We wrapped up our weekend in Poznań by visiting several hipster restaurants, food trucks and coffee shops with Michal’s brother, his girlfriend and some friends. Summer returned with a vengeance Saturday and we sought respite by a man made lake in a city park. It was so nice to see green, trees and water!
Our final adventure in Poznań was to attend a soccer game. There certainly is a difference between attending a soccer game in the US and a soccer game in Europe! The crowd was more entertaining to watch than the game itself, even though Lech Poznań won 5-1. One section of the crowd spends the entire game jumping, yelling, chanting and singing. Their energy is impressive and contagious. The stadium, Stadion Miejski w Poznaniu, was recently updated as it was used during the Euro 2012. Since it was used for such a huge event, it can seat 45,000 people. Yesterday’s game attracted over 13,000 fans (less than 3,000 who were women). 13,000 is still a pretty big number but scattered about the enormous stadium it looked pretty empty.
This morning we took a train to Warsaw. Many of you know that Polish trains are not my favorite way to travel. We sprang for first class seats and enjoyed a nice roomy air-conditioned 3.5 hour journey through the Polish countryside to Warsaw. It was a comfortable and relaxing way to travel! Our tickets even included instant coffee and a chocolate chip muffin.
Warsaw is a bustling city. As soon as we exited the train station we were greeted with hearing various languages and seeing people from all over the world. The energy of this city is different than Poznań. More urban and energetic. While we may be a few hours from Poznań, we are actually staying on a street called Poznańska Street.
We rented a place through AirBnB that only had one review. While AirBnB is great, it also a gamble. You never quite know what you’re getting despite photos and reviews. I always try to book a place with lots of reviews because those generally give a better description of what you’re getting into. However this trip I decided to trust my gut and go with a new listing. My instinct was spot on! We are staying in the most luxurious and gorgeous place I have ever stayed in!
Located in Poznańska, a trendy neighborhood in the center of the city, our home for the next few days is nestled in a beautiful building that houses a restaurant, an art museum, private security and marble stairways. The building was built in 1910 and still includes original art nouveau metal banisters and tiled floors. The apartment we’re staying in has stunning high ceilings, is tastefully decorated and includes top of the line appliances, bedding, etc. An added bonus is air-conditioning! Poland has gone from late fall to the heart of summer in just a few days. Temperatures today are in the 90s and super humid. This apartment is pure respite. It is the most beautiful place we have stayed and since it is a new listing, the price was incredibly reasonable. Once there are more reviews, I’m sure the owner will be able to charge much more.
The neighborhood we’re staying in is full of restaurants and coffee shops. It is an incredibly expensive neighborhood to live in. Some of our neighbors for the next few days consist of Polish actors, artists, poets and politicians. A small one bedroom apartment costs more than our house back in the US! While we’ve only been here for a few hours one of things I really like is that the majority of places near us are plant based restaurants. Recently Michal and I have been trying to cut down on the amount of meat we eat after we watched a couple of documentaries on Netflix (What The Health and Forks Over Knives). This will certainly be made easier in this neighborhood.
Despite the expensive housing, the price of food is still reasonable. This afternoon Michal and I enjoyed a generous sized delicious plant based lunch that totaled around $10 US dollars for the two of us. There are many small restaurants throughout Poland that offer a meal of that day that includes soup, a choice of a main dish and a drink for about the equivalent of $5 US dollars. What’s the point of meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking when you get eat a healthy home-cooked meal at that price? I wish a place like this existed back home!