One of the things which surprised me the most when I visited the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris five years ago, was how many famous persons were buried there. The one I found most surprising was Frédéric Chopin, I would have thought that an effort would have been made to bring his body back to Warsaw. I later learned that his heart was returned, by his request, to Poland, It is enshrined at Holy Cross Church, in Warsaw.
Today, my goal was to walk to Łazienki Park to see the Chopin Statue there. Though it is 7.2 kilometers from my apartment, I decided to walk. I ended up walking 8.0 kilometers because I wandered around a bit getting there. It was cold and cloudy for most of the day, but all the walking kept me warm.
On my way I passed a park (above) that was well worn with little grass. It wasn’t what I was used to seeing in Warsaw parks. Then I noticed the double gate (below) and realized that it was a dog park. It must have a lot of dogs visiting to wear the grass away like that. There were a lot of tree trunks laying in patterns for a canine obstacle course.
When I finally got to a park, which turned out not to be the one I was looking for, I was not expecting to see dinosaurs. The Tranasarus Rex (second down) was animatronic. I could hear the sounds of other animatronic statues further inside the venue. I made a note to come back some other time to see the display.
For the most part the Park im. Marszałka Edwarda Rydza-Śmigłego, was great stretches of wooded paths. It was beautiful. I enjoyed the walk, amazed that such great stretches of green could be right in the middle of such a large city. I came across the statue of Halina Mikołajska a Polish patriot, actress and director, whom I had never heard of before. .
I was surprised to find that the park was only separated by a fence and a few video cameras from the Polish Senate building. I had to pull out my phone and use Google Translate to figure what Senat Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej meant.
I have no idea what the tree above and below is. The form of the tree is deciduous, but the leaves look coniferous. As you can see what looks like pine needles have little pink flowers budding out all over them.
When I finally made it to Łazienki Park, I was glad to find a pay toilet. I had seen these things around town, but hadn’t used one yet. It was quite high tech. I didn’t have any 1zt coins, so I ended up using a 2zt coin. Once I dropped the coin into the slot, the door opened. I stepped in and the door closed behind me. There was a warning outside that read, the door will open in 20 minutes. I guess that is a safety feature. When the door closed, a speaker began sounding. Since I have very few words of polish, I had no idea what it was saying. I assume it was admonishing me not to make a mess, and finish my business before the door opened again.
I was pretty footsore by the time I got to the Chopin Statue. I have to say, it was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. It sits on the far side of a large reflecting pool. All around the the pool are banks of park benches. You could tell that the area is used to stage concerts. While I was there, a teacher was lecturing his students.
I sat in the park looking at the statue for a while, until I began to get cold again. I was also hungry, so I decided to go find one of the famous milk bars. As I left the park I saw that the teacher had moved his students to the statue of Józef Piłsudski. I edged around to get a shot without all the students in frame then headed off in search of food.
I couldn’t remember which milk bar was the one that Gina said was the best, so I went Googled to find one. The nearest milk bar to where I was at was Prasowy Marszałkowska. I headed toward that one. As I walked along, I realized that I was in the area where I had met Gina for lunch one day.
There is nothing fancy about Milk Bars. They are a holdover from the communist era. They have good cheap food, I was there at 2:00 pm, but it was still very busy. In spite of being busy, the cashier was very kind in helping me pick out something to eat. The perogies I ordered were outstanding. As I sat eating, I watched others going past with their food. The pork chops looked really good. Next time that is what I am going to get. Before going again, I am going to learn a little more about the food.
After my meal, I went to the restroom and was amused at the toilet, which had a water tank right up at the high ceiling. I had to yank on a long chain to get it to flush. To see photos of the milk bar I was at, click here. The person who did this web page did a better job of talking about milk bars than I can.
Feeling good from my meal, I headed out looking for a place to have some hot chocolate. I found a place called Chocolate Manufactory. Once I ordered, I was shooed upstairs. I was pleased to find a living room like area, on a landing overlooking the chocolate bar.
After waiting for a while, the server came with my cup, and stopped to turn on some jazz before heading back downstairs. The chocolate wasn’t as thick as the chocolate I had with my breakfast churros in Spain. It was, however, quite a bit thicker than typical american hot chocolate, and far less sweet. I really enjoyed it.
I debated taking the tram home, but since I hadn’t been out walking all weekend, I walked back, telling myself that if I just went a few blocks more I could take the tram. I never did, and was pretty exhausted by the time I got home, but had to admit it had been a day well worth the effort.