Karma obviously agreed that I experienced enough cold and rain in Sweden for the time being. Poland welcomed me with a nice and warm weather. While I had previously visited Krakow and a few towns right across the Czech border, this was my first time in Warsaw.
Surrounded by a language that resembles my own native language, I was in my element from the beginning.
The city was very much alive and filled with tourists and travelers as much as locals, yet it felt peaceful for no one was in rush as I am used to from my current home in the U.S.
After checking in at my hostel, I started to walk around to figure out my surroundings. Unprepared as usual, I walked left and right as I wished, looking up interesting buildings and structures that caught my eyes.
When entering the old town, one cannot miss the Royal Castle, proudly dominating the Krakowskie Przedmieście.
I walked past it straight to the very colorful and adorable Old Town Market Place with the Mermaid of Warsaw dominating the very middle of it since 2000. There are several legends about the mermaid:
The tour guides say the mermaid stopped on a riverbank near the Old Town.
Fishermen noticed something was releasing their fish and they wanted to trap the animal, but fell in love when they heard her sing. A rich merchant trapped the mermaid, but the fishermen rescued her. Ever since the mermaid with a sword and a shield has been ready to help protect the city and its residents.
Although Warsaw certainly does not feel like a big city, let alone a capital, I felt longing for parks and greens and some nature.
I found a big park in walking distance from the city — Royal Bath Park. Walking from the city center, it was very easy to get to. On the way I passed the Chopin Statue, where you can not only enjoy the nature, sit and relax, but also listen to some of his compositions.
The weather was amazing, with slight breeze balancing out the fall sun rays to creating the most perfect temperature. With the leaves changing during this season, the park was full of colors.I nearly forgot I am only steps away from the center of Warsaw.
I have a high appreciation for a city balancing out the concrete jungle with greens, trees and space that allows city people to reconnect with nature anytime they need.
Warsaw has it all.