Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Weekend escape to Poland

This past week, Jignesh was in Poland for work. So, I joined him and we extended the visit into the weekend. While there are certaintly some tourists sights (castles, musuems, etc) to explore, we decided to toss the clip board of fun and just relax. Our trip began in Warsaw where we enjoyed a night in one of Poland's most luxurious hotels, Le Meridien Bristol. We enjoyed a huge suite, an amazing breakfast, and the service of a doorman dressed in a funny robe and hat. The best part...it was free! While in Warsaw, we dined at a traditional and unusual Polish restaurant. The restuarant used to be a full service hotel until it lost its hotel license. However, the owners were able to retain their food and beverage license and began operating a resturant literally inside the hotel's old kitchen. While the walls were bare and there were no other decorations to please the eye, the atmosphere was still fantastic as all the food was prepared at your table and servers weaved between the closely placed tables carrying all sorts of ingredients. We did manage to a little more (ok, not that much more) in Warsaw than stay at nice hotels and eat lots of food. We also experienced a bit of Warsaw's nightlife with Jignesh's co-workers and wondered through the beutiful streets of old town.

Since we had the fancy hotel for only one night, we decided at the last minute to hop on a train and head to Krakow for two nights. The train was a nice 2 1/2 hour ride through the snowy Polish countryside. Upon arriving in Krakow, we discovered our hotel luck would continue as we were able to use Jignesh's points for free nights. Score! Krakow is an amazing city with charming arcitecture and friendly locals. The Rynek, Krakow's main attraction, is the largest medieval town square. It is the perfect place to grab a coffe or do some shopping. It also holds the famous cloth hall. One of the original centers of international trade, today cloth hall is home endless booths selling amber jewelry, lace, and other various trinkets. Krakow also allowed us to sample some of Poland's traditional foods. Bigos, a savory stew of cabbage and meat, has no standard recipe and is often prepared with whatever leftovers are found around the house. It is common for Polish households to keep a large pot of bigos for over a week and just refresh it with additional ingredients when necessary! Our bigos was overflowing with cabbage, onions, sausage, mushrooms and various spices. It was surprisingly light and so so yummy! In addition to bigos, we also had some delicious pierogies and hearty, homemade soups. Oh, I cannot forget the round, bagel like things sold from stands on the street.

Our weekend was short but perfect! It was nice to getaway from the expensive restaurants and shops of Geneva and enjoy a slice of eastern Europe!

Au Revoir

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九份 said...
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