Friday, October 29, 2010

Warsaw, Kracow, and Bratislava

I didn't spend too long in Warsaw. Maybe I was just unlucky but everything seemed difficult - places were hard to find and get to, information hard to come by. I did however go to a football match between Warsaw and Krakow which the home team won 3-0. The city has a beautiful old town (I'm starting to weary of cobbled old towns now, it seems every European city has one) even though it is fake - Warsaw was destroyed during the war so they rebuilt it and made it look old.

Krakow was much easier to get around and find things to do in. I took a couple of walking tours and went into some historic salt mines that are now used for tourism only and they contain salt sculptures, some of them made by the miners who worked there.

I came to Bratislava by a night train, arriving this morning. Another old town with cobble-stones. The Slovaks seem an unpleasant and unhelpful people (or perhaps it's just Bratislavans), so I'm leaving for Vienna tomorrow.

Monument of Warsaw Rising in WW2

Salt Mine sculpture

Clock tower in Kracow's Market Square


  1. "The Slovaks seem an unpleasant and unhelpful people..."

    Awesome, Simon! This statement befits Mrs Favell Lee Mortimer herself. Perhaps you could find a way to have that edited into THE CLUMSIEST PEOPLE IN EUROPE? ;-P

  2. Yes, I was channelling Mrs Mortimer when I wrote that. Here's some more:

    The Slovaks have ideas above their station. They seem to consider themselves an important and mighty nation when in fact they are a tiny patch of Europe. Try changing Polish or Lithuanian money in any bank in Slovak and they will look at the notes smugly uncomprehendingly as if the currency comes from as far away as Mongolia rather than just a few hundred miles away. Then try showing them Mongolian money and they look at it as if it's from another planet.

    Central Europeans who work in restaurants are in general of very low intelligence. Walk into a restaurant and they look at you confusedly, waiting for you to announce what it is that you seek. What does one say? 'A table for one please' just puzzles them. 'I want to eat' seems the only thing to say even though that would seem blindingly obvious from the fact that one is there in the first place. The best thing to do, from experience, is just grab a menu and sit yourself down at a table, ignoring the sullen looks from staff.

  3. I never believed in reincarnation until now! Mrs Mortimer, please tell me what compelled you to go forth and travel the world in a flightless daze rather than sit at home and make it all up instead? And have you changed your stand on god?

  4. Simon any idea yet when you will be arriving in London? No big deal, but we're doing some rennovation at the minute and obviously it would be easier to plan if I knew when you were arriving. One thing I have in mind - the Kubrick archives are now kept not too far away from here, might be worth a visit.

  5. Lauri - maybe I am making all this up.

    James - mid-Nov. I'm emailing you with more info. Kubrick archives sounds great!

  6. the slovakians are good people...