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Old July 14th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #1
Nightsky
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My trip to Warsaw, Krakow and Budapest

In June 2008 I went on a trip with a friend to Warsaw, Krakˇw in Poland and Budapest in Hungary, lasting for just one week.
We flew to Warsaw from Copenhagen and traveled by train to Krakˇw and took the night train to Budapest, where we flew back to Copenhagen and took a train to Malm÷. Even if we stayed for a very short time in each city, we managed to see a lot and take a lot of pictures just because we walked intense and with few stops.
The best of my photos will be shown on my website together with facts, history and stories about my trip, that I will post links to from the forum. I think all these 3 cities are amazing and now among my favorites in the whole Europe!


In chronological order, with positives and negatives:



1.Warsaw: 1 day and 2 half days
+ skyscrapers, historical districts, good food and shopping, rich history, cheap beer, clean streets
- many grey and rundown buildings, crazy parking and traffic, polluted air



2.Krakˇw: 1 and a half day
+ friendly people, amazing historical buildings in old town, rich history, relaxed atmosphere, cheap beer
- the outskirts are not so nice, crazy parking



3.Budapest: 2 and a half day
+Amazing architecture with beautiful buildings, cozy alleys, Danube, rich history, cheap beer
-complicated public transportation, polluted air

ATTENTION! Please note that I really appreciate if you just comment about the topic in the specific link that is posted, because I will post one separate thread about each part since there are many large photos. Thanks! Also consider: 56k warning! :O

PART 1: WARSAW

WARSAW FACTS:

Population: 1 705 000 (3 350 000)
Year visited: 2008 (June)
Native name: Warszawa
City rights: Turn of the 13th century
State: Masovia
Area: 517 km▓
Tallest building: Palace of Culture and Science (230.7m to the spire, 43 floors)

Warsaw, the capital and largest city of Poland, and one of the 10 largets in the EU, is a city full of surprises. It is a city where east meets west. Worn, grey office buildings from the commie times stands side by side with tall skyscrapers in glass and steel, while the old city center with its narrow streets and a small town feeling of the old times have been rebuilt since the bombings of World War 2. It is one of the most hiscorically important cities in the whole Europe. Warsaw is also one of the cities in that has the most number of skyscrapers in the EU, together with Frankfurt, London and Paris. Most of all these tall buildings are centered around Palace of Culture and Science, a gift from Stalin that is the tallest building in Warsaw, so many Poles dislikes it while it is a very popular tourist attraction. Vistula (Wisla in Polish), Poland's largest river, flows right east of the city center. The city has both many buses, trams and a subway system. It is easy to get the feeling that the small old city center is surrounded by the "new" city center, Srˇdmiescie, which has mostly modern buildings. There is also a part of the "old town" that is called the "new town", that should not be confused with Srˇdmiescie. The confusing thing is that there is not only a "new town" that is an old town, there is also an "old town" in the new town, because the east part of Srˇdmiescie, just west of Powisle were the university is, is filled with beautiful old historical buildings.

MY EXPERIENCE OF WARSAW:

I was visiting Warsaw with a friend, as the first part of a week long trip also including Krakow and Budapest. Some things where exactly like I excpected, while some things were different. Overall, I found the city was great and the people were friendly (many Varsovians even tried to speak a few words in English, especially young people), but there is no place in the world that has just positive sides. Our hostel, Oki Doki, was situated right in the modern part of the city center, it was so close to Palace of Culture and Science that we could see the uppermost part of the building from our room! The hostel was ok (we had a private room painted in a blue sea color), there were free internet access and the breakfast was included the first day, but it was really a pain to walk 5 floors upstairs (no elevator!) with heavy bagage in the heat when we arrived after our flight!

There was a larger number of old grey highrises in the city center than I expected, I thought they were only built in the outskirts (like in Budapest and Krakow). But it didn't disturb me, I think the mix of the many styles make the city very interesting. In the outskirts, near the airport, there was also alot of rundown and buildings, some of them seemed abandoned. We took the bus from the airport, that is not far from the city center. The bus was one of the modern ones (red and yellow, just like the trams). One of the first things we experienced after arriving in Warsaw, from the bus window, was a violent car accident, and that was after we had just stayed only 10 minutes in the country! And I remembered I have heard rumours of people driving like crazy in Poland, it made us think we should avoid sitting in a car while in Poland. However, we didn't see anymore accidents after that, and we found out that the traffic was not that bad, except for the fact that the drivers rarely stop for pedestrians and that people really park everywhere where there are an empty space.

One thing that really surprised us what that the city has became even more capitalistic than expected. Everywhere you could see huge commercial ads, of a size that is even rare in America. Large shopping centers, brand stores. international hotel chains and headquarters of international companies are popping up everywhere. And many new large and tall buildings are under construction and old buildings are being renovated so the city will probably look completely different in 10 years. But in some way, especially when you go to a museum or look at rundown buildings or ruins of old buildings, WW II and the Soviet regime still don't feels so far away. The weather was really good, it was sometimes even too hot, and mostly sunny in our 3 days in Warsaw. Despite being in the city for such a short time, we manage to see pretty much, we really enjoyed our stay in the fascinating Polish capital.


The room at Oki Doki Hostel, in the heart of Warsaw┤s city center.


Warsaw Frederic Chopin International Airport (formerly Okecie). We arrived in this large modern airport after a short flight from Copenhagen. It was hot and sunny when we arrived. Chopin is by far the largest airport in Poland. The airport is just a short bus trip away from the city center.

The rest of the photos will be posted in separate threads. Enjoy!
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Website about my travels and buildings in USA and Europe -many cool pics:
http://www.worldtravelimages.net

All my diagram drawings - more than 700!:
http://skyscraperpage.com/diagrams/?14670510
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Old July 14th, 2008, 07:55 PM   #2
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Beautiful cities
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Old July 15th, 2008, 12:53 AM   #3
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if you're interested in architecture and you are visiting Poland the best suvenir would be a bottle of Wyborowa designed by Frank Gehry

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Last edited by godmachine; July 15th, 2008 at 01:09 AM.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 11:57 AM   #4
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Nice pictures
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godmachine View Post
if you're interested in architecture and you are visiting Poland the best suvenir would be a bottle of Wyborowa designed by Frank Gehry

Made in Poznan
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Old July 15th, 2008, 04:42 PM   #6
Nightsky
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^They have copied it from my hometown:



The famous Turning Torso in Malm÷! A shame I didnt't buy the vodka bottle!I would have guessed it was designed by Santiago Calatrava and not Frank Gehry...
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Website about my travels and buildings in USA and Europe -many cool pics:
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All my diagram drawings - more than 700!:
http://skyscraperpage.com/diagrams/?14670510
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Old July 15th, 2008, 06:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightsky View Post
^They have copied it from my hometown:



The famous Turning Torso in Malm÷! A shame I didnt't buy the vodka bottle!I would have guessed it was designed by Santiago Calatrava and not Frank Gehry...
They had difficult "art" to copy
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Old July 15th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #8
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If these are your photos, why are you posting them in Cityscapes section? They should be in Urban Showcase section.

A note to all, PLEASE HELP SAVE THE MODERATORS TIME by reading the forum rules and correctly posting photos. Thank you.
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