Mapping an unforgettable memory #Writing Bravely

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‘I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6‘ and today’s prompt  on Day 3 (7 Aug/Mon) – Feature a map and write about a place either real or virtual

brought back a host memories of a trip to Warsaw, Poland.

My fascination with maps and map reading began with Mrs. Karat in Class 8 who insisted we keep our pens down while she explained the fineties of heights, longitudes and latitudes and made us map out our own contour maps at the end of the lesson. While she charted our world in different kinds of maps – heat maps, political maps, physical maps and the like, I’ve loved deciphering maps . I also developed a passion for discovering cities through maps.

 

A street map of Central Warsaw.

My first ever exploration of a city with just a street map and my wits remains my most pleasant memory of a trip abroad.

Image for Map of Warsaw's Old Town

I had tagged along with Hubby Dear who was visiting Warsaw on business. This was soon after the fall of communism and Eastern Europe was an exotic mystery yet to be explored. We were staying at Warsaw’s best hotel – the Victoria, a rather plain and stern looking building typical of the grey socialist era it was built in.  But across from my bedroom, the first thing that fascinated me was the changing of the guard that took place hourly at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


This photo of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Grob Nieznanego Zolnierza) is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Since it was my first trip as an accompanying spouse, Hubby Dear was reluctant to send me off on my own so he organised a day trip. But my tour guide who was a professional bee keeper (moonlighting as a tour guide on the side) was more interested in finding about my exotic country and after a quick, whistle top tour left me with a deeper desire to explore more. So the next day, after Hubby Dear left for work, I went down to the concierge and asked for a map of the general layout.

I stepped out of the hotel, usure of what to expect. Poland was a grey, dark mystery with a fascinating historic past.

Image for Old Town Warsaw

I can still remember that shock of wonderment when I cam upon a walled city of the Old Town that reminded me of the Grimm’s stories that I was brought up on I bought 3 water colours by one of the many artists in the square that still remind me of that wonderful trip. I subsequently realised that this is a typical part of several European cities that preserve their culture in a toy town perfection. Click To Tweet

During one of my many forays into the side streets I came upon the   home of Marie Curie which is now converted Museum honoring this woman of science whose discoveries changed the whole world!

Image for Marie Curie's Museum

(As an aside which I discovered while researching for photos for this post, I found out that Nov 17, 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of this path breaking scientist.)

Polish hearts

Apart from the Palace Square dominated by  Zygmunt’s Column  was the fascinating  Basilica of St. John which was pulverised during  World War 2. Now completely rebuilt, it has a part of a tank track embedded in its brick work to remind everyone of those dark days. And in a lower level crypt you will find the interred remains of a great Polish statesman, musician and composer  Ignace Paderwski that finally found a resting place 53 years after his death in exile.

Image for concert in Lazienski Park

Another great Pole whose heart remained in Poland was the famous musician Frederic Chopin who lived in France for most of his life. Yet come summer time and his music fills the air of Lazienski Park especially in the summer where fans come to the romantic strains of Chopin and   the fleeting sunshine.

Image for BellyBytes

AS you can see there are lots of interesting touristy things to do around including a visit to the old fashioned , old style, elegant Wedel which makes the most amazing biscuit cakes that I can vouch for. So what are you waiting for? Just  book a ticket on the next flight to Warsaw?

 

 

Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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17 Responses

  1. Ramya says:

    Its a great experience to explore a new place by ourselves. I did the same in New york.
    Ramya recently posted…A scenic dangerous drive #WriteBravely – WTFOW DAY 3My Profile

  2. Lata Sunil says:

    Wow Poland. In the era of no mobile phones, we relied totally on the maps. I was in London on project, and was impressed by the numerous accurate street maps put up. This was before google maps. I can imagine how much fun it must have been for you with all the new sights.
    Lata Sunil recently posted…The Madurai Meenakshi TempleMy Profile

  3. This is one place I want to visit and explore by myself and also New York.
    Sheethalsusan recently posted…Lost in MapMy Profile

  4. Shilpa Garg says:

    I can imagine the happiness and excitement of exploring a place all on your own and that too with just a map. How cool and interesting!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Road Map of Life #WriteBravelyMy Profile

  5. Bhavya says:

    It takes guts, to set about in a new country and that too without any mobile phone 😛 But it must be such an experience to cherish. 🙂

    • Bellybytes says:

      Being without a mobile phone in even your own city can be a challenge these days. I find that in the old days we never got lost, were always on time and made sure that everyone knew what was happening simply because we made a plan and kept it knowing that there was no way to communicate otherwise

  6. Damyanti says:

    Visiting a city by yourself is an experience all its own– I experienced this in Tokyo , Beijing and Brisbane— was lovely. Thanks for sharing your experience!
    Damyanti recently posted…What is a Day in Your Life Like? #WriteBravelyMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      I actually visited Rome, Florence, Milan and Shangahi on my own too! I seem to love exploring cities by myself knowing that there is someone at the end of the day to come home to and share my experiences 😉

  7. Shalini says:

    Oh I loved the pics and your verbal Tour of the place, fleshed out with just the right amount of facts n trivia. I wasn’t aware Chopin was polish and the thought of his musical strains filling out in a public space sounds Jay right to enjoy a hot cuppa with some freshly baked goodies.
    Thoroughly enjoyed this Tour Sunita…. ?
    Shalini recently posted…| Day-3 | Map to a moonland in Ladakh | WriteTribe – Festival of Words 2017 |My Profile

  8. I would love to explore a place on my own. We did, but without a map, without cell phones and we were 4 friends so don’t think that counts.
    Prisha Lalwani recently posted…Neha Agarwal – A peek into this Babychakra Rockstar’s LifeMy Profile

  9. Beautiful Clicks. Love to visit Warsaw once in my lifetime.
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Join Us For Linky Party 13 ……….. – #HappySundayMy Profile

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