How to visit Austria: Introducing Vienna – the most civilised city. Ever!

One of the best types of sausages in Austria – A most wonderful hotdog. In Vienna!

My! My!

I’m doing rather well!

So far this year, I’ve been to Amsterdam, I’ve been to Zaandam, I went skiing in the Czech Republic, and I’ve just got back from Vienna.

In Austria!

You know the one!

The hills are alive with music n’ all that….!

Visiting Vienna is quite delightful!

I’ve been to Austria before of course, and I’ll be telling you soon enough all about it!

Myself on the balcony of our room at the 25 Hours Hotels, Vienna!

This time however, the reason that I decided to choose Vienna was to celebrate the “0” birthday of my husbandThe Music Producer.

I wanted somewhere “nice.”

And I wanted somewhere connected to music.

Voila!

Austria!

Let’s get a little bit of history.

AUSTRIA

A horse & carriage in Vienna!

Austria, otherwise known as Österreich, is a federal republic, and a country of just over 8.7 million people.

It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. Most of Austria is highly mountainous in the Alps with its highest point 3,798 m or 12,461 ft! In fact, only 32% of the country is below 500 m or 1,640 ft!

Most people speak a local Bavarian dialect of German as their native language, although Austrian German is the actual official language of Austria!

In fact, the last time I went to Austria about 10 years ago (cough! cough!) we went hiking for a week in the Austrian Alps.

Austria, Hungary and Slovakia are so closely connected that you can easily travel between them!
p.s. Not by the alpine lift obviously!

And it was all rather pleasant until we went mushroom-picking in the forest.

The guide was explaining where we were going, and the safety of identifying edible mushrooms.

Now I speak and understand German.

In fact, I’ve done a few TV / radio programmes and spoke quite successfully (I think), in the Germanic tone expected.

But I couldn’t for the life of me understand a single word he said!

I couldn’t for the life of me, understand a single word he said!

I was standing in the middle of our mushroom-picking crowd, so I moved to the front.

No can do!

I stood literally eyeball to eyeball with the fellow, in order to enhance my hearing.

Nope!

Nothing!

Nada!

I was quite distressed.

I was quite distressed.

And my husband wasn’t with us.

So I turned to my son who was five (5) years old at the time, to see if the guide was speaking utter nonsense, or if it was just me.

It was just me!

My toddler had to translate things so that we wouldn’t get poisoned, and die!!

Ooops!

I needed to know what we doing, so that we wouldn’t get poisoned with mushrooms, and die!!

Back to the history!

The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty, when the vast majority of the country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria retained its position as one of the great powers of Europe. However, after the fall of Napoleon, German Prussia emerged as the leader of the Germanic-speaking countries with the Austrian Empire reformed into Austria-Hungary, thus excluding Austria from the then new German Empire.

Sadly, it was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on June 28th, 1914, and the troubles thereafter, that ultimately led Europe into World War I!

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, 1914 – whose death brought the onset of WWI.

After the collapse of the Habsburg (Austro-Hungarian) Empire in 1918 at the end of World War I, Austria attempted a union with Germany which, by the Treaty of Saint Germain and the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, forbade both the union and the continued use of the name “German-Austria” – Deutschösterreich. Until Adolf Hitler invaded and annexed Austria in 1938.

As a result, the Republic of Austria ceased to exist as an independent state, and officially became a legalised part of Germany, until 1955!

If you’re worried, don’t be.

Present day Austria is a lovely country, and the locals are hilarious!

Present day Austria is a lovely country known for it’s human rights policy, democracy, skiing, hiking, music, classical ballroom dancing, art and culture.

Austria has a very high standard of living, and is one of the richest countries in the world!

In fact, even Germans flock to Austria because of it’s wealth of opportunity!

And many of them go to Vienna!

WHY GO TO VIENNA?

The majestic sight of St. Peter’s Church, probably the oldest church in Vienna!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

OhMiGosh!

Where do I start?

Vienna is an imperial beauty!

It’s the capital of Austria and the cultural. economic, and political centre of Austria.

With a population of just 1.8 million, Vienna is the second (2nd) largest German-speaking city in the world, after Berlin!

Vienna is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. In fact, Prague, Slovakia, and Budapest, are but a few cheap hours away!

And just in case you have a couple more days to spare, this is what I wrote about them:

Myself as lovely as Prague!

PRAGUE:

BUDAPEST:

BRATISLAVA:

Look how wide and green Vienna is!

Vienna is not only the capital of Austria, but also the city in Europe with the highest ration of green space, woods, grasslands, parks, and gardens which make up almost 50% of the city, beating even my most beloved city of Berlin!

Vienna also has the most frequently photographed monument in the city – the golden statue of Johann Strauss, has the circus fairground of Parter, the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace Gardens, the Vienna Woods, vineyards, farmlands, and the wetlands of the legendary Danube River!

A genius such as Ludwig van Beethoven.

Vienna has a history to be jealous of, going further back than roughly 15B.C!

A precious heritage, charming traditions, imperial architecture, museums, art collections, works of art, the world’s first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud, the home of musical geniuses such as Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Brahms and Mahler, as well as the era of the Habsburgs who reigned for more than six (6) centuries!

Vienna is rich in baroque, historicism, art nouveau, as well as a nod to a world-class cultural complex and a future-oriented design of 60,000 square meters of space for a highly creative cultural scene in the Museums Quartier where we stayed, and in fact, all of the city!

Vienna is a city of beauty.

What not to like?

Wow!

Myself outside one of the Habsburgs palaces in the Museums Quartier, Vienna!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

I’ve got lots to say about Vienna, so I’ll tell you all about it next week. If you really can’t wait, there are loads of pictures and funny quips on Twitter!

Book your hotel here!

HOW TO VISIT AUSTRIA: INTRODUCING VIENNA – THE MOST CIVILISED CITY. EVER!

How to visit Austria: Introducing Vienna – the most civilised city. Ever!

This article is part – sponsored by the Vienna Tourist Board and I received a press discount from the 25 Hours Hotels, but all opinions and the charming traditions that I experienced, are my very own! Thanks so much!

In April & May, I’ll be visiting Croatia, Sweden & Finland!

From 07.03.17 – 09.03.17, our friends – the British musical and comedy duo – Carrington Brown – will be performing Germany’s premiere of Carrington-Brown feat. The Swonderful Orchestra: Comedy meets Classics at Tipi!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in March, I really can’t help you!

How to visit Austria: Introducing Vienna – the most civilised city. Ever!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How to visit Austria: Introducing Vienna – the most civilised city. Ever!

Have you ever been to Austria? Is Vienna a civilised city? Share & let me know below! 

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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15 incredible reasons why you should visit Bath in 2016: Heigh Ho!

A close up of a statue outside the Roman Baths. ©VisitBritain Simon Winnall
A close up of a statue outside the Roman Baths.
©VisitBritain Simon Winnall

2016 is going to be an awesome year and with so many wonderful destinations, you simply can’t go wrong! However, there is one country that I didn’t mention.

My own!

Yep!

Ye olde England.

The land of Shakespeare, punk-rock and meadow-stricken poetry. Steam trains, historical ships and windy beaches. That country of quaint rose-budded cottages, fairground dodgems and draughty castles. The land of Hope. And Glory.

And History!

Roman History to be exact, and which can be found all the United Kingdom.

The steaming Roman Baths!
The steaming Roman Baths!

Even my own original home-town of Manchester began with a civilian settlement and was once known as Mancunium established sometime around 79 AD, so is it any wonder that I often find myself drawn to old cities rather than the new. Cities that by merely stepping on them, you know you are encroaching on the heads of many civilisations before us.

Cities such as Bath.

If you recall, at the end of 2015 I went to Bristol, and whilst there, I decided to avail myself of the opportunity to visit the city of Bath too. For Bath, I wasn’t comped but was given press passes for Visit Bath.

Thanks so much!

Now Bath isn’t a new destination to me, in fact, I’ve probably been there three (3) or four (4) times previously, but it was years ago.  And you know what they say about people and cities changing…!

Surprisingly, it  had hardly changed at all except for one or two rather marvellous things. Read on to find out what they were!

BATH

A night view of the Great Bath of The Roman Baths - a World Heritage site ©VisitBritain - David Angel
A night view of the Great Bath of The Roman Baths – a World Heritage site
©VisitBritain – David Angel

Bath is in England.

It’s a city in Somerset, in a county in the South West of the country, and has a population of about just 89,000 people.

Bath really became famous when it turned into a spa and was known as Aquae Sulis or the waters of Sulis by the Romans, who built sophisticated baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, sometime around AD60. Like Budapest, the hot springs and waters were already known to have magical properties way before the Romans ever came on the scene!

Don’t you want to know more?

WHY GO TO BATH?

The Pump Room in Bath.
The Pump Room in Bath.

Bath is simply, quite English. I’m going to give you ten (10) incredible reasons why!

  • It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site: The city of Bath is one of the only few places in the world that includes that of the whole city. Yep! The complete city of Bath is the Heritage Site itself! Isn’t that marvellous?
  • It’s an architectural feast: Bath has an impressive showcase of Georgian architecture, such as the very famous No.1 Royal Crescent, the Circus, the Pump Room and the Assembly Rooms,
  • Roman spas: Bath has the steaming remains of Britain’s most beautiful Roman spas and you can still drink the waters too and I did. It was warm but slightly salty!
Sham Castle.
Sham Castle.
  • History: When you think of the Georgian era in England, that era begins from the reigns of the first four Hanoverian kings of Great Britain who were all named George: George I, George II, George III (otherwise known as Mad King George!) and George IV. This most splendid era covers periods from 1714 to 1830 and is typically used in the contexts of social history, architecture, the introduction of the Gothic Revival style, and a golden age of building design. This era also brought about massive social change not only in Britain but also abroad, as this was the birth and beginning of the Industrial Revolution, British world domination in the colonies, and the new British Empire!
  • It’s small: Just imagine, genteel strolling down wide streets, bonnets, breeches….and other things! Bath is so small that you can practically walk everywhere, there’s a lot of pretty things to see and there’s really no need to use public transport at all!
  • It’s famous for films & television shoots: I’m sure there’s not one person among us who hasn’t fallen prey to the romantic gestures of the gorgeous Mr. Darcy or the heaving bosom of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice. How about The Duchess or the very English tragi-comedy of Vanity Fair? All filmed or shot in Bath.
Jane Austen & I!
Jane Austen & I!
  • Bath’s most famous writer: You can’t even think about Bath without first mention of the most talented Jane Austen who found Bath not only lively and fashionable, but quite romantic and exciting! Think Sense & Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and of course, Pride & Prejudice. Jane Austen even has her own museum which is based in a house on her old street where she used to live! The museum is actually a Centre in which you get a tour, watch a film, wear the clothes and stay for tea!
  • Because the first (1st) ever postage stamp in the world, known as the Penny Black, and with the profile of young Queen Victoria, was sent from Nr 8, Broad Street, on 2nd May, 1840 in Bath!
The Bath Abbey.
The Bath Abbey.
  • Bath Abbey: The beautiful Abbey Church was founded in the 7th century and even though Bath is a city, it doesn’t have a Cathedral! In fact, if you ever get lost, just look for the steeple tower of the abbey!
  • Fashionable Bath: Bath became most fashionable and the place to be, in the 18th century and this was reflected in it’s shopping. It still is, as Bath is the official residence of the famous Sex in the City shoe-maker and designer – Manolo Blahnik!
  • Bath has a river: You know how much I love rivers having been born in Manchester previously lived in Prague as an expat, and now living in Berlin. Bath has the River Avon and the Avon Canal running right through which you can walk, cycle or canoe through.
The famous Sally Lunn Bun!
The famous Sally Lunn Bun!
  • The Sally Lunn Bath Bun: Bath is famous for a popular local speciality known as the Sally Lunn Bun. It’s one of the things that you must try when in Bath. The Sally Lunn can only be found in Bath’s oldest historic eating house from the 17th century! The Sally Lunn Bun is a light and airy semi-sweet bread-like bun and is sort of a cross between a scone and a traditional bun which is only baked and sold, in Bath.
  • Culture: There are so many museums in Bath that you’ll leave far cleverer than when you arrived! There’s the Museum of Bath Architecture. the Museum of Bath at Work, The Herschel Museum of Astronomy, The Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House & Museum, The Postal Museum, The Old Theatre Royal & Masonic Museum, The Motor Museum and the American Museum in Britain. There’s even a Fashion Museum which I enjoyed very much!
©VisitBritain Joanna Henderson
©VisitBritain
Joanna Henderson
  • It’s genteel: Bath is polite. It’s clean. It’s respectable. It’s refined and cultivated. It’s England.
  • Because Bath: Where else can you find a city with a name like a bathtub!

TAKE ME THERE?

20 years of Easy Jet flying!

If you recall, even though I was a guest of Visit Bristol, I paid my own way for Bath.

If you’re an international tourist, you can either fly directly into Bristol Airport or fly into London and take the train from London Paddington into Bristol Temple Meads which takes just 90 minutes. Bath is just 15 minutes away by train.

Just like Bristol, there’s an Airport Air Decker Bus which goes to and from Bath to Bristol Airport and takes about 1 hour, has a frequency of every thirty (30) minutes, and costs £20.00 for an Adult Return ticket!

If you’re already in England and looking for a cheaper way to get into Bath, the bus-coach is the way to go with the National Express or Megabus. It’s not the quickest way being almost 3 hours, but it runs straight from London Victoria Coach Station, London Heathrow and London Gatwick and if you book waaaay ahead, tickets can be as little as £1.00!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Hundreds of people watch a re-enactment of a fighting scene, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
Out of my way by Jove!

It can be!

Bath is a popular destination not only for international tourists but British ones too.

WHAT IS BATH LIKE?

Pulteney Bridge in Bath!
Pulteney Bridge in Bath!

Bath is very nice.

With just 89,000 people, it’s also quite small.

I was there for only two (2) days but I found plenty to do.

Bath is appealing and easy to get around. It’s full of history that is out there and alive, is of pleasant charm, and packed with a fabulous mix of independent shops and top high-street names.

I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH VERY WELL.

Don't worry!
Don’t worry!

Not. A. Problem.

Everywhere you go are people with huge smiles ready to help you.

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

Ha! Ha! It’s England. We’re cultured and civilised!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Pulteney House B&B in Bath, England.
My B&B in Pulteney House!

Bath isn’t London but it isn’t known for being your cheap destination either!

Being that I was on my own dime, I found “acceptable” accommodation more difficult to find within my budget, as when travelling solo I’m a lot more flexible and prefer to spend less, rather than more lol! Happily, I found something that fitted my requirements.

As a lifestyle travel blogger, it’s necessary to try a variety of outlets but as you know, I prefer the more quaint boutique, the art design or classy establishment, but from time-to-time, I go back to basics and give my custom to the more traditional place who have never even heard of a blogger, and since it was my “rest-I-have-no-appointments-and-I-don’t-have-to-be-anywhere-or-do-anything” days, I paid full price for it lol!

I decided to stay at a B&B called Pulteney House.

Myself outside Pulteney House!
Myself outside Pulteney House!

I chose Pulteney House not only because the price was right but ‘cos it was a large 1852 Grade 2 listed Victorian house and a family business located in a leafy residential area, and just a 10 minute brisk walk from the Bath Abbey.

I loved the walk as you have to pass the river and the cricket club is just 5 minutes away. Pulteney House is very convenient, safe and clean.

I booked the Single Room (sigh!) with a private bathroom and although my room wasn’t en-suite, my private bathroom was across the hallway opposite my room, and was exclusively for my sole private use. Phew!

British bedrooms are small and this one was no exception, but fitted my needs and had a large flat screen TV which I tried to use, but fell asleep watching, wardrobe, sink-in-room, desk and table, tea and coffee-maker, dressing gown and fast free WiFi.

Lovely porridge & honey.
Lovely porridge & honey.

The dining room was a little 1970’s with the grandfather clock and the red-patterned carpet, but the daily breakfast of fruit, cereal, croissant, toast, varieties of teas, mustard, brown sauces, and traditional English breakfast, plus bowls of porridge was quite lovely and really, to be highly recommended!

The owners were friendly and helpful. It’s not the Ritz Carlton by any means, but if you’re looking for the “real deal” then the Pulteney House B&B is one to try.

For a Small Single Room with Private Bathroom, I paid £60.00 a night. Double en-suites are between £80 to £120 a night. With a full English breakfast.

For Bath. Quite the bargain!

I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?

An English breakfast in Bristol.

Sure!

Book with the boutique Bed and Breakfast (B&B) – Brooks Guest House. I had already stayed with them in Bristol and I was awfully pleased however, it was necessary to try a variety of outlets so the traditional B&B it had to be!

Yes indeed!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

You can walk everywhere in Bath!
You can walk everywhere in Bath!

Honestly, Bath is so small that there’s really no need to use public transport at all which I found out on the first day! I arrived in the evening and being that it was winter, it was also very dark, so I took a taxi. The taxi driver charged me £7.00 for effectively taking me one (1) minute around the corner! Both the bus and train stations are about 10 minutes away so I could have walked!

Oh, and he took the long way too!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Grab yourself some English fish n'chips!
Grab yourself some English fish n’chips!

Take a stroll and run along the field of Nr. 1 Royal Crescent.

Don’t even think of missing the Roman Baths.

Have a sip of the waters.

If you’ve got some time, get yourself some traditional fish n’chips with mushy peas, gravy and a good old meat pie!

Switch off the heating in your room as it can get rather stuffy and open the window. If you can. Just don’t forget to close it…..!

Oh yeah, there’s some sort of bizarre comedy walk in Bath. I was too tired to venture into “town” again but if you’re up for it, I hear that they’re quite hilarious!

MY VERDICT:

I’m a great fan of Bath.

It’s got art, culture, a sense of humour, great history and a vibrant cosmopolitan vibe.

Highly recommended.

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Absolutely!

Bath is impressive. I hope to visit again very soon.

Go Visit Bath!

Take a bath in Bath! ©VisitBritain Jon Spaull
Take a bath in Bath!
©VisitBritain Jon Spaull

This article is not sponsored and even though I was given press passes for Visit Bath, all opinions and the wonderful Sally Lunn Bun I devoured, are my very own!

If you have any questions about Bath, the UK, Germany or anywhere in Europe, don’t be shy, I’m an expert! Go ahead and ask me!

I have so much to share with you so next week you can read what I did at Fashion Week Berlin!

It’s January. Yippee!

Berlin Fashion Week is coming up and will take place between January 19th and January 23rd, 2016. Save the Date!

The Conference on the Future of Fashion will take place at #FASHIONTECH BERLIN on January 20th. Tickets are free!

The British Shorts Short Film Festival will take place between January 21st and January 25th. It’s going to be really cool. I went last year & enjoyed it very much plus, there’s a festival workshop & a 48 hour film project absolutely free of charge, but you have to hurry!

If you’re not in Berlin in January, where the hell are you.

January is going to be exciting!

Watch this space!

15 incredible reasons why you should visit Bath in 2016. Heigh Ho!

Have you ever been to the city of Bath? Have you ever been to a Spa?

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

Please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

I’m going to Warsaw – It’s going to be astonishing and quite wacky!

Chopin - Classical Warsaw - Poland's most famous composer and virtuoso pianist.
Chopin – Poland’s most famous composer and virtuoso pianist.

So in the very nearest future, I’m going to Warsaw.

Yep!

Warsaw.

In Poland.

I like Poland. Very much. In fact, I have a love affair with the Czech Republic and I like Eastern Europe too. I always have and I probably always will.

Nevertheless, Europe has been in the news over the awful way some countries have treated in-coming refugees, many of whom have witnessed terrible situations.

Greece - #Refugeesarewelcome.
Compassion – #Refugeesarewelcome.

It’s distressing to see.

This blog. My blog is not about politics but every now and then I put in a line or two over a contemporary issue that affects us all, and my two shakes about this is that our help is needed. It’ll be winter soon and the refugees will need protection, food, clothing and shelter but most importantly, they’ll need understanding and compassion.

#Refugeesarewelcome.

Back to the topic at hand.

Pooooooland!

I’ve been going to Poland on and off for probably about twenty (20) years. The first place that I ever went to was Krakow. It’s a lovely place and has a history of dragons!

At the opera in Krakow. Courtesy of krakow.pl
At the opera in Krakow. Courtesy of krakow.pl

At the time, I was doing a six (6) week road-trip around Eastern Europe and we were just into the second (2nd) week when my German boyfriend (Ha! How I like German boys!!!) became ill and since I don’t drive we had to call our insurance company to send over a driver so that we could get home.

And they did!

Meanwhile, we had booked into a hostel and I had taken out the Polish equivalent of £200 just the day previous, as we didn’t know when next we would find a bank. It was the mid-90’s you see…! Poland was surprisingly civilised and up to par with technology when even Berlin at that time, had problems accepting an EC card, not to talk of a credit card.

It sometimes still does!

Anyway, once we knew that we couldn’t continue our trip, I obviously wanted to return the Polish Zloty that I had, as the currency was not convertible. If you had it, you kept it, used it, or lost it.

I didn’t want to lose £200 so I asked the Polish bank in Krakow to reconvert the cash for me.

Ummm!

They said No!

No?

No!

Why not?

Apparently, that was the bank managers monthly salary and it was a huge amount of money in those days and anyway, who did I think I was?

Bloody, stupid tourists!

!&%$?!

money

I was quite arrogant in those days so I stamped my pretty little foot and insisted that I speak to the bank manager.

The bank manager came out as I was beginning to make a British scene. He agreed that I was in my rights to ask for a currency exchange but it would take a couple of days as it was such a huge amount of money and they didn’t have enough British money, only US dollars.

I didn’t want US dollars. I wanted my precious British pound sterling.

In cash.

And then the bank manager got ugly and said that there was no proof that I had even withdrawn any money from their bank!

Aha!

I’m quite an organised lady especially where my hard-earned money is concerned and I’ve even got receipts from twenty (20) years ago, not to talk of 24 hours!

I handed the bank manager the cash machine receipt, my credit card and my passport and it all tallied up. Indeed, I had withdrawn £200 worth of Zloty merely a few hours previously.

I got all my money in full.

And I still like Krakow.

I returned a few years later on a wintry November afternoon where I tried very hard to spend €50.00 worth of Zloty all weekend, and I couldn’t.

Everything was awfully cheap in those days.

It still is!

Bernardo Bellotto: a Venetian painter in Warsaw - Musée du Louvre.
Bernardo Bellotto: a Venetian painter in Warsaw – Musée du Louvre.

Warsaw, I’m told, isn’t.

Ah Warsaw.

Gulp!

I try to go to Poland every two (2) years or so. Yes. I like it that much but I tend to go to Poland ‘cos I like the Baltic Sea.

And I’ll tell you a secret. I like the Polish Baltic Sea more than I like the German Baltic Sea.

Oooops!

Here’s some history.

POLAND

In Poland.

Poland also known as the Republic of Poland is a country in Eastern – Central Europe. It’s border is about 1.5 hours away from Germany so if you visit Berlin, then Poland is pretty much a hop and a skip away! Poland is also surrounded by the Czech Republic, Slovakia (not Slovenia), the Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and of course, the Baltic Sea itself!

It’s an old country dating back from 966 and is enormously proud of its post-communist background and historic roots.

It’s the sixth (6th) largest EU country and even though it joined the European Union in 2004, it still retained it’s own currency known as the Polish Zloty (PLN) which today is 100 PLN or €23.7 / $26.5.

WARSAW

Warsaw by Night - Poland.

Warsaw is the capital of Poland and has been for over 400 years! It’s Poland’s largest city and is a living, breathing cultural space. The old part of town was founded in the 13th century and is surrounded by city walls which were destroyed during WWII. In 1980, Warsaw became a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Culture and is now a lively place, bustling with tourists and locals, and crammed with art, archeology, historical exhibitions and society.

Warsaw is a bustling metropolis and features an unforgettable aristocratic history, a pulsing nightlife and enchanting parks.

It sounds like just the type of place that I would go to.

And yet.

I’ve never ever been to Warsaw.

Ever!

in Warsaw.

I had always heard that Warsaw was an ugly place with no character or heart until I met some Polish people at our B&B in Lithuania. They came from Warsaw. We got chatting and I asked them to tell me about Warsaw. They told me it had a river and beaches.

It. Had. A. River.

You know how much I love river-states having lived in them all my life, in one place or the other!

As soon as I heard that I just knew that I had to go visit for myself.

To say that I’m excited is to say the very least. In fact, I’m not excited, I’m thrilled and exhilarated!

I’m not even there yet and already I’ve had a bevy of people just dying to show me around. Thank you so much everyone!

WHAT IS THE BRITISH BERLINER GOING TO BE DOING IN WARSAW?

The Deutsche Bahn train leaving Berlin.
The Deutsche Bahn train leaving Berlin.

Well, I’m going to be travelling by train.

Yay!

I love trains!

I’m going to meet up for a few drinks on the day that I arrive. I’m going to be a hanging out in an old communist van with Adventure Warsaw.

Adventure Warsaw
Adventure Warsaw

Adventure Warsaw is an urban off-the-beaten-track sightseeing tour. I’m going to be introduced to pre-World War Warsaw, shown around the Praga neighbourhood, given the low-down of contemporary Warsaw, learning about the communist era, having lunch at a milk-bar and hopping around town in a genuine classic Nysa 1968 Polish van!

It’ll be charming!

I’ll be doing my own personal historical tours as I hear their museums and galleries are something that I must just see. In the evening, I’ll be snacking and going for cocktails on Warsaw’s oldest Pub Crawl.

Cocktails at the rooftop bar of Cloud 47 in Bangkok!
Cocktails at the rooftop bar of Cloud 47 in Bangkok!

Yes! I’ll be putting my glad rags on, strapping my boots, sipping on classics and downing some shots.

I might even go clubbing.

Warsaw Pub Crawl, Poland.

Oh god! I’m used to being on the guest list and having a car take me home or a driver waiting.

Wish me luck!

Polish Your Cooking
Polish Your Cooking

I’ll also be doing something culturally useful and learning how to make one of my favourite Polish dishes – pierogi. I’ll be joining Polish your Cooking who have bravely offered to teach me how to master some culinary skills and familiarize with the local cuisine in a fun and casual atmosphere.

I’m going to have breakfast with them, learn about the history and cuisine of Polish cooking and make Pierogi Grandma Style. We even get a certificate too.

I just hope nobody dies!

Insects on food! Photo@ blogspot.com
Insects on food!
Photo@ blogspot.com
And to add to the excitement, I’m going to be staying at a unique designer boutique hotel called Autor Rooms. The hotel is located in one of Warsaw’s most beautiful and historic kamienica-style residential buildings and is an artistic concept all of it’s own. Designed by independent young creatives from a world of fashion, crafts, art and design, I really can’t wait to see the outcome for myself.
The creators & owners of Author Rooms!
The creators & owners of Author Rooms!

Even though I’ll be a guest of the above organisations and be part-sponsored by the hotel, all opinions and the interesting architecture that I’m bound to find interesting, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Stay tuned!

In the next few weeks, I’ll be at the following events:

From 28.09.15 – 07.10.15 the Bar Jeder Vernunft will be presenting, for one (1) week only, a festival of top British entertainment – Britain’s Best! Music and Comedy.

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re going to Warsaw or Bristol or Bath, let me know!

September is going to be surprising!

Watch this space!

I'm going to Warsaw!

Have you ever been to Warsaw? Would you like to go to Poland?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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