Today I did a ton of walking around the city. When I got back to my hotel, I calculated that I must have walked at least 11 miles, not including walking through museum galleries. No wonder my legs are sore!
Places I got to included:
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The 13th century Old Town, with its castle. More interesting to me were the building decorations and shop signs that make the Old Town quite distinct.
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Warsaw also has large sections of its original walls, including an impressive Barbican, leading out into the “New Town”, which was built around the end of the 14th century. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Since Warsaw was almost completely destroyed during the second world war, all of the contemporary buildings are renovations done in the post war years.
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One of the first buildings of interest in the New Town is Marie Curie’s birthplace; now a museum dedicated to her. The exterior is a traditional building, but is decorated with the symbols for Radium and Polonium, the two elements she helped discover.
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There are only a few artifacts inside, but lots of photos with Polish, French and English captions. Not much information on her actual work or science though.
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Several blocks away is The Memorial of the Warsaw Uprising, in traditional Socialist Realist style. Note that the Warsaw Uprising was not the same as the Ghetto Uprising, which happened in 1943. The Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis began in 1944, and although the Soviets were at the outskirts of the city, they sat back and basically watched as the partisans got slaughtered. Worst still, the surviving Polish  leaders were imprisoned and sometimes killed shortly after the war, because their participation indicated ” Western sympathies”.
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One of my friends had told me that a trip to Cafe Blikle was a must, where I got talked into having one of their signature rose doughnuts as well as some chocolate cake. Good thing I walked so far today! Yummy.  Actually Warsaw has quite a number of “Chocolate Cafes” and they take their chocolate very seriously.
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The National museum is mostly an art gallery, with some very fine paintings and, as you might expect, is particular strong in Polish artists. A few notable images include an 1874 painted portrait indistinguishable from a modern color photograph.
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I also liked an older painting of Noah and animals – Noah has a tallit ( prayer shawl) wrapped around his waist! 
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Next door is the Military museum, whose best part is outside and free – military hardware from Napoleonic times to the present including many Russian made tanks, planes and helicopters I had not seen in person before. 
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A lloooong walk got me to the Warsaw Uprising Museum, one of the city’s signature new museums which tells the story of the uprising with artifacts, innovative displays, and well presented information. Something that caught my eye was a German Goliath remote controlled mine – it looks like a tiny tank, but was packed with explosives and controlled by wire.  However, it wasn’t very effective. One defense was to just detonate a grenade on the control wire. Another was to built small walls in front of key defensive positions which the tank could not cross. The Poles called these walls “Davids”.
 
On the recommendation of my new friend, I ate dinner at a restaurant called Opasty Tom where I had an excellent 4 course meal, but costing more like what fine dining goes for at home.
Boy are my legs going to be sore tomorrow!

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