Had gone to Warsaw, Poland as part of work earlier in January. Just after finishing off the new year celebrations. On the night of 1st January, I took off on a 9 hour flight to Warsaw. Nice, quite place. Neat and Clean. Fewer people on the roads (which was almost a cultural shock for me). It was pretty cold. Temperature ranging from 2 deg till 5 deg. Travelling alone is not much of my preferred activities but when you are travelling for work, you got no choice. In your free time, one's got to do his / her own R&D.
A giant Christmas Tree welcomes you along with the spirit of Christmas. The streets are lit up and you can come across odd groups of people singing carols on the streets in Polish of course. Further down, groups of students running to catch the last bus home. Sometimes, there is a drizzle. Indication of snowfall just around the corner. Which just makes you yearn for a hot cup of coffee and cookies. I loved the bakeries there. Fresh, oven baked muffins and waffles. Would grab some, especially on my way to work in the morning.
|Market Square, Warsaw|
Over the weekend, paid a visit to Krakow. Once upon a time the capital of Poland during the Nazi rule. Very similar to Warsaw in terms of architecture and history but found it more livelier. Especially the market square. Reminiscent of eras gone by of the kings and the queens!!! Went to the St Mary's church of Basilica, the art musuem, Schindler's factory, the Jewish Ghetto and the fort of Wawel. Couple of hours in a day were just too less.
What was common between Krakow and Warsaw was the strong impact of World War II and the end of the communist regime 30 years back. The art, the museums and majority of the conversations express the history of war the nation had to face. Sometimes, war is all people have to give to their children. The remnants of War become the stories to pass on by. Because everything was razed very systematically by the Nazis when they left the country.
But also on a lighter note, what was common between Poland and India, was an artist (read sanyasi / baba) managing to position itself in the air!!!! ;-) Just the way our famed choti wale, saffron clad, barefooted babas do :-).
There's so much to write about my two week stay over there, but I guess I wont be able to do justice to it. But will keeping posting intermittently about the people, culture and comparisons.