Tag Archives: travel

I Am Disappeared: on travel and such

And on the worst days
When it feels like life weighs ten thousand tons
I sleep with my passport
One eye on the back door
So I can always run
I can get up, shower, and in half an hour I’ll be gone

– I Am Disappeared, Frank Turner

It’s hard to explain how significant my backpack is. It’s not made for months of travelling, but it is made for escape. Escaping is one of the things most often on my mind these days. Don’t take that the wrong way, I don’t believe in the ‘final escape’, but just getting away. I’ve been more quiet and thoughtful and old fears have started to ebb away. I’m 30 years old now and fortunate with many things in my life. Still blood is thicker than water. All my anxiousness seems to point to the door lately.

Another road in another country
Another road in another country

“I feel like one of these days you’ll pack your suitcase and you’ll be gone…”, said my girlfriend to me the other day. What remained unsaid is that she’d be happy to see that, I’m sure that was what she thought. She continued saying that the happiest she’d seen me was when I was travelling, with my bag full of clothes and books. Just that and a road to travel, that is indeed something beautiful to experience. There’s that thing about a bag.

When Orhan Pamuk received a Nobel prize for literature, he did a Nobel Lecture titled ‘My Father’s Suitcase‘. The story is about self-discovery, writing and growth, but there is also this thing about the suitcase of his father, that somehow contained much more meaning than the whole library and all the other things. In that suitcase was the soul, the essence of his father.

There is an essence to life, a basis that is our true source of happiness I believe. It all fits in one suitcase, it’s all you need for your piece of mind. So my backpack would normally contain clothes, toilet gear and books and that is all I need. Take what you can carry and that’s enough. You can’t carry more than what your back can stand and your hands can hold. I think in a way that’s a good metaphor for life itself. Everyone tries to balance so many things in a limited amount of time, which makes them unhappy because there is so little fulfillment to it. It’s a rush from task to task, from hour to hour, which make you forget about the other important element in this story.

The road is a metaphor for life and intertwined with carrying what you can on it. It is a road to a destination and you should be able to enjoy the ride as much as reaching the end goal. In life we’re most often busy chasing many goals ,so we rarely take a moment to look around and enjoy the place we are at, because it never satisfies us. We need more, which is what society drives us to do. Statistics determine the way companties work, not the progress itself. The progress in turn serves the statistics, because tweeking that performance level will bring more invisible wealth to a faceless entity without a soul. People have lost sight of the road, the horizon is all that matters. Finding more possessions, tools and skills tot he point where you’re laden that heavily, that you can no longer move. It’s an utterly horrifying idea to me.

Ont he other side of the continent
Ont he other side of the continent

Humans used to be nomads, traversing from place to place, in order to live, eat, grow and prosper. There was a direct relation between life and travel, which I think touches our essence still. Then we became settlers and soon we became as humans divided in classes of wealth, birth and reverence. It takes away something and replaces it with hollow means. Maybe I’m looking into this too deeply, but I feel that the road and carrying only with you what you can carry brings back a bit of that elementary feeling, the pure essence of being instead of surrounding oneself with hollow, meaningless things.

So I keep my  backpack ready, because life can be rather meaningless when you get confronted with your insignificance on a daily basis. So I make sure I can always run, get to the busstop and go to the airport and get out. In the end, the only thing that matters is the road.

Lagos, Sagres, Portugal: Travelblog #2

If you visit the Algarve, you should visit more of it than one place. There’s a beauty to this region and a strange emptiness when you go just before the season. Some options I explored here.

Transport

Faro is an interesting town on its own, but there’s much more to see in the Algarve. One would say that public transport is a bit chaotic, messy or untrustworthy, but it’s not that bad at all. Sure, you need to have a certain amount of patience but that’s public transport itself.  everywhere.

It’s not like there’s a dense network of public transport options. There are busses, mainly travelling to and from the hubs, and there’s the train, which basicly has one track going east and one to the west. There’s also the track from Faro all the way north to Lisbon. This line really ends in Faro. The train is a bit more expensive compared to busses and the track to the west ends at Lagos. From there on you need a bus.

Sure, you can rent a car, which greatly widens the range of options for touristy visits of cool places, beaches and whatnot. There’s no airco that can beat the heat though and the travel times are quite long, so just being able to sit back for a few hours is really well worth it.

Lagos

One of those places is the town called Lagos. It’s a 2,5 hour train ride from Faro through a stunning landscape (even when you’re in a wagon full of screaming children) and at the end of the railroad track. For me, that’s always going to be  strange feeling, to be at the end of the railroad.

Lagos
Lagos

If you walk into the town from the station, you immediately enter the Marinara, the harbor and when you cross the bridge you’ll find the bus station and the center. African sellers are lining up their bags and belts on the sidewalks, while smoking some cigarettes and vendors try to sell you a trip out onto the sea.

Food!
Traditional food, in a small tavern.

The town was important during the seafaring days, when it also was the capital of the Algarve untill it was destroyed by a earthquake. Walking down the promenade, it feels very clean and open, which might have to do with how it was rebuild. The streets are beautiful and even in early pre-season swarming with people. We found a great place to have a simple, hearty Portugese meal and walked around through the town, enjoying its architecture and vibrant atmosphere.
Downside: Lagos is a haven for Brittish sun seekers, which means you’ll find little authenticity when it comes to bars, restaurants and such, specially around the Marinara. Lobster red elderly Brits are looking for shade in one of the ‘happy hour’ bars and watch the horse races. Home away from home I suppose.

Sagres

Source: Worldeasymap

It takes an hour or so by bus to get to our destiantion, which feels like literally reaching the corner of Europe and staring out onto the atlantic. Sagres is a sleepy little town around noon, for which the sweltering heat is one great explanation. The high cliffs offer a wonderful sight onto the sea and the gorgeous beaches, which are hidden from view unless you reach the edges.

Main attraction is the old fortress, which has served as an academy (allegedly) and looks over a beautiful bay. The town has been linked to prehistorical religious practise and throughout the ancient era as well by the Romans, Phoenicians and others. That always gives a peculiar aura to an area, specially this strange plateau on which the school/fort was supposed to have been. You can walk around there and picture yourself the folly that gripped man’s mind in the early age of Portugese discovery. Sailing out into the unknown. An age long lost it seems.

Sagres, land's end.
Sagres, land’s end.

If you are a surfer, Sagres is definitely the place to be I’ve heard, so check it out.

More places

We did skip visiting Albufeira, due to the long travelling time, but we lingered in Lagos a bit. Albureira is possibly the most touristic location on the southern Algarve and has some amazing parts to show, where millionaires build there houses and such. If you have the time, it’s definitely a place to either stay or visit at in the Algarve. Portimão is together with Faro one of the biggest towns and therefor a hub for the economy of the Algarve (during the off-season). Like Faro, it looks to the sea for a large portion of its income.

Going more inland is an option if you have your own transport, but it is very lowly populated. That might be your reason for going into it ofcourse. I guess bringing plenty of water is the best advice there.  From Sagres on, going up north seems like a great drive as well, though some preparation might be useful too.

Travel around

If you are not in Faro for very long, you can still see a ton of places. Make sure you bring a good book, always have a bottle of water and enjoy the train rides. You can also go east ofcourse, towards a more tempered climate and if you have the time even to see 3 countries.

Faro, Portugal: Travelblog #1

So I totally had forgotten about my trip to Faro, Portugal (it was cool), by which I mean that I never wrote about my stay in Faro. Due to some issues in our personal lives, me and the misses decided to go on a quick trip to the most southern point of Europe this far for us.

Sometimes the motivation to go somewhere is very simple: money and time. We didnt have the time we wanted to go see what we wanted, so we just wished to get away for a short spell. Five days of Faro was a cheap option so we took it. Originally we hoped to also see Porto, but well. I guess that makes the motivation bigger than the budget in this case.

Faro has some marvelous city gates, full of nestling Storks.
Faro has some marvelous city gates, full of nestling Storks.

We stayed in the New Faro Hostel, which is a small, quiet hostel with one of the most helpful and friendly (and chaotic) owners I’ve ever met. The building was across the street from the train station and had the air of an old house, of which kind you see many in the transit town Faro. For travelling its a hub, it connects the whole Algarve to the north and has its own airport. It may seem small and a bit run down, but Faro has a charm of its own, holding a university and some beautiful beaches.

The endless, empty beach on the deserted island, just off the coast of Faro.
The endless, empty beach on the deserted island, just off the coast of Faro.

There’s a clear flavor of history to the town, though it probably never was as significant. It’s the surrounding nature that holds the most interest, specially the Ria Formosa, a wetlands region, which is also a protected nature reservate. It feels like you are in the Mississipi delta (I haven’t been there, don’t judge me), when you go through it on a pond to the ‘Illa Deserta’ to lie on the almost empty beach. The zone is a joy to watch and teaming with life. Only this makes it worth to stay in Faro for one day. On the island itself, you can walk around it to end up on the beach. You can see the town from there and a wide view, with many birds nestling on the island.

The typical way of prepping seafood in the Algarve.
The typical way of prepping seafood in the Algarve.

The town itself offers plenty of locations where the thirsty or hungy traveller can indulge his or her wishes. The hidden Academic restaurant is one well worth visiting for no-nonsense local food, fresh from the ocean. Sardines will always be a struggle, but life is a bit like that. You make do, whatever way you can. Make sure to try the local fish cuisine if you ever end up there. You can smell the ocean, so you better be sure to taste it there, specially made in a Cataplana. This is a copper, shell-shaped pan that betrays the Arabic origins of many of the traditions in these regions.

Enjoy a glass of wine or a craft beer in the lovely little bar next to the harbor and just enjoy Faro. That’s what I did atleast.
There’ s a tiny chapel of bones in Faro too. Here’s a picture:

IMG_0061

New Years Resolutions

I have been ill for more than a month. I have not been to the gym, didn’t follow my diet and probably gained some weight. I’m not much for the idealistic new years resolutions, but I’ve decided that I need to restart my routine and go a bit further in following up my own goals.  So here goes, my new years resolution. Believe me when I say this is the firs time I actually decide to have those.

1. Clean Eating 2.0

I started eating paleo in januari 2013. One day I just started doing it and I decided that this was something I could believe in and follow up. I’ve written about this before, but here is the Nerd Fitness guide that inspired me to pick up this diet. What it essentially means is that I stop eating everything that is delivered to my door, that is pre-made and what contains potatoes, grains and legumes. Also you need to avoid anything that is high in sugars, which you don’t need. Well, sugar in itself is something to avoid. This doesn’t mean you can’t have good food though. Also, I used to have one cheat day a week, that will be reduced to ‘one meal’. That will be pretty hard, butI’ve noticed that complete avoidance is pretty much impossible + when you suddenly can’t avoid it your body respons very badly to it. So having a minimal intake gives the body the right kinda shock.

Yes, I’ve read all the ‘debunking the paleo diet’ things too, and I think its sad. Obviously a diet alone is not enough, paleo alone does not make you a model, nor will it work for everyone. It does for me though, I have less stomach issues and drowsy headaches. Always keep your values in check though and don’t hesitate to drop some vitamines.

2. Gym 2.0

Source: Pinterest (Source unknown)

I’ve been going to the gym for years, but only last year I started noticing change. I felt much better, fitter and healthier due to my more intense schedules and determination in the activity. Due to illness and exhaustion, I did not do that much in the past month and I feel it in every fibre of my body. My goal is to increase muscle tissue this year and be able to lift, press, deadlift and squat certain weights. It’s all around 50.. I don’t need to get bulky, I just want to be strong and fit and that seems like a great goal for 2015.

Today I went to the gym for the first time in a long while again and it felt great. I feel motivated and just good about having gone there.

3. Synergy in the Relationship

Source: Bored Panda.com

I hope to reach a new level in the way my relationship works. We work well together, but I want to achieve what I considere synergie. Work together and support eachother on our life goals and understand and feel what matters to eachother. No matter how you translate synergie, it requires commitment that I am willing to put into it. I hope to find ways to improve it even further this year.

I’ve learned in the past year that relationships usually give you back what you put in to them. If you want to work on it, go for it and do your best first, rewards will come laterin the form of returned favours. If you don’t want to make the effort, neither will your partner.

4. Travel 

Source: Essential Travel

I love travelling and seeing new places and this year I hope to add some countries to my list. One is already planned, which is a visit to Greece. If summer holidays fall through for some reason, then I hope to visit Malta too. In that case I also hope to make plans for the future and see some other locations . The Balkan is currently a destination that is much favored,but so is Iceland, Norway (Scandinavia) and Portugal. I’m a firm believer that travel is something that improves you and allows you to grow as a person. If not that, then travelling with only your minimum stuff takes away so much of the normal stress, its amazing. Travel is difficult sometimes, but doing it always feels super rewarding.

5. Write more and try some more beers 

Source: puretravel.com

As you might know, I’m quite excited about my blog, but I have been struggling to find a routine to it and a way to write that speaks to everyone. I hope to write more and better stuff this year and make you keep on coming back. Thanks for checking it out anyways.

I also hope to keep on keeping track of the beers I’ve tried on Untapped and never drink the same beer twice. That’s a serious commitment, since I hope to find more remarkable tastes. Yes, it is not quite in line with my previous resolutions. Still, one needs to relax now and then, so why not combine that with discovery?

If you want to help me, that’d be most welcome. How? Simply let me know where you are going and if you want to take something home for me. I’ll just pay you back.

So there goes, my resolutions. They’re more targets I guess, goals and things I want to do and focus on. I also want to read much more books. Let’s make this a good year with lots of progress! What will you try to achieve this year?

 

Anykščiai / Panevėžys #2

After a lovely day in Panevėžys, it was time to see something more. Our lovely hosts took us and their two kids for a ride to the beautiful town of Anykščiai. The town lies in the north-east of Lithuania.

After quite a drive from Panevėžys, we arrived at the church in the middle of the town. It was possible to climb the tower here, to get a good view of the valley in which the town is situated. Everywhere you find the names of two writers who lived in this town and had a major impact on Lithuanian literature. Those are Antanas Baranauskas and Jonas Biliūnas. One has to take in mind that Lithuania has no such things like theme parks, so what you do find is a map of the town and surroundings, full of little things to do. This is really a fun day for the kids, since they get to see and learn a lot.

some good titles there!
some good titles there!

After the tower we cross the street for the Museum of Angels. A collection of paintings can be found here and a collection of angel statues. It’s not as impressive as it’s counterpart ‘The Devil Museum’, but that’s alright. We checked it out and it did have some pretty things. Props for the cool little library, with some great literature. The museum was also rather small, leaving us enough time to move to the next destination, which is the biggest rock (or second) of Lithuania, which has been turned into a memorial for the two pilots of the Lituanica (which I mentioned earlier). The trick is ofcourse to climb that rock, which I did without much problems.

Source: Baltictravelnews.com

The beautiful nature around is currently yielding its first treasures in the form of mushrooms, which are much loved by the Lithuanians. Our hosts are on the lookout for these nature treasures as well. We continue to the Horse Museum, which is a miniature open air museum, showing the history of horses and their use, but also the crafts related to it. The blacksmith is always interesting to me, due that I did some of that in the museum I worked for a while. This blacksmith smells a bit like alcohol though, and his work is sloppy and bad, but the kids love seeing the fire anyways. It’s still a win, just like the apples that grow on the trees and the games that can be played.

The internal traveller also needs something now and then, so we head back to town to get a bite. First we dropped by the bob sledges ride (sledges on rails really that go down a hillside). Unfortunately it is so busy that we have to wait for an hour back to town it its and on the dam in the river we have a bite at the restaurant. Potato pancakes with meat are a great filler for the stomach. They’re a bit greasy, but that is not taking away much of the satisfaction. Back it is to the slegde rides and after a long wait its full throttle down the hill. It feels a bit more exciting than what we did in theme parks actually. It was also a great occasion for a selfie.

Boblelfie
Selfie!

The final destination was the grave of Jonas Biliūnas on top of a hill. A tower is built over it, named the ‘beacon of happiness’. Apparently it is a popular site for newly weds or hen nights, since there’s 1 group of hens on top of the hill and two new couples climbing up when we are there. After this final visit, it is time to head back to Panevėžys. Tired but satisfied after a long and interesting day.

Panevėžys #1

We enjoyed a good evening with family in Panevėžys. The next day we took a walk around town. The unofficial capital of the region has been here since around 1500. It doesn’t look grand and lacks the so called ‘Old Town’, but Panevezys is nonetheles very neat and clean.

The lake in the centre of Panevezys
The lake in the centre of Panevezys

The town is named after the river that flows through it, the Nevezys. We wandered around town and a lot of information about the city was provided by our host. This was after watching some interesting training footage from the Lithuanian airforce, I have to mention. Interesting is one particular beer bar, where the owners nailed hundreds of keys to the tree in front of it. The place used to be abandoned and bums took over. They restored it though and now it sells local brews (which there are a lot of!).  We also visited an international exposition of ceramic art, which I think failed to impress.

The Bison says hi
The Bison says hi

Later we drove out of the city to see some views around. We visited a place of preservation of the European Bisons. A bunch of the big fellows were walking around here and one came up to greet us. They are magnificent creatures and amazing to see them in the wild. After this we also visisted a place were the partizans used to hide out in the forest. It was one of the biggest groups hiding out at this location, but eventually they were captured. The partizans were the ones to fight the soviets after World War II had been concluded. Something that rarely makes it into the history books, but this form of resistance lasted up to 1955 (some places longer).

reconstructed bunker
reconstructed bunker

After this it was time to have some food, which we did in the restaurant Cincinskas. Originally started as a beer bar for Soviet soldiers, it later became a restaurant that has been a succes the last 30 years. The menu is practically as unchanged as the decor and that still pulls the punters in. Not that strange though, with a main course for 3,- euro and a pint of beer for 1,20 euro. Visit this place if you ever end up in Panevėžys!

After that we enjoyed the town celebrations, with some live music and a lot of people around. A visit to the beer bar with the tree, mentioned earlier, was ofcourse also part of the plan. It was another long evening.

Kaunas #3

On the final day of our visit to Kaunas (we would later take the bus to Panevezys), we still had some time left. After coffee, breakfast and conversations it was time to head out.

rumsiskesThe open air museum in Rumšiškės shows a broad range of buildings and dwellings that were normal in the past two centuries in Lithuania. The museum is divided in the four historic regions and a central town. It’s quite a walk, since the parts are hundreds of meters apart. In the houses are some old people seated, who can tell you  a little about the places. Unfortunately most are not too keen to. That is a shame since the information is mostly rather limited.

Fortunately I have some knowledge of historical farm structures and such and I was not the only one in our company.  Quite impressive was the Yurt, a dwelling made in Siberia, where many Lithuanians ended up in past days. There are some more pictures on the wiki page of the town. Interesting fact is that the original town is flooded by an artificial lake. The place is popular for ethnographic parties and celebrations.

Kaunas busstation
Kaunas busstation

From there it was time to go to the bus station and say good bye to our great host. I had a great time exploring Kaunas, which would be a lot harder if it wasn’t for the great guidance. In the bus I finally had time to catch up on some reading on our way to Panevezys, where we were greated with great beers and food.

Kaunas #2

Unfortunately I got a bit sick in the bus from Warsaw to Kaunas, so perhaps we didn’t go see as much as planned on day 2, but it was still a full agenda. I’ve tried to get some pictures of things, but it’s not that much.  Thanks to Doctor L. I was able to see some cool stuff again.

DevilsFirst we headed out to the Devil’s museum. The Lithuanian painter, politician, poet and what not Žmuidzinavičius started collecting Baltic pictures of Devils during his life. Now, I’m always a sucker for the occult, so a collection like this has enough relevance to my demands. The many fascets and deeply rooted place of the devil or demonic figures in the national culture is astonishing. He fulfills the role of bogeyman, helper, trickster, seducer and ofcourse the master of hell. Technically he replaced the traditional pagan spirits and sprites. On the picture we see two devils that are still very relevant to the country.

From there we continued to the War museum, bringing a long history all the way from pagan times of the Lithuanian military. Unfortunately the staff was not very friendly and many items missed some actual explanation. Wether it was the portraits of king and archdukes (Lithuania had only one king), or the room filled with guns. The English audioguide also sends you of into the museum on a wild goose hunt for the different items. Lot to be done for this museum to get a bit better.

source: Wikipedia

Interesting was the part of the exposition, concerning the Lituanica. An airplane that was supposed to fly across the ocean but crashed 650km from Kaunas in mysterieous circumstances. It has become an important part of Lithuanian history. The 10 lita banknote actually has the airplane and the faces of the pilots printed on it.

9thfort
The monument at the 9th fort.

The final destination of the day was the ‘Ninth Fort’. Part of a defensive ring build around Kaunas by the Russians, it served as a fort, a prison and finally as a place to herd unwanted elements  of society towards. Many people lost their lives in this fort, but also heroic things happened, like the escape of 64 prisoners who were selected to burn corpses of other victims of the regime. The museum consists of an exposition about the turbulent times outside the fort, inside the fort and a guided tour through the tunnels. To me that was the most exciting part of the tour, because I’ve seen quite some occupation museums and they start breaking down your feeling for it.

kaunasbeerAfterwards there was time for rest, food and beers with the family. It rarely feels as well deserved.

Warsaw #3

Today I’m blogging a bit from Warsaw again. At this moment still at the busstation of the Polish capital but our bus is departing as I type. Ecolines is kind enough to offer wifi on the vehicle, which provides me with the oppertunity to write. Yay!

Today we started out fresh and fruity early in the morning with a walk to the University library. The cool thing is that it has a rooftop garden, that you basically walk onto from street level up. It’s not a small one, like we have at home. This is the real deal. The library looked empty, but that had the simple reason that it was closed as a security guard (probably) tried to tell us. From here on, we walked across the bridge to another part of Warsaw called Praga (so no, not actually Prague).

Praga, gritty, grimy but full of soul
Praga, gritty, grimy but full of soul

Praga has an industrial and commercial past, which made it important for Warsaw. However, it was also the part of town where you dropped your dissidents, former criminals, homosexuals (I’m not sure about that, but the gay community resides here mainly according to our guide) and artists. Now, I already mentioned a guide, which has a simple reason. We walked to Praga without a clue where we would end up. As it happens, one of the free guided tours showed up right in front of us, so we followed it. The guide Agatha clearly had a soft spot for the ‘bad side’ of Warsaw. Like most things in Warsaw, there are many projects to improve this part of town. Not only by renovating, it, but also social projects aimed at kids and old timers. There is even a 75 year old DJ Wika, who spins records on the radio now thanks to the DJ courses. Pretty wicked huh? There’s so much you can do if you aren’t looking for the money behind it, it shows again.

2 for the price of 1
2 for the price of 1

Also worth mentioning is the two bears living in a bear pit on the street side there. It’s not very nice for those to live this way, but they’ve been there all their lives. When they pass away the pit will be closed. Not sure what I think about this, I have some passion for the animal rights, but that’s not what this story is about. From Praga we took the tram back to the old center to have some lunch at the Browarmia. A restaurant and brewer in one, where they make some nice beers. We missed the fact that you get two beers for the price of one today, which is also something the staff will not mention to you. You just get two beers slapped on the table in front of you.

Ghetto monument, not easy to find
Ghetto monument, not easy to find

After that we dropped by the book shop, had some coffee and chilled out back at the Fest Hostel for a bit, where we got to say goodbye to owner Marcin (again). My darling girlfriend wrote something nice in the guestbook and I drew a peacock with muscular arms in it. We started for the busstation, but first went looking for the last remnant of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw. We happened to pass a church dedicated to John Paul the pope on the way. Now, the monument was hidden behind a fence on some parking lot. It was small and humble and to me it felt like it did no justice to the history that has unfoled here. I hope that the Jewish history museum can give a bit more info on that in the future.

It took us forever to find the busstop, so no fancy food this evening. Just Burger King, becasue the cues happened to be the shortest. Allez, Kaunas here we come.

Warsaw #2

Alright, so it’s sunday and we have rain. Rain means that walking around Warsaw becomes a whole lot less fun for us, but fortunately we have not yet visited that many museums which gives us plenty to do today.

We started for the Royal Castle, but first took some cofffee. The trumpet from a high window declared the Castle museum open (I think that’s what it was for) and a huge cue spread out over the court yard. Bad idea, so we walked to the museum of Archeology first. Though the staff didn’t seem to manage a word in anything else than Polish, the museum was supplied with all the English information you need. Spreading out over two floors, it contains a lot of text and models of old settlements. Apparently when you aren’t a kid, it’s not ok to put on the helmet and sword they have laying around.

Monument
Monument

From there on we continued to the Jewish History Museum. The security for that museum resembles what you will find in an airport. The main collection is not yet open for visitors, but the temporary one was already worth our time. It is dedicated to the Jews in the Polish Legion during the first world war and the interbellum/struggle for independence. The monument outside of it is very impressive as well. The museum looks huge and the building looks interesting. I can see this become  a big tourist spot in the future if it’s fully open.

Polonia jrs in action
Polonia jrs in action

On the way back to the old town, we passed the stadium of KS Polonia Warsaw, apparently the oldest football team of Poland. Lucky for us, there was a game on by the youth team. Their main force went bankrupt and is playing on the fourth level in Poland now, but the fans still turn up for their Polonia. Those old clubs with rich histories are always cool to check out. Couldn’t find a souvenir though, bummer.

Zurek soup served in bread.
Zurek soup served in bread.

Enfin, we ended up having some lunch at a tiny but nice looking restaurant. Lunch for me involved a beer and soup served in bread. I’ve seen others eat it before but this was my first time to give this dish a go. The soup is quite sour in flavour, filled with egg and sausage. The bread gives a hint of sweetness to it, which is probably just the whole idea behind the combo. People do buy Zurek in a bowl, but for me it was the challenge to also ‘eat my bowl’. Apparently that is not too common, the waiter looked curious at me. Then again, that did seem to be his standard look…

We crossed the street after this and visited the museum dedicated to Madame Curie, who was, as most people who collected flippo’s know, Polish of origin. The museum is tiny, cheap and full of knowledge concerning the person. It is not very coherent however, but when in Rome, right? After this we marche don to the royal castle and squeezed in a visit there as well. Funny enough you first have to collect your tickets for the free entrance thing there on sundays. I don’t know why, and I’ve given up trying to understand Poland and its things.

DInner took place in the ‘Bierhalle’, which turned out to be a Bavarian themed place. After that we tried some beers in the Hostel and that’s that. Tomorrow we have a day left, at 21.00 we leave for Kaunas by bus. Kaunas…bus…  Have you seen Kaunas bus station? The arse of Lithuania if I may say so, but I have been promised a different side of Kaunas, the old capital of Lithuania.