The next morning we were given the pleasure of a tour of Warsaw, by both bus and foot. Slightly still disoriented from jet-lag and culture shock, the tour was a complete blur to me.
What I do remember...
Lazienki Park, a serene hideaway from the city without actually leaving it. Among the many highlights of the park were the Chopin Monument and the bed of thousands of red roses that were in bloom.
The former Jewish Ghetto, with the Ghetto Heroes Monument in honor of all the victims that fell during the doomed uprising. Figures struggled out of the dark granite, trying to flee their oppressors who were barely more than outlines in the background. It was extremely powerful and completely overwhelming at the same time.
Sadly, Warsaw had been bombed so badly during WWII, only roughly fifteen percent remained afterwards. The Old Town which had been completely rebuilt, was architecturally stunning. In the New Town, (right next to the Old Town) was the house that Marie Currie grew up in. It was exciting for me since she has been a role model since I was a little girl.
At sunset, Piotrek brought us up to the top of the Palace of Culture and Science, the tallest building in Poland. From this new height it allowed us to take in Warsaw from a completely different perspective.
And I found a familiar face by the elevator...