A few days after my birthday this year, we headed towards Europe for the first time since 2012. We were going to Poland! I was stoked to be flying this route as it was scheduled on the new 787 on LOT Airlines. I would meet the hubs there a day later (since his vacation time is limited) and looked forward to my first international solo flight.
I flew business on the LOT flight, it was only a two cabin plane, and the first thing I noticed were the windows. They were MASSIVE. My flight route was NY - Warsaw direct and I was looking forward to catching up on some movies and sleep as the plane took off.
The seat itself was comfy enough, although it seemed to be a little narrow for a sleeping seat. The cabin felt open and airy, due to the design of the plane, and I really enjoyed that feature. It kept the aircraft cooler than normal, making it much easier to sleep.
The ride was relatively uneventful and service was what I expected based on reviews from fellow bloggers. It was a bit aloof but attentive, which I prefer on sleeping flights.
My only complaint with the flight was the timing of the meal service. It look over 1.5 hours to begin the service and on a 7 hour flight, that's a lot of sleeping time to cut into. Once it began, I opted for just the appetizer and entree so I could tuck in but overall, it was still a 2.5 hour process from takeoff to meal time. I also opted out of a pre-arrival meal for the same reason.
The meal itself was yummy. I had a glass of Champagne to kick off the flight and double as a nightcap followed by a tuna salad and the beef filet. The tuna was spicy but delicious and the beef was one of the better cuts I've had in the sky.
We landed around noon in Warsaw and because of my lack of sleep on the flight, I checked into the hotel and took a nap. (fyi - never do this - it just makes jetlag 100 times worse)
We booked the Radisson Blu Sobieski Hotel, using points, back when they were running their second night free promo. Not only did we score a nice hotel for free but it only cost us one night in points, score! I do recommend this hotel but note that it is a short walk to any train stop and not as close to the main attractions of Warsaw as we had originally hoped.
When I woke up, I took a shower and got dressed and headed next door to a tapas place I found online. Yes, my first meal in Poland were tapas!
The meal was delicious and exactly what I needed after a travel day. The portions were huge and each one tasted so much better than I anticipated. I sat with my guidebook from the hotel (valuable resource guys!) and drank incredibly great, and cheap, red wine, with my food. It was an anti-climatic day but very European so I loved it.
The next day, I headed out for my day of solo adventure! I took a cab to the Old Town and walked around for hours. It was everything you imagine Europe to be, with some eastern European influences sprinkled around. Warsaw was bombed heavily during the war so every single building was rebuilt to look exactly like the original. I love that they preserved what the city looked like before war took over.
I spent some time shopping for Christmas presents (something I like to do during all of our travels) and had lunch in the Old Town. It ended up being a tourist trap but I did get to enjoy my first Pierogi!
After lunch, I walked down to the Chopin museum and was completely overwhelmed with the technology behind this place. First, you're given an RFID card to swipe over anything you'd like more information on. Then, you wander through the museum unlocking music at every turn. It's a great way to keep the exhibits interactive and a perfect way for the museum to see what the most popular exhibits are. My favorite was musical twister!
That afternoon, I met Curtis back at the hotel and we spent the rest of the night shopping. Because his connection in LA was so tight, his bag never made it on his flight. Let's just say European and styles and the hubs don't mix so it was a night filled with laughter and lots of trying on clothes!
The next morning, we headed out to Park Wilanowski and toured the palace there. The grounds are groomed like a mini-Versailles and were stunning. We arrived about a week to early to see the rose garden in bloom but from what we could tell, it was about to give a beautiful show.
We finished the day off going to Old Town and enjoying a three-glass tasting of hot chocolate at a local chocolate shop.
It was a quick cab ride back to the hotel to grab our bags and board the 3 hour train to Krakow!
DFW - Houston on United, Houston - NYC on United, NYC - Warsaw on LOT Airlines
Old Town Warsaw
The Royal Palace in Old Town
La Vina, Vino & Tapas
E. Wedel Czekolady (Chocolate Shop)