by Shery Wolff
The unfortunate turn of events this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak left many people stranded in their homes for months. The pleasures of taking a flight, falling asleep, and landing in paradise a few short hours later were stripped away from us. Some children did not get to go to their summer camps and see their friends from around the world. There isn’t much anyone can do, but stay safe and stop the virus from spreading any more.
There is a break coming up for the ASW community, and many are going to end up at home, packing all of those Netflix shows into their daily schedule. What they might not know is that Warsaw hides so many of its own little paradises, which one can visit while staying safe.
Places such as museums and attraction parks aren’t an option for us anymore, but one thing which can be done during this upcoming break, is to get closer with family and friends, by exploring Warsaw’s beautiful nature,which can be called a paradise of its own. Here are a few ideas of where you could go and take your family this October break, while staying safe and social distancing.
Łazienki Park (Royal Łazienki)
This public park in the Center of warsaw is a perfect place to spend an afternoon with family and friends. The 76 hectare garden was designed in the 17th century by Tylman van Gameren, in the baroque style, for Polish military commander, Stanisław Herakliusz. This park has a beautiful palace (The Palace of the Isle) on its property, which has been preserved since it was built in the 18th century for Polish Monarch Stanisław II Augustus. There is also an old opera house which hosts many classical music events, and very often Poland’s musical pride- Chopin concerts. This is a great place to go for sight-seeing, and maybe even enjoying a picnic with family. The best part about visiting such a place, is that it can be enjoyed even while being socially distanced and safe.
Schodki nad Wisłą (Vistula’s Stairs)
Many have probably heard of the vistula river which flows across Warsaw. There are many surprises that come with this simple river. Many outdoor places hide within the banks of this river which one can enjoy at any time of the year. The boulevard of stairs beside the river is a calm spot where you can sit down and enjoy a meal, or even just to look at the views. There are many food/drink stands which follow the Polish Government’s protocol of serving the public, so you can still enjoy a snack while walking along this beautiful river. On the other side of the river, one can take a bike ride on the bike paths which are surrounded by nature and trees, and stop by the beaches which extend all throughout the river banks of the Vistula.
Poniatowski Illuminated Bridge.
While taking an afternoon stroll on the Vistula’s river bank, a good idea might be to wait till the sun sets, and the colourful lights turn on on the Poniatowski Bridge. This 509 meter steel bridge can be a great bonding experience to look at from the Vistula’s boulevards. This bridge was built between 1904 and 1914, making it over 100 years old! This bridge was renovated recently, with changing colourful lights, which bring a free light show over the water for the public to enjoy. This is a good idea for this break, as it is also in the outdoors, as it can be easily done by wearing a mask, giving you and your family a nice evening out in the city.
Biking in Warsaw
The pandemic caused many people to stay at home without being active, while our bodies really needed it. Something worth considering to do during this break is to get some fresh air while biking along Warsaw’s cycling routes which expand to 361km. One can bike around the vistula river, through forests, and even throughout the city. While it is hard to go out and enjoy the city life with shopping and restaurants, one thing which can be done while still staying safe is going out for a ride with family or friends, while still staying active, which is something that many people missed out on during the many months of the lockdown earlier this year.
It is fall after all, and where better place to take spooky season pictures than surrounded by nature in seasonal pumpkin patches. There are very many pumpkin farms around warsaw, but one in particular, addressed Przyczółkowa 2k, guarantees a wonderful experience with the hundreds of pumpkins available to buy to decorate your home, or even to be cooked into dishes that only come around once a year. This pumpkin patch not only has numerous pumpkins for you to buy and take pictures with, but also allows you to spend some time with little farm animals such as rabbits, goats, chickens and ducks. If you come here with your younger family, they will have a blast in their mini-petting zoo.
Aleje Ujazdowskie 4 holds some of the most breathtaking botanical gardens in Warsaw. This garden takes about 40 minutes to walk around, and can be a great family-bonding experience, and even a calming walk while the leaves fall off the trees.
One of the places which are most accessible to us at the moment are forests. With the latest restrictions due to the coronavirus, we have to wear masks even out on the streets. Forests are places where we can take those masks off if there is no one else around, and take in some fresh air, while being surrounded by nature and wildlife. This fall, you can take your family to forests such as Kabaty forest, Młociński Las and Bemowo Forest (and many more!) to go mushroom picking, bird spotting, or even for a fall-themed picnic.
For almost half of this year, we stayed home, and didn’t get to truly appreciate nature and the outdoors. While most of us will be staying in Warsaw over the break, it might be a wonderful idea to go spend some time outdoors, and gain all that lost time back. The best part about all these places, is that they can be visited and enjoyed while staying safe and socially distancing.