Posted: 9/1/2011


        Twenty-five per cent of Warsaw is green, parks, forest, trees. In the middle of the Polish capital you can stoll around and smell the flowers. Lots of red roses,  and gold, yellow and white marigolds. I pass the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with a display of flowers, an eternal flame and two soldiers guarding it.

      In the parks couples are holding hands, making out, some with babies in prams. I go up to an escarpment over the river and a couple of newly weds are having photos taken with a backdrop of a fort. I wish them happiness and hope their marriage lasts longer than communist rule in their country. They laugh.

     Opposite RADZIWIEL PALACE on the street Ulica Krakowskie Przedmiescie, the site of the President of Poland, I buy a sandwich and sit on a marble bench. Immediately its ALIVE. A Chopin piano tune plays. I read the sign on the seat. Frederyk Chopin's first performance when he was 8 years old, on February 24th 1818 was a recital at the palace. The child prodigy played Czech composer Vojtch Jirovec's Concerto in E Minor. He was dressed in a velvet suit with white embroidered edging.  Afterwards he boasted to his mother that everybody admired his beautiful frilled collar.

      Nearby is a protest meeting with Polish red and white flags and banners and SOLIDARITY signs. Maybe they are protesting the cost of EURO 2012 tickets, or the price of bread and beer?? The Solidarity Museum is open. Inside are the original signs with the list of 21 demands at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk in 1980.  It sparked a 'fairly' peaceful revolution, and the iconic leader and the first president of the new democractic Poland, Lech Walensa was the first to occupy Radziwiel Palace.

     Nearby is Old Town ' Stare Miastro'. 90% was destroyed during World War II, but it has all been lovingly rebuilt and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the centre is a huge statue of the Warsaw Mermaid, which is the city's coat of arms and can be seen on taxis, buses, tram cars-everywhere.  According to legend a mermaid swam in from the sea and she decided to stay. The fishermen fell in love after hearing her sing. The mermaid, armed with sword and shhield has been ready to protect the city and its residents.

     Time for dessert. There are many ice cream cafes and I see an interesting one and choose the RONALDINO. It's in a black and white ceramic soccer ball bowl with three scoops, fruit, cream, nuts and a gingerbread Ronaldino. 12 zlotys,(which means golden), about $4.00. Another perfect day