Tuesday, August 15th

It turns out that this day has two holidays in Poland, which means all the musuems are closed, but we still managed to find a lot to do. The “Feast of the Assumption” meant that it was a bank holiday, the museums were closed and there were a lot of church services in the name of Mary. The “Day of the Polish Army” meant that it was a bank holiday, the museums were closed, and the army was showing off the wares: helicopters were flying around the city, army men were showing of their gear: tanks, hummers, rocket launchers, tents with information desks and computers, privates in camaflage and officers in formal uniforms. We went to the Wazienki Park, a huge park with a summer palace where Polish kings and noblemen took holiday. In one of the smaller buildings coverted into a museum there was a piano concert. The room was packed with people in their Sunday best and in formal military uniforms, as well as rhe media. We stood outside and listened to a piece by Chopin as the bored Peacocks strolled through the grounds. There is this understanding between the birds (ducks, swans, peackocks) and the park visitors; the birds ignore all visitors and the visitors get to look at them and take pictures, if a visitor attempts to touch a bird they take a chance of not only being re-buffed by the other visitors but also by the birds themselves. We walked through the whole park, glimpse a popular music concert in honor of the army at the island ampitheater, and made our way to the rose garden with the Chopin monument where army and airforce orchestras were playing classical Polish pieces from the early 1900’s of “the young Poland” era to the popular military orchestra sound of Benny Miller. Next we made our way to the “Old Town”. It had cobblestone streets, red roofs, accordion players on the streets and vendors of all kinds from amber, paintings and imaginatove nicknacks to total tacky ridiculous junk, well technically its all junk that collect dust but some of it significantly prettier than other stuff. We strolled around the streets and enjoyed the evening. It was a great day with beautiful weather.

–Marzena