Warsaw Arrival

Murphy wakes me up – his alarm didn’t go off so our intentions for a super-early bus are hooped. The extra sleep is nice though. I could probably use a few more hours since I almost forget my phone on the way out.

We cut through a park on our way to the bus station and it’s pretty nice. Our opinion of this place has gone 180 from our first impressions of lacking character, we were just stupid and missing all the great parts. We’re men of impulsive action though, not men of well thought-out plans.

I’m also the number one bag expert in the world of olympic grade awesome bags

Pick up a couple tickets to Warsaw with an hour to kill – there’s a nice looking traditional Polish restaurant but it’s closed so we get burritos. They’re massive and fucking awful, neither of us come close to finishing. So don’t come to the Krakow Mall for Mexican food, is the moral of this story, I guess.

We’re on the train and figuring our game plan, we want to overnight it to Kaunas or Vilnius so time is short, Murphy suggests we “blitz Warsaw and get out”. Really bud, “blitz”? Haha, whoops. Phrasing…

There isn’t much scenery but fortunately a few seats ahead of us there’s a lady speaking loudly on her phone in English. She’s planning a wedding and reads a poem and it starts out fairly typical about love being important then gets into a bunch of neurotic shit about dynamics and reciprocity and how love is basically temporary and conditional, it’s just awful. Good luck pal.

It’s raining in Warsaw. It’s seems like The Thing To Do is figure out how to get an overnight bus out of here before we blitz the place, so we approach a ticket counter. Ticket Lady doesn’t speak English and seems crankypants, says “Kaunas, no. Vilnius, no. Go upstairs. Find (?) vishova voka shmarsh.” She points to some stairs that lead to a branch of ING Bank. Wait… did she say marshmallow vodka? Well that can’t be right.

We try a booth that says “Information”. “Do you speak English?” She points across the hall to a room that says information on the door. We go in and take a number but it smells like farts so I tell Murphy to wait in line while I just go fuck around in the hallway where it doesn’t smell like farts. I return when he’s on deck and although this lady speaks English she isn’t much help either. Tells us the train doesn’t go there but won’t tell us where the bus station is. There are buses all over the place here. “Which direction is the bus station, at least?” She rolls her eyes and points backwards over her shoulder. I think she’s just making shit up to get rid of us.

In the direction she indicated we don’t find shit except for a travel agency, so we give them a shot. They don’t sell bus tickets – flights and cruises mostly – but they are super helpful and write down the name of the train station with intercity buses – “Zaghodia”. Google Maps doesn’t know it though, so we’re all out of leads.

When you’re unsure of your next play you can do worse than grab a beer, so we rock up to Champions sports bar & grill and order a round and some nachos. Time for brain suds, we watch Red Bull cliff diving on TV and there’s a Canadian in the lead. Not a bad spot for a train station sports bar, it’s even got a boxing ring in the middle of the room. “You know, beer does make everything better.”

With our re-sudded brains clicking we decide to use Google Translate to see what Zaghodia means. It’s “West”. Is there a Warsaw West station? There sure is. We’re back in business. Looks like an overnight bus leaves there for Vilnius at 8:30, so if we head over at 6:30 that should give us plenty of time to suss it out, so… Four hours to do the city? Let’s go. We stash our bags in train station lockers and head out into the rain.

Directly next to the train station is a massive tower complex called the Palace of Culture and Science. Built in the 1950s on the orders of Stalin as a “gift” for the Polish people, today it contains two universities, a museum, an observation tower, a theatre and a bunch of other stuff. We take the elevator up to the observation tower and it’s… alright, I guess. It’s rainy but still, maybe not the best looking city I’ve seen. It does have this metallic, steam punk Yoda though. For some reason.

We go around to each side of the building for an overview of Warsaw

The window ledges are lined with coins left for wishes. Murphy says “make a wish” and flips a coin, it hits a bar and bounces right back in his face. He tries again and launches it way past the ledge and into the streets of Warsaw filled with innocent bystanders. Alright let’s go

It’s starting to rain a bit harder now

Ok, it’s raining harder and harder outside which is perfect museum weather so we fall back on a recommendation Daga made and head towards the Warsaw Uprising Museum…

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