May 27, 2009

First Day In Poland

Today was our arrival to Warsaw Poland. It started rising early Saturday morning and taking the short flight over to Chicago. Everything went smoothly and since we had extra time, a group of us was able to have lunch at Gerodano’s. This is Chicago’s finest for deep dish pizza and boy was it good. I had two huge pieces and could have had more. That killed most of the time we had to wait until check-in and so we headed back to the airport. A couple hours later we were on the plane and ready for our CEE adventure to begin. I spent the 8 hour flight just reading, sleeping, or making funny faces at the little boy sitting in front of me.

Once we landed I as happy to find that for the first time in my 4 international trips, the airline company had not lost my bag! This was a good start to the trip. We were meet by Gosha (a student) and a professor Bogdan from the Warsaw school of economics. We took a bus to our Hostel and were then told we had the rest of the day to explore. The group of Jesse, Olena, Justin, Mike, and Nate all went out to lunch and then following up with some exploration of the city center. We rode the oldest underground subway in Europe to the Centerum. The city is not huge and did not overly impress me. We only walked the very commercial area, and those areas for me are not very interesting because they are just like back home. That is until we went into the old town. It was everything ou see in european medeval pictures. I love it.
Prices are reasonable here but I have yet to exchange money so I am nervous carrying so much cash around. After exploring we returned to the hostel and I went for a run. I explored more of the city and casually jogged through some parks. I was happy to see more classic architecture and real character in the neighborhoods I jogged through. I finally showered up and then meet up with a larger group and had dinner.
Tomorrow we will be getting the official guided tour and meet our polish counterparts for the project. I hope I get to see more of this beautiful city.