Arriving in Warsaw at the ripe old time of 7am, at a bus station that I swear is in the middle of whatever passes as suburbia in Warsaw I was considerably lost. Sure I had directions to the hostel in my hand, and of course I’ve been lost plenty of times but a clue into where I was suppose to be catching that bus into town would have been good… especially since I was at a bus station that appeared to be closed.
Doing what any other lost backpacker does when they haven’t a bloody clue, I followed someone else with a backpack and got lucky finding the stop I needed. Instead of catching a bus from the BUS stop like I needed too, I had to cross under the dual carriageway and catch a tram into town.
An hour later and checking into my hostel I found that it was too early to check into my room and the internet was broken… luckily the beautiful reception gal said “you look tired I can check you into another room”, and so started my stay in Warsaw with my own 6 bed dorm all to myself. Crashing out for a couple of hours as soon as my head hit the pillow there could have been a fire drill and I’d have never heard it.
Once awake I set off to explore as much of Warsaw as possible in the 24 hours (or less) at my disposal. Beginning at the main train station (Warszawa Centralna) so I knew where I was going the following day. Next stop was a long old walk up Royal Road which for the most part was closed off for some form of festival that I could not find out the reason for. At the top of Royal Road however you reach the Old Town of Warsaw, where I was lucky enough to find a bit of action going on.
Making my way through the maze of streets into the Old Town Market Place I found the cheapest place to park my bum and get a feed while escaping the ever warming sun. Now I know a schnitzel isn’t polish, but I saw it on the menu and just had to have it. Ordering a large beer like normal to wash it down with I sat and waited until this landed in front of me…
For just 36 Zloty ($12.50 AUD, $12.15USD & $12.42 CAD yeah you heard me North America) I had am absolute feast. Finishing my meal and beer like a good Australian, it was then time to take a lap around Old Town before catching a tour of the Royal Palace that borders Old Town.
The Palace was as you would expect it, over the top in every way with each room entirely separate entities in design and use. Most palace’s I have seen up to this point seem to have believed it was ok to make this room green and fill it full of crap and then make the next room white with some great artwork on the roof. Seriously guys didn’t you believe in chi.
Next to the Palace is St Anne’s Church and its Bell Tower. For a couple of Zloty’s you can climb up and get a reasonably good view out across Old Town and the surrounding area, which on a nice day is worth the trouble of climbing the narrow staircase.
With the effects of drinking a 1 litre beer so quickly finally wearing off and my feet beginning to scream get off me you fat ass, I made for the hostel and to meet up with the two dutch girl’s from Vilnius. We were set to head out for a bite to eat before crashing a student party someone had told them about (don’t you love how random travel is).
After a quick attempt at making myself presentable for a party we headed off for food and proceeded to get very drunk. This did not help our cause at all, attempting to find the party it seemed we wandered around forever before stumbling onto the place. On the way however I amused the girls with my extremely poor attempt at speaking Dutch. I swear it wasn’t that funny they were just bad teachers, alas that didn’t stop them laughing their heads off at me.
I did at least provided some entertainment for the night as walking into what felt like an abandoned house to find a party that was selling expensive beer and offering an empty dance floor sure wasn’t. We downed our drinks and called it a night after failing to find another pub that was both open and willing to serve us.