Where Do You Begin?

Monday, March 19, 2018
Warsaw, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland
This morning we bid farewell to Poznan and took the Poland Intercity train direct to Warsaw, Poland’s capital. We had an early breakfast and grabbed a taxi to the train station, for convenience and because time was tight. The ride was nice. Poland’s countryside is pretty flat, at least in this area. 
I have developed a cold. Haven’t been sick all year, and now, I get a stupid cold. Hot, chills, fever-ish, cough. All kinds of fun. I really wanted to find a pharmacy to get some medicine and possibly some Vicks. I mean, I have some Vicks from Paris last summer, so why not add to my collection? 
Warsaw’s train station is huge. It’s like a mall. I found a pharmacy, picked a number, asked if she spoke English and she said ‘no.’ Normally I would’ve given up and walked away, but I wanted some Polish cold medicine badly. I stared down the woman who could quite possibly be a distant cousin and asked, ‘does anyone?’ My friend here, she said. (Sidenote: if someone in Green Bay asked if I spoke Mandarin, in Mandarin, I probably would not know what they are asking, at least not right away. If said person then asked, ‘does anyone?’ also in Mandarin, I likely would not know that either. The fact that this woman knew my question and response means she probably knows more English than I know Mandarin).  
Anyway, I explained to the lady who spoke English that I had a cough and I also spied some Vicks behind the counter. Medicine and aspirin is just not out freely. I practically jumped over the counter for it, and she couldn’t understand what I wanted. She said, ‘oh, you don’t eat that.’ I laughed and said, ‘I know, I put it under my nose and on the bottoms of my feet.’ I had my meds and off we we to hail a cab. 
We arrived at Castle Inn, grabbed some lunch at ‘Polka’ and took a walk around Stare Miasto, the Old Town. As we were in walking, I said to Dad, ‘I think this was all rebuilt as Warsaw was pretty much leveled during the War.’ He said, ‘but still. It’s impressive. How do you recreate these buildings once a town is leveled? Where do you even begin? Can you imagine Green Bay getting the crap bombed out of it and rebuilding?’ 
He made a great point. I did some research, and Warsaw was 90% destroyed. 90 PERCENT. Hitler wanted it gone, and a smaller, more economical city to take its place. Warsaw also didn’t receive any funding to rebuild. The citizens came back in droves and helped rebuild it. They relied on old paintings and drawings from the 17th century to achieve the historic look. They used brick and stones from the rubble when they could. 
We walked around, saw the Cathedral, the Palace, the Barbican (old city Wall) and had dinner at Przy Zamku, which was excellent. 
Thank you for reading.