Day 14: Back Down the Mountain to Warsaw

Today we were leaving the mountains in southern Poland and heading to the capital, Warsaw, in central Poland.  We were up at 7:00, showered and breakfasted by 8:30.  We decided to check out of the hotel to take the 9:15 bus back to Krakow, where we needed to transfer to a train for the rest of the way to Warsaw.

The Big Bus to Krakow

The Big Bus to Krakow

The 9:15 bus was again one of the big buses and we made it back to Krakow at almost 11:30.  We wrangled up a couple of 2nd class train tickets to Warsaw (60zl each/$18.75) and had plenty of time to spare for our 12:33 train.  It only took 14 days but, by jove, we were getting the hang of this.  The train arrived shortly before 12:30 and we found our compartment only filled with 6 people (out of a possible 8), which made for a decently pleasant ride.  We got to Warsaw Centralna (central railway station) around 16:00 and you could immediately tell we were in a big city, as the station was a zoo of activity.  No strangers to big city life, we quickly made our way out to street level and situated ourselves in front of the Marriott Hotel to catch bus #175 (4.40zl/$1.35) that would drop us near our hotel, the Sofitel Warsaw Victoria (which because it’s a business hotel, they offer tremendously low rates on the weekends and we took full advantage of that).  As an aside, I’m pretty sure we are two of the only people to ever use a public bus to get to that 5-star hotel.  Oh, yeah, we rolled in style, striding off the bus and to the front door, dragging luggage in tow, and passing the agape mouths of guests in fancy suits, indubitably wondering how they, too, could get a bus pass (and maybe a pair of Adidas Neo sneakers).

The busy streets of Warsaw

The busy streets of Warsaw

After checking in we relaxed in the room for a couple hours to enjoy the multiple English language TV options, as we’d been in transit for over 7 hours from Zakopane and overall were experiencing a little bit of trip fatigue.  Seeing another church or impossibly old building just wasn’t nearly as appealing as putting on our sweats and seeing who could sit more still.  As a matter of fact, I think if it weren’t for the fact we needed to go out for dinner we would have stayed in our room all evening.  But, hunger started setting in so we needed to pry our creaky bones off the bed and hop-to.

The dinner stroll was very easy on this night, as we did one of our Electronic Dinner Strolls from the comfort of the Sofitel business center computers.  Because Warsaw is a large, bustling, international, cosmopolitan city, it is just like every other large, bustling, international, cosmopolitan city in that almost every cuisine is available.  We had a desire for Mexican food and found a great place not far from the Sofitel called El Popo.  Dinner was tasty and we were greatly entertained by our playful, funny waiter.

Sofitel Warsaw

Sofitel Warsaw

After dinner we wandered around a bit near the National Theater before heading over to what’s known as the Royal Way, a busy street called Krakowskie Przedmiescie that is lined with tons of cafes, bars, restaurants, Warsaw University, all kinds of churches, important buildings, statues, and monuments.  It’s kind of a sightseeing one-stop-shop.  We wandered and wandered and wandered until finding an empty outside table at a bar near our hotel called BrowArmia Brewpub.  We watched the hub-bub of street activity from our perch, sipped a beer, and then turned in for the night so we could rest up and get our Warsaw sightseeing on the following day.

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