Warsaw

We landed in Warsaw and did a walking tour to Old Town. The interesting thing about Warsaw is that WWII destroyed 98% of the city. All of the buildings were rebuilt during the Cold War. In old town, they rebuilt the buildings to look exactly like the old buildings that were destroyed. Some of the churches and government buildings in the rest of the city were rebuilt as they were…but most of Warsaw is communist construction. We did a lot of walking and I took lots of great pictures. The Internet in Warsaw was not reliable, so that uploading pictures was not possible. I will have to upload them later. My phone, which is not as good as my camera, does work…so I have put some pictures online that way. Our second day, we went to the Warsaw holocaust museum and did a walking tour of some of the ghetto. We got lost trying to find the last synagogue in Warsaw and arrived an hour late. It began to rain. We returned to the hotel, and a member of my group (Eric) suggested watching the World Cup (USvGermany) with some international educators. We met the teachers at a Warsaw pub/ restaurant. One of teachers was from Canada, another South Africa, but went to school in Michigan. The US lost 0-1 and we tried to rent some bikes to get back to the hotel. Unfortunately, your deposit for a bike is a cell phone so we had to take the electric train home. Jet lag started to sink in, and I woke up late on the third day and had to skip breakfast. We went to the ghetto museum, which was amazing, stopped to see the site of the former great synagogue, went to a holocaust art museum, stopped for pirogues for lunch, returned to the hotel and met with two Polish teachers who were attempting to teach tolerance in Poland who explained some of the curriculum in Poland, and some of the barriers they experience reforming the curriculum. Afterwords, we traveled to the Jewish cemetery. We started in a bus, during rush hour on Friday, and after sitting in it for an hour and half, we got off and walked. We walked through a residential area (communist flats) and discovered the cemetery wall included some of the original ghetto wall. The cemetery was 88 acres and we had trouble finding the Jewish section. We went through the christian part, which was very photogenic (I took 500 shots) and walked for six hours. We finally found the Jewish cemetery, but it was closed. We took the train back and stopped at a Polish/ Mexican restaurant which was odd because they only had four selections….and they were out of tacos??? I got bacon covered prunes and a chimichanga. The prunes were excellent and I found out it is a Polish popular appetizer. I tried to upload some pictures, but only a single photo uploaded. This morning, we packed up and loaded up on the bus and left Warsaw for Lodz.

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