Friday, December 12, 2008

An Evening in Warsaw at Watch Docs

My first day in Warsaw started at 2PM after an all night flight from San Francisco. It was 5AM in San Francisco. I slept s much as I could on the 14 + hour flight. I am glad I did. Marta and Michael from Watch Docs picked me up at the WAW and escorted me to the Hotel Ibis where the filmmakers were staying. The hotel is next to the "Old City."

After shower I was ready to go out and see the city with Marta. Marta is a beautiful young woman in her last year at the university where she studies dance, photography and languages like Russian, Indian and English, which she is very fluent in. I was really lucky to have such a knowledgeable and pleasant guide to show me Warsaw for the first time.

The old city has many beautiful with beautiful old buildings filled with restaurants, antique stores and gift shops. The square is the original heart of the old city which still has one wall left standing from when it part of the castle fortress. The square was filled with vendors in little wooden stalls selling traditional foods and other items. If I could only bring back some of the traditional smoked meats, fish, cheeses and breads I would be a happy man. However, the last time I brought back food from Germany where I was screening my film Ishi, the Last Yahi I ended up with a customs dog's nose in my luggage at SFO.

We went up a steep and tiny corridor to the top of a watchtower and looked down on the city which was lit up for Christmas. It gave us a spectacular view of the city decorated for Christmas. You might notice in the background of the photo at the top of the page a tall building with a golden tower in the distance. Marta explained to me the that The Palace of Culture and Science was built by the Russians and given as a "gift" to the citizens of Poland from their occupiers.

The more we walked around the city the more I realized how little I knew about Poland, its culture and wonderful people.

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