8/18 - Warsaw, Poland
Today was our first full day in Warsaw and we made plans to explore our neighborhood a little to get our bearings. Lauren found a recommended breakfast spot just a 10 minute walk away and so we set out in that direction to explore. As we had learned through our research into Warsaw, over 85% of the city was completely destroyed in World War II. A very sad thing which resulted in the loss of much of its historically significant structures that dated back as far as the 1300s. This however did not stop the countries capital from continuing to exist and even flourish since that time. Having been literally reborn from the ashes, Warsaw gained itself the nickname, “The Phoenix City” and is now one of the most populous and livable cities in the European Union. Pretty cool stuff!
Resulting from the history above, the buildings and streets have a very modern, yet classical feel to them and the air about is very friendly, warm, and welcoming. There is definitely a foodie culture here which we experienced first hand at the breakfast restaurant. Everything looked so good on the menu that we ended up ordering three plates: Eggs Benedict, fried eggs, and a raspberry with salted butterscotch crepe. Each was fantastic, especially the crepe - who knew that raspberries and butterscotch would go well together? They also made an amazing cappuccino and hosted some excellent tea.
After breakfast we went to the mall and exchanged some Thai Baht for Polish Złoty because exploring the a little more of the street and surrounding area. We found a number of great looking restaurants, coffee shops, grocers, and bars - all of which we are going to make an effort to visit at least once! We also found some of the cheapest raspberries that I have ever seen! For just 9 złoty (~$2.50) we got a whole quart of the most delicious berries nature could produce. Yes, please.
Back at the apartment we worked on our blog and video editing until dinner time. Feeling hungry, we went to one of the Polish “Milk Bars” for a cheap meal. Milk bars are Polish cafeterias that became very popular during the WWI & II - providing cheap but nourishing food (featuring primarily from milk-based products) to the general public. The concept flourished in the communist era, but then slowly tapered off nearing the 21st century. Out of the 100+ “milky bars” that used to exist in Warsaw, there are only around 12 still left today, but they still offer the public a cheap and hearty meal for less than $5 a plate. Because we are ballin’ on a budget, Lauren and I popped into the milk bar down the street for dinner and grabbed a plate of meat balls with potato (Lauren) and buckwheat (me), along with an order of the famous “perogie” (Polish dumplings). For the price, we couldn’t really complain about the taste of the meal.