A sentimental tour of Warsaw, Poland

You know a city's a good one when you see it in terrible weather and still love it. Warsaw fits that bill for me, although I definitely want to return some day and have a whole lot more sunshine. Warsaw, Poland, back in 2003 Fourteen summers ago (ouch I feel old!), I was backpacking from Russia to … [Read more...]

Reverse culture shock returning from China to Poland: Agness’ story

The next lovely lady in my series on reverse culture shock is Agness. Like Agata who moved to Italy, Agness is also originally Polish, and she spent a couple of years teaching in China and another year travelling around Asia before returning home to Poland - but unfortunately returning from China to … [Read more...]

Reverse culture shock: How Agata dealt with returning to Poland from Italy

I've always had a lot of people visiting the blog to talk about reverse culture shock: the problems they face when they return to their home country after spending time abroad, perhaps studying or working, or just travelling. I know it hit me pretty hard when I returned to Perth after more than five … [Read more...]

Why I’m glad I visited the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps

A decade ago, I was happily travelling down through Poland when I stopped at Krakow for a few days, and somehow decided to visit the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps nearby. I hadn't especially thought it through - I was in full-time travelling mode, and full-time travellers crave all … [Read more...]

Historical hotels: A creepy night at Wolf’s Lair, Poland

One of the creepiest places I've ever spent the night was at Wolf's Lair (aka Wolfschanze in German, or Wilczym Szancu in Polish), near the town of Gierloz in the north of Poland. I stayed in a hotel on the site at the very place where Hitler spent a significant amount of time during World War Two … [Read more...]

Why budget accommodation in Warsaw beats a five-star hotel

Let me first answer the question of the title of this post: budget accommodation beats a five-star hotel in Warsaw for many reasons, but not least of which is the fact that this place makes for a much more interesting blog post than a fancy spa and sheets with a high thread count. Well, at least in … [Read more...]

Picture pirouette: Picturesque Poland

The Polish capital wasn't particularly welcoming when I spent most of a week there a few summers back - mostly because Poland obviously hadn't figured out it was summer, and it drizzled the whole time, despite the heat wave that was killing pensioners in not-that-far-away France. Just the same, I … [Read more...]

T-shirt travel: Poland’s southern mountain town, Zakopane

I'm going Poland mad this month - just watch me tell you all about my favourite parts of Poland. This T-shirt shows one of them: Zakopane, a small town in the High Tatra mountains on the southern border with Slovakia.En-route to Bratislava to start my teaching job, I spent a couple of summery days … [Read more...]

Passport pirouette: Waiting for a Polish visa

Back when I did my longest stint of travelling throughout Eastern Europe, it was just before any of the countries joined the European Union, and thus it was still while Australians required visas to enter many countries - Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic among them.When I first left Russia for … [Read more...]