After an overnight train journey (and rather rocky sleep), we eventually found ourselves in the capital of Poland, Warsaw. I immediately fell head over heels in love with the city and it's hands down my favourite of all four. Not only is it overflowing with cosmopolitan food, but the architecture and history is utterly fascinating too!
We stayed at Moon Hostel, which in all honesty was more like a hotel than a hostel. Guests kept to themselves and little luxuries such as free rental towels and an enormous kitchen were at our fingertips. The hostel was also smack bang in the middle of town which was incredibly handy. Here's a video of our view from the hostel, three days simply wasn't enough.
ARRIVED IN ONE PIECE, CHECK OUT THE FUNKY PIANO ZEBRA CROSSING / NOMAD LIFE
One of my favourite places to wander in Warsaw has to be the old town, it's like entering toy town with all the different shaped, knickerbocker glory coloured buildings. Grab a hot chocolate and take a romantic stroll around the old town at dusk.
TOYTOWN / WARSAW SKYLINE AGAINST DREAMY SUNSETS
It won't take anyone visiting Warsaw too long to notice the abundance of Green Caffè Nero's. It wasn't until I was craving a chai latte one twilight that I figured out the mystery behind its popularity. Walking in is like entering any eco warriors nirvana. There's a trust library, tea served with organic honey, a smorgasbord of vegan cakes and a corner full of jars of loose tea leaves.
A fellow traveller we met recommended a bar called Cześć. We popped by one afternoon and ended up staying for hours. Brilliant prices, selection of drinks and overall ambience. One of my girlfriends Alice opted for what looked like a witches potion called 'Iced Yerba Mate.' Although you can't help but gurn drinking this mix, it's actually quite nice. I've since got my Nancy Drew on and discovered that it's super popular in Brazil where it's known as Chimarrão!
(If you ever bob in Cześć, check out the space invaders in the powder room!)
PEACHES IN POLAND / ALICE'S PECULIAR CONCOCTION
SALSA SELFIE / INTERIOR INSPO #COUNTINGMYCHICKENSBEFORETHEYVEHATCHED
On our first night, we ended up going for our first snazzy restaurant which just so happened to be dedicated to one of my favourite artists Frida Kahlo. The place is adorned with some of Frida's most famous pieces as well as bright colours and textures to reflect her Mexican roots. The vibe of the restaurant was almost tangible, and the food cosmic. I'd walk all the way to Warsaw for their guacamole and savour every morsel!
Frida's work was once described as a ribbon around a bomb. Not only did Frida have a way with a paintbrush, but also with words. She managed to turn the agony and internal turmoil of an all consuming love into poetry; beautiful, beautiful poetry. "Your word travels the entirety of space and reaches my cells which are my stars then goes to yours which are my light."
If you ever find yourself in Warsaw, make a beeline to the gelataria Grycan and order one scoop of pistachio, one scoop lemon sorbet and you'll be whisked away to cloud 9 and 3/4!
Last year when we all visited Prague, we unearthed a Pulp fiction themed bar called Hany Bany's (honey bunny's). So when we stumbled upon another Tarantino bar aptly named Pulp Fiction, we had to give it a whirl - great spot for a nightcap!
POLAND PEARLS OF WISDOM / SIGISMUND III VASA
The free walking tour we went on in Warsaw was probably my favourite. We went with a company recommended by our hostel called Orange umbrella and our guide Gawel was terrific! During the three hours, we learned about the ins and outs of the city and it flew by, I'm certain in a past life he was a history teacher. We also got a complimentary vodka shot at the end - and well, if that doesn't sway you nothing else will... Na zdrowie!
WARSAW'S COAT OF ARMS IS A SYRENKA (MERMAID) / MARIE CURIE'S BIRTHPLACE
AUTHENTIC STATE SUBSIDED PROLETARIAT FOOD FROM A MILK BAR / I WONDER IF THIS WILL FIT IN MY BACKPACK
During our trip, we opted to go on a pub crawl in Warsaw as it was by far the cheapest city. If I'm honest, the night is a blur and haze of writing on each other with lipstick and downing 80p shots. A*
ETHAN'S CHALLENGE AT THE PUB CRAWL WAS TO LET US DRAW ANYTHING ON HIM ALL NIGHT. WE HAD TO IMPROVISE WITH LIPSTICK... / FOUR ZLOTY'S A SHOT. LETHAL.
If you're rooting for something more laid back, Zielony Jazdów is for you. We all ventured into the forest and spent the afternoon lazing around in hammocks, drinking fresh juices and just taking a breather. The field was full of families having picnics, friends making memories and writers animatedly tapping away. Warsaw’s Center for Contemporary Art is ideal for people watching and recharging your batteries in a comfy cocoon.
Six hour train journey check-list: a bag full of Polish chocolate, buckets of Seinfeld episodes, a well thumbed book and lots of trees...
I'll see you in Berlin!