Warsaw, Poland Posted October 5, 2018 by Girl With Chalk Today is the last day of our vacation, tomorrow we board our plane back home to the United States. We chose to spend our day with Chopin. Poland uses Polish złoty for currency, it is really pretty. Don’t worry, the amount I took out is only around $75. I figured I would buy some souvenirs on my last day! Our first stop of the day was to see the Chopin Statue. The monument to the outstanding Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin (1810–49) is the best-known Polish sculpture in the world. Situated close to the Belvedere Palace on Aleje Ujazdowskie, it was designed by Wacław Szymanowski, a prominent artist, sculptor, and musician from the turn of the twentieth century. In 1940, the monument was destroyed by the Nazis. It was broken into pieces and sent to foundries to be melted down. The reconstructed monument was unveiled in 1958. The bronze monument depicts the Polish composer sitting under a weeping willow. The branches of the tree are falling as if swept by a strong wind to create a picturesque setting. Above Chopin’s head, they take the form of a hand palm. The artist’s figure seems to blend with the tree, while his coat is flapping in the wind. Chopin was shown as a musician seeking inspiration, slightly tilted back, engrossed in the sounds of nature with his eyes half-closed. His right hand is raised in the air – as if above the keyboard of an invisible piano, just when the artist is looking for the right tone. The whole composition reminds of a monumental harp. The park has a Chinese Garden, situated in the northern part of the Royal Łazienki, it was designed according to existing historical models from Prince Kung’s Mansion in Beijing. Here I am with my cousins enjoying the Chinese Garden, it was beautiful. Scenes from a walk, leaving the park. More scenes from a walk through Warsaw. This was a children’s playground. The gate has an angel at the top. The see-saw has a religious figure on the top. I thought this playground was cute. Afterward, we took an Uber ride to the Chopin Museum. Where’s Waldo now? Oh, she’s standing next to one of Chopin’s pianos in Poland. After the museum, we went for a walk in the old part of town. On the right is the Royal Castle in Warsaw that formerly served throughout the centuries as the official residence of the Polish monarchs. It is located in the Castle Square, at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there from the sixteenth century until the Partitions of Poland. We stopped for lunch at Gosciniec Polskie Pierogi, where I had fired potato dumplings, with stewed pork, mushrooms, and peppers. It was so cold, I also had a warm elixir made with hibiscus, raspberry, orange, cloves and rum. It was good. After lunch, we continued our walk exploring Warsaw. The Old Town was established in the 13th century. Initially surrounded by an earthwork rampart, prior to 1339 it was fortified with brick city walls. The town originally grew up around the castle of the Dukes of Mazovia that later became the Royal Castle. The Market Square was laid out sometime in the late 13th or early 14th century, along the main road linking the castle with the New Town to the north. The Mermaid of Warsaw is a symbol of Warsaw, represented on the city’s coat of arms as well as in a number of statues and other imagery. There are several legends about the mermaid. The City’s literature and tour guides say the mermaid decided to stay after stopping on a riverbank near the Old Town. Fishermen noticed something was creating waves, tangling nets, and releasing their fish. They planned to trap the animal, then heard her singing and fell in love. A rich merchant trapped and imprisoned the mermaid. Hearing her cries, the fishermen rescued her. Ever since the mermaid, armed with a sword and a shield, has been ready to help protect the city and its residents. Sometimes this legend is expanded to say the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen the Warsaw mermaid’s sister and they went separate ways from the Baltic Sea. Another legend states she helped a prince lost hunting and he founded the city in her honour. I LOVE THIS! I always pick up chocolate from my trips to bring back for my family. This chocolate was so beautiful, it reminded me of chocolate postcards. Ended the night at “Bydlo i Poidlo Meat-ing Place” where I had the house burger with a Polish beer. It was a 7 oz burger with plum jam, nuts, goat cheese, lamb’s lettuce, and walnuts. It was delicious.