After flying forever, I can’t explain what it felt like to arrive in Warsaw for five whole glorious weeks of exploration. Exploration of the city, exploration of my roots and exploration of what it meant to me to be Polish and proud of my heritage. Five weeks of spending time with family, honing my language skills, travelling around and eating as many pierogi as possible.
I walked out of Gate 2 at Chopin International, only to find that my gorgeous cousins Paula and Maja were awaiting me outside Gate 1 with flowers, sparkling wine and welcoming signs. I have never felt this kind of reception myself, though I’ve seen it at other airports and always thought that must be really nice! And it was. I felt welcomed the minute I saw them and knew that spending five weeks here in Warsaw getting to know my family was going to be just awesome.
We drove a short distance through Warsaw’s streetsto what would be my home for the next five weeks – an Air BNB apartment located in Dluga Street, very close to Warsaw’s Old Town and about 20 minutes away from my cousins. It was the perfect location, and the perfect apartment (thank you Anna and Bartosz).
The girls left, which gave me some time to shower, rest, unpack and check out the local area for groceries.
It’s been almost four years to the date since I was last in Warsaw (give or take a month) and I didn’t spend more than a few hours in the Old Town at that time, so I’m keen to start having a look around to explore just what it is that makes it every tourist’s No. 1 stop in Warsaw. Firstly though I need groceries, so I hit the streets and find a little Zabka grocery store where I buy a packet of frozen pierogi (sacriligous I know), and head home to cook them up for dinner.
Feeling guilty that I’m spending my first night in Poland with fake pierogi (OK, truth be told they actually weren’t that bad, fried up with a bit of butter I grabbed off the plane, but you know what I mean), I pull my tired self together and head out into the night air to soak up the atmosphere of the Old Town on a Saturday night.
It was a great move because the evening is beautifully warm, the light is just gorgeous and the town’s restaurants are full of people enjoying Polish cuisine and hospitality. Perhaps tomorrow, after a good night’s rest, I will be one of those people.