Warsaw 🇵🇱

Earlier this month, Bjørnar and I travelled to Warsaw for the weekend to explore the city and spend some time with our lovely friend Magda.

A return ticket with Wizz Air, from Bergen to Warsaw Chopin (with no luggage) only cost us 680 NOK each! (Around £62) Bargain!

We arrived at around 7pm, so our first evening was a chilled one – catching up whilst enjoying some wine, food and polish beers.

Our love for graphic design meant that we HAD to visit the Neon Museum, located in the Praga district. A small, but nonetheless, visually exciting exhibition of beautifully restored neon signs from the Cold War era. The array of designs, colours and typography were inspiring, and at only 12zł entry (27,50NOK / £2.50), it was worth every penny.

Something I noticed quickly during our trip, was how easily I got tired out. My back muscles would cause intense pain (despite wearing appropriate footwear), which then had an impact on my abdominal muscles. I’m just not cut out for all of this exploring just yet! That, combined with the fact I need to eat very often, meant that we had to take regular breaks. On the plus side, it gave us a great opportunity to enjoy some polish cuisine and drinks!

Our first stop, was a floating bar on the river, where we had a drink whilst soaking up the sun.

Then we headed to Nadwiślański Świt – a restaurant close to the river. I opted for a delicious shrimp appetiser, and managed to scoff most of it! Magda and Bjørnar had Gnocchi with Beef Cheeks. It sounds unusual, but the meat was really tender and delicious. B also sampled a few Belgian beers, from a brewery called “Grimbergen”… Since it rains a lot here in Bergen, we figured this seemed like a more fitting name for the city!

After a walk beside the river and another drink in the sun (and a quick jump on some little trampolines in the kids park 🙈), we made our way to The Heavens of Copernicus Planetarium (Niebo Kopernika) to watch “The Dark Side of the Moon”; a laser show tribute to Pink Floyd. The music combined with the psychedelic visuals and lasers was an incredible experience!

To end our Saturday, we headed into the city centre and made our way to Bar Warszawa, where we enjoyed pierogi – both Russian style and Polish. I’d tried the Russian style pierogi before, but the (Polish) meat ones were to die for! They reminded me of the filling in a Cornish Pasty. 😋 This was washed down with some 8% Polish Porter (I’m a sucker for dark beer, can’t handle too much fizz these days!)

Whilst eating and drinking, we had front row seats to a a live performance; a talented trio called “Ferajna z Baru Warszawa”, that played old “folk” Warsaw music from the 1920s and upwards. If I’d have had a few more porters in me, I would have been up dancing! I loved it!

After a well deserved lie-in on Sunday, we headed to the Chopin Museum. It’s free admission on Sundays, but make sure to book tickets in advance as it gets busy 😉

I don’t know much about classical music, but after visiting the Greig museum in Bergen, I felt inspired to visit the Chopin museum. Both music and art history interest me a lot!

During our visit, we were able to listen to some of his compositions, and learn a lot about Chopin’s life and musical career.

Interesting Fact: Although he only played 30 public concerts in his life, five of these were in Britain during an ill-fated visit there for seven months in 1847. For a sick man with tuberculosis, the wet and windy weather of Scotland and England was hardly going to be good for him. He did, though, play for the new Queen, Victoria and Prince Albert; the Queen, who rarely spoke to anyone, actually spoke to him twice.

https://www.cmuse.org/frederic-chopin-facts/

The museum itself was beautiful! I later found out that it is also known as Ostrogski Castle; a Baroque style mansion, that was destroyed by the Germans during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, and rebuilt between 1949 and 1954. Rumour has it that the the cellars below the bastion are supposedly home to a Golden Duck, a mythical creature from one of Warsaw’s legends! 😉

Afterwards, we went for a late lunch/early dinner at Oliva Restaurant. Again, I only had appetisers but they were delicious! I had olives and chicken liver pâté on bruschetta. They even had some coffee bean infused olive oil, which was AMAZING! I slightly regretted not having luggage allowance, as I really wanted to buy some to take home with me!

To finish off our day, we took a walk into the thriving city centre, this time before dusk, and headed to the Old Town Square. We went to Bazyliszek Restaurant – a traditional Polish Restaurant. I sampled some Polish Chardonnay from Kraków (who knew that Poland had their own vineyards?!) which was alright! We tried some Żubrówka black vodka (it wasn’t actually black, it’s filtered using charcoal apparently), Soplica cherry and Soplica raspberry. We also enjoyed a delicious cheese platter! Quite possibly my favourite type of platter!

After arriving back at Hotel Tomalska, we enjoyed a little bit more polish vodka – (hazelnut Soplica), before retiring to bed. I definitely wasn’t ready for an 08:30 flight – especially since Wizz Air had decided to sit us over 15 rows apart! (No way was I paying extra fees just to change seats! Cheeky buggers!)

One of the great things about Warsaw is how easy it is to get around. It’s well connected with trams and the underground – but failing that, you can also get an Uber! Thanks to my discount code, the ride to the airport was only 3.59zł / 8NOK / £0.75 😂

Uber share code: x3st6k

It’s safe to say that the trip was a major success! We were both slightly apprehensive about me travelling 6 months after surgery, but I managed it quite well. Warsaw was a beautiful city and has a really good vibe about it. I would love to visit again soon, to do a little bit more sightseeing, learn more about its history and enjoy more delicious food!

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Last but not least, we want to say a huge thank you to Magda for being such a wonderful host! ❤

We had such an amazing time and look forward to seeing you again soon!

Bergen Whisky and Beer Festival

Whisky and Beer; two of my favourite things! ❤

bergen-whisky-beer-festival-2017-9215

The event was open for 5 hours on the Friday and 6 the following day, so we decided to try Whisky on Friday and Beer on Saturday.

Ireland

  • Jameson Caskmates *
  • Jameson Black Barrel Select Reserve *
  • Teeling Whiskey Single Grain *

Scotland

  • Scallywag Speyside Blended Malt *
  • The Black Grouse *
  • Talisker Skye Single Malt
  • Caol Ila (12)
  • Smokehead Single Malt
  • Pigs Nose *

Norway

  • Eiktyrne – 7 mnd Baby
  • Eiktyrne – Sokin og Eikin
  • Oss Craft Distillery – Whisky *
  • Bareksten – Botanical Gin *

Japan

  • Nikka – From the Barrel *
  • Nikka – 12 YO Blend

 

  • Austmann – Coconut Porter *
  • Austmann – Dark Matter
  • Stones – Ginger Joe Pear
  • 7 Fjell – Gateway Drug *
  • 7 Fjell – Whisky Tørs
  • 7 Fjell – Kaffeslabberas *
  • 7 Fjell – Svartediket *
  • 7 Fjell – Si Ingenting
  • 7 Fjell / Austmann – Lactic Brown
  • 7 Fjell – Eiffeltårnet *
  • 7 Fjell – Andre Buskvekster
  • 7 Fjell – Meltzer Belgisk Dubbel *
  • 7 Fjell – Helge’s Surprise IPA
  • Beerbliotek – A Passion for Strawberry Blondes *
  • Beerbliotek – Black Ale Chilli
  • Brewdog – Neon Overlord
  • Brewdog – Cocoa Psycho *
  • Amundsen – Dessert in a Can *
  • Wild Beer Co – Shnoodlepip *
  • Voss – Eldhus Porter *
  • Voss – Kveika Baerøl *
  • Voss – Quadruple Bypass *
  • Erdinger – Dunkel *
  • Grünerløkka – Irish Rock Porter * 

* = indicates my favourites (yes, there were a lot!)

beerwhisky

Oss Craft Distillery and Bareksten

The only distillery in Bergen! Their products were wonderful to try and Stig, the co-founder of Oss and owner of Bareksten was lovely. I had never come across a clear whisky before, so I was excited to try this! Both the flavour and aroma were fruity; something adventurous and different. What surprised me even more was the Bareksten botanical gin. I can’t usually drink gin without a mixer (usually I add tonic or flavoured soda water) but this went down a treat! It was smooth and very flavourful. If you love gin, I can’t recommend this enough. Just please don’t spoil it with a mixer! 😛

Jameson Caskmates and Irish Rock Porter

Bringing back the tradition of a “Whiskey Chaser”. The Irish Rock Porter is finished in whiskey casks, and Caskmates has been finished in stout-seasoned whiskey casks. Therefore, these two go together beautifully!

7 Fjell

A craft brewery in Bergen. I think we tried almost everything 7 Fjell had to offer at the event! My absolute favourites were Kaffeslabberas (Coffee Pale Ale 6%) and Gateway Drug (IPA 6%).  

Dessert in a Can – Amundsen

This deserves a special mention! A dark, sweet, delightful drink with notes of marshmallow and chocolate! Apparently, this is new and should be released sometime in March. I’ll have to keep checking Vinmonopolet, as I can’t wait to try this again!

 

A massive thanks to B for getting me tickets to this for Christmas ❤ I had a wonderful time with him and his brother Kurt, and can’t wait to do it all over again next year!

🍻  Skål! 🍻