------------------------------------------------------------------Itinerary: Washington DC(IAD) - Vienna, Austria - Warsaw, Poland
At Vienna, I found there are lay-down couches and cubicles with power supply in each gate ... and couches are comfy fake-leather seat, which is what U.S. airport (probably) provide only for "WHATEVER paid Members" in their lounge .
The plane of Polish Airline parked in the middle of the airport and the plane itself is small, so all passengers used staircase to get on from the ground.
(first time climbing Airstair!). Snack was Chocolate covered wafer.
Arrived Chopin Airport in a hour, I was just excited about the Chopin names are everywhere.
Since I did not even have any Polish currency, I exchanged my USD to Polish złoty; This was my huge mistake. It was Sunday, and in Airport. Worst rate in the entire stay.
Later, I found out there are much much better deal in the city exchange places (Kantor). Also, there are many private taxi drivers trying to drag me to their car.
I insisted to use public transportation and kept declining, but he followed me to bus station.
At bus staion, ignoring the taxi driver, I stood in front of Bilety/Ticket machine. One of the passenger noticed I am shooing off the taxi driver,
helped me to get the ticket. The ticket is 4złoty, and can be used for Bus/Tram/Metro, transferable within 75min.
The Bilety machine had English option. yay! From F. Chopin Airport to Central Railway station in Warsaw, use the bus line 175. (at the point of Aug 31, 2014)
I made reservation in the Hampton Hilton which is located close to Central Railway Sta. I mixed up with Centrum Metro Sta, which is the next station, but I could figure out after going back and forth.
The hotel is nice and clean, but no bath tub for this water-wasting Japanese... oh well.
I noticed flushing button in toilet is big circle in both Poland and Vienna. WHY?
However, the biggest problem in the room was not flushing button:
Is this Outlet??... oh. I did not have this problem going Japan <-> U.S.->
My computer, my cell phone, and my gps watch.... need daily charge. Ouch.
Although I needed to go to Łazienki Park by 4pm for concert, it was still right around lunch time, so I started to look for a electric shops. Luckily, there was shopping mall right next to the Central Railway sta.
I found electric shop "Saturn" there. The first worker there did not understand what I am looking for, and directed me to computer section, but second worker there realized "Oh, you need Adapter!"
I bought the two adapter, and decided to have the first meal in Poland... in "Costa Cafe" in the mall.
Sandwitch, bottle of water, and Cafe Latte small was 14 złoty = $4.67
Since I was not used to looking at currency at that point, I had to show the all coins to the coffee shop worker when she asked me if I would have small changes.
She picked up what she was looking for from my palm. When I left the counter, I said to her "dziękuję!"(=Thank you). She smiled and said "dziękuję" to me too.
Yes, people in Warsaw do not smile as frequently as people in U.S. It's just not embedded in the culture, apparently -- just the same way as in Japan. However, if you try ask questions with respect, they will to help you, smiling.
It was already 14:30pm by the time I finished lunch, so I decided to head for Łazienki Park. At the transferring point, when I was looking at the time table, I noticed an old lady was staring at me.
I pointed bus station board, asked to her "do Łazienki ?" She replied, "Tak Tak! Chopin Concert!?" with big smile.
At the Łazienki park, there are already people gathering
Official website about the detail of the show is here:
Pianist: ALEKSANDER KRUKOWSKI
Nocturne in D Flat Major op. 27 nr 2
Scherzo in c sharp minor op. 39
Fantaisie-Impromptu in c sharp minor op. 66
Waltz in c sharp minor op. 64 nr 2
Waltz in a minor op. 34 nr 2
Waltz in E Flat Major op. 18
Mazurka in c sharp minor op. 63 nr 3
Mazurka in a minor op. posth.
Mazurka in f minor op. 68 nr 4
Polonaise in A Flat Major op. 53
and + Etude "Revolutionary" Op.10 #12
Out of curiosity: Piano was mid-size KAWAI.I was so impressed I was hearing the established professional pianist playing Chopin, outside in the great weather, however, I can't help feeling the stage setting is the world worst... since the pianist has to play outside, and HUGE Chopin is looking at ya.