Stephen A.S. said that one night was enough. Heck, all the Poles I met said not to bother with Warsaw. In fact, I've never met met anyone who told me to go to Warsaw. Obviously, they are all stupid. Take a look at this thing, and tell me, honestly, if you can do better than this:
I say fuck them, Warsaw is the shit. THE MOTHERFUCKING SHIT Y'ALL. WORD UP!
That's the Palace of Culture and Science, Stalin's gift to Warsaw after WW2. Pretty much everyone hates this building. Why? Because they know that nothing as awesome as it will ever be built again. It's like having a genius for a first born but knowing that the rest of your children will be retarted.
Here's a close up of the important detail from that last shot:
I tried to convince Steve to bail on Krakow and go see this instead, but he beat the shit out of me. Some people just can't handle a once in a lifetime opportunity like that.
Warsaw has been destroyed multiple times in history, most recently during WW2. As the Soviets pushed back the Nazi front in 1944, the Polish government-in-exile, based in London, ordered the Polish Home Army (basically an organized resistance force) to attempt to take Warsaw back from the Germans. The Polish government believed that the Soviets would not stand for an independent Poland, and that the only hope was to fight the Germans off and reclaim governship of the country before the Soviets could claim it. The orders were received, and the Home Army began the Warsaw Uprising (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE WARSAW GHETTO UPRISING--THE JEWS WERE LONG DEAD BY THIS POINT).
It was a complete failure.
The original plan was that the uprising would last a few days at most, since the Soviets, who were rapidly closing in on Warsaw, would help the Home Army fight off the Germans. Instead, the Soviets parked their tanks across the river and sat there while the shit went down. It wasn't just the Home Army fighting--basically every man, woman, and child in the city was part of the war effort. After 63 days the Home Army capitulated, surrending to the Germans. The terms of the surrender were designed to protect the populace, the Home Army POWs, and the parts of the city that remained undamaged. The Nazis agreed to the terms, then proceded to deport the populace of the town (many were sent to concentration and death camps), blow up what parts of the city remained, and take shits all over the Geneva Convention with the Home Army POWs. A few days later, the Soviets rolled their tanks across the river, declared themselves liberators, and proceeded to build monuments, housing blocks, and lovely buildings like the one you just saw. Their reason for not entering the city during the Uprising? They were low on gas. Too bad you can't power tanks on hot air (haha!)
This is why everyone in Eastern Europe hates the Russians (and the Germans for that matter).
After the war was over, Warsaw was rebuilt and repopulated. The majority of Warsaw's populace are from the rest of Poland, since pretty much everyone who didn't die there certainly did not want to go back. And it wasn't like they had any possesions left.
What have we learned? Warsaw gets a shitty reputation and ugly buildings because its citizens revolted against the Nazis, instead of laying down on their backs (see Paris, Prague). I'd trade Paris for Warsaw anyday. Warsaw supposedly was even more impressive than Prague is now. And Prague is very impressive.
Where did I learn all of this? Why, the Warsaw Uprising museum, of course!
It's a pretty decent museum. Check out this kid with a gun:
And you can even buy war board games at the souvenir shop!
Anyway, here's what the city looks like from the top of the previously mentioned Palace of Culture and Science:
Check out those phat traffik jamz. And here's an unfinished building, I think:
Ahhhh! Beautiful Warsaw:
Check out this Palm tree. Now that's what I call great public art. Is it fake? Is it real? It looks fake, but if it was fake wouldn't they put more leaves on it? And check out the fuzz parked next to it.
As some locals call it, "MIAMI VICE."
Here's a few pictures from Warsaw's Old Town, which was rebuilt after WW2 based on old drawings. It's cute, but fake. Like your girlfriend:
Here's where all the local artists buy their spraypaint:
It was hidden in the back of a courtyard. Here's what the enterance to the courtyard looks like:
What else do you think of when you think of Warsaw? Why, dead Jews! Two fragments of the Warsaw ghetto are still standing.
Where can these fragments be found? They are conveniently located in the courtyard of a Stalin-style residential building. Natch:
Then there's the so called, "Blue Skyscraper," built on what used to be a Jewish Cemetary. It is supposedly haunted, although I don't think Jewish ghosts are much of a problem. What are they going to do? Make the potoato pancakes soggy? Materialize as someone's mother-in-law? Make people's children marry gentiles? See if you can find the ghosts:
And lastly, here are my hosts, Jacek and Raphael (sorry, I am sure I spelled at least one of those wrong).
Don't they look fucking cool? Well, they are. They are really great guys who I hope to see again in the future. We sadly never had a chance to party hard or anything, but it wasn't like we needed to get wasted to have a good time. Me and Jacek watched "Sex Ed for Trainables" and "Duck and Cover" together, which was fucking awesome. "Duck and Cover" is a lot more fucked up when viewed in the former communist bloc. If you don't know what either one of those films are, do a YouTube search.
Anyway, these dudes and some of their friends are starting a Warsaw pub crawl. I'll post a URL to their website if they send it to me. I'd pay money to drink with them, because they are that cool.
Well, Warsaw, what do you have to say for yourself?
That's what I thought.
Here's the website of the Pub Crawl! Unfortunately, there is nothing there. WOAHS.
All, I screwed up the bit about the blue skyscraper. It was built where the biggest synagogue in Warsaw used to be, not a Jewish Cemetary. The synagoge was "ruined", but was possibly very much salvageable.
If you read the comments, you would have known these things already. But I think maybe 1 in 20 people read comments, because who wants to interact with the internet? That would be COMMUNIST.