Friday, March 28
Polonia Palace Hotel, Warsaw, 10:40
We had a somewhat disturbed night’s sleep, although I fared better than Irma. She was woken several times by unfamiliar sounds. Ironically their very unfamiliarity reminded her of how much we were missing Auo.
Breakfast turned out to be a lot more interesting than we had expected. The buffet was larger and more varied than I recall seeing before, and alongside the various waters and juices there was an ice bucket of chilled champagne and vodka. Irma had various cheeses and breads. I had sausages, hash browns, scrambled eggs and baked beans. We both had champagne, because why wouldn’t you?
We went upstairs to recover from the sudden influx of food and drink. We both went online while the city centre grew busier. From the fourth floor window we can see over the square. Increasing numbers of people seem to be hurrying back and forth, and gathering everywhere. Buses and trams appear and disappear in a continuous parade.
Our first task after we walk out of the hotel will be to find out how to cross the road. This will involve discovering the underpass which will be like a village in its own right. We will see a whole range of tiny shops selling food, drink, shoes, clothing, pepper spray, handcuffs, and underwear. Many of the shops will be about two metres square.
We will find a mall and explore it. After sitting in the sun outside the Hard Rock Cafe we will decide to take a taxi to the old town, where I will find that my phone has run out of battery. I will walk up and down the cobbled streets not taking photographs.
The old town will be tall and narrow, surprisingly quiet. We will explore various tiny shops, and find a mini-supermarket that has been built into an old building and consists of a warren of tiny rooms and corridors stacked with food and drink. We will eat at one of the traditional restaurants where I will have pork with braised cabbage and potatoes. Irma will have chicken. The portions will be huge and cheap.
We will take another taxi back to the hotel. The driver will cheerfully tell us that there are 10,000 taxis in Warsaw that all charge different prices, while he charges us considerably more than the previous one.
At the hotel I will have a bubble bath. Irma will point out that you can use shower gel to make a perfect bubble bath, which I confess I had never realised. It will work to the extent that I will not want to get out.
After this we will move the sofa into the centre of the room to begin an evening of video on demand but will be completely unable to figure out how it works. We will watch the History Channel and National Geographic instead.