Cycling Europe Day 50: Warsaw – A City Worthy of Good Marketing

Poland really needs to better market itself as a tourist destination. If it is already

The mermaid is the symbol of Warsaw and is found on its coat of arms.

The mermaid is the symbol of Warsaw and is found on its coat of arms.

doing that, it’s doing a lousy job. Neither I nor Colin have ever heard much about Poland in terms of tourism. And even though the weather has been wet and overcast almost the whole time I’ve been in the country, I’m absolutely loving it.

My husband and I cycled a short distance today – 67 km – through almost constant rain to get to Warsaw. A decent part of that distance was on bumpy backroads and even some dirt roads. The rest was on a very busy, major road into the city. Because of all that, it was slow going.

Colin is having some difficulty with an old iliotibial band problem. It started acting up yesterday and it’s not getting any better. I think it’s a combination of all the weight on his bike, the fact that he has a tendency to want to push himself when this isn’t a push-yourself kind of trip, and evil eye.

Cursed be anyone who gives my family the evil eye.

We arrived in Warsaw and had enough time to walk around the old city. I am really really surprised by it. I have no idea where I got the impression that it would be a dodgy city. From what I’ve seen of it, it isn’t one bit. We cycled through the outskirts into an area near the commercial center of the city to our hotel. We then walked quite a long distance to reach the old town. I’m telling you, I’ve walked in many neighborhoods in Paris that have seemed dodgy to me. The many neighborhoods we cycled and walked through in Warsaw seemed nicely normal.

Warsaw’s old town is absolutely beautiful. It was completely razed to the ground, along with 85 percent of the city, in World War II. It was then rebuilt to resemble the former old town, and was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1980.

If I were alone in this city as I had been in so many others before it, I would have thought that I would have loved to be here with my husband. It is so romantic. As it happens, my husband was with me this time. We walked through the cobblestoned alleyways, hand in hand, and truly enjoyed ourselves.

If you have never thought of Poland as a tourist destination, think again. I am falling in love with this country and its people.

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