Well, it was inevitably bound to happen, alas, but the time has come for me to say goodbye to Warsaw and return home to my regular (radio) life in Stockholm. My month-long summer stay is coming to an end and thus it’s time to close this blog (my first!). A project I’ve enjoyed doing and to my delight has caught much more attention than I had expected. And the fact that my scattered “outsider” impressions have received so many followers among the insiders, you inhabitants of Warsaw, is especially surprising – and rewarding. Dzięki (thanks) to you all for support and Lubię to!

"All I Can See is the Palace"

"All I Can See is the Palace" © Karolina Breguła

I thought I’d end with this WaWaBeginner blog with this spot-on Warsaw work by visual artist Karolina Breguła, an illustration combining two iconic relics of the old Communist era: The Palace of Culture and Science and “The Little One”.

Smack in the centre of town stands the city’s most visible landmark, The Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki, PKiN), the tallest building in Poland (231 m high/42 floors). Loved by tourists and less so (read detested) by (a large number of) the Varsovians. The palace, designed by the Soviet architect Lev Rudnev, was completed 1955. Joseph Stalin offered it as “a gift from the Soviet nation to the Polish people” – yet paid for by the Poles themselves.

Nicknamed Maluch, “The Little One”, Polski Fiat 126p came to symbolize freedom and modern lifestyle under the communist regime; 3 millions of them were produced in Poland from 1973-2000. Despite its very small size, it was the first popular and affordable car to motorize ordinary families. Further more it came to be regarded as a cherished family member, most probably because they had to wait years to actually get to own one.

Well, those were the days… And although some old habits clearly die hard a new Warsaw (and Poland) is emerging rapidly. An exciting evolution which I certainly hope to be back to take – a further viewing – part in.
Na razie, Warszawa!

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