Our first stop in Europe was Warsaw, to see some friends of ours and meet their lovely daughter (who is five years old, looks like a Disney princess, and loves Dr. Seuss).
Our stay was shorter than we had planned, because our flight was cancelled and we had to leave the following day. But we enjoyed the time we had there very much.
After feeding us, our host walked us over to a spa where we had a wonderful massage. I also tried some homemade nalewka (apparently a passion with the owner) and sampled some ginger cookies.
When asked what he wanted to do in Poland, my husband said "eat pierogie," so that was our next stop. We got a sampler plate of many kinds of pierogie and went back the next evening to have full plates of our favorites. (I ordered the "Christmas flavors" of sauerkraut and mushroom, while Jeff got the "mountain cheese" our host had ordered the night before.)
At the pierogerie we also sampled a couple of hot winter beverages: fruity compote broth and something that reminded us of Red Zinger tea. Both were delicious, but I preferred the kompot.
Our one full day in Warsaw began with a trip to the Wedel shop and cafe downtown. We had a lovely breakfast there, including some very decadent drinking chocolate. Our host took us to the top of the Palace of Culture and Science for a view of the city, then on to the Chopin Museum.
In the evening we saw the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra featuring Russian soloists. Alena Baeva totally blew me away with her rendition of Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (scroll down for a video of her performance of this famous work by Saint-Saens).
The next morning began in a relaxed manner as we had breakfast and took a subway to the train station to catch a train to Prague. But the subway was held up between several stops and we were in danger of missing our train. We had gotten special non-refundable, non-reschedulable tickets, so this was a problem! Our quick-thinking host called a cab to meet us a couple stops before the train station, and this taxi driver was the right man for the job. He scooted us through the morning rush-hour traffic, our friend helped us find the right platform, and we boarded the train just seconds before it started down the track.
To be continued . . .
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