Chota

Chota

Saturday, 20 June 2015

{Warsaw}

Last Saturday I spent the morning wandering the streets of Old Warsaw, stopping at a little cafe in a gorgeous square to enjoy a drink in the 30C weather. Today I went antiquing at Hatfield House and got caught in a torrential typically summer-in-England downpour!
I was in Warsaw to give a paper at a conference-the conference turned out to be exceptional-fantastic papers given by fantastic scholars. We ate well and were treated royally.
{conference--note funky retro furniture discussants sat on, on the stage of the lecture theatre}
On Wednesday night we rushed from the airport to the hotel and then were whisked off again to the University of Warsaw to hear the inaugural keynote lecture.
{university of Warsaw, lecture was in this fantastic building}

{university buildings}
We finished the day eating amazing pirogies at a place called Babooshka. The next morning we reconvened at the National Museum (after a glorious buffet breakfast at the Mercure Centrum--I've seen many a breakfast in my lifetime, but this spread was pretty spectacular for a mid-range hotel).
After a day of glorious papers we were given a tour of the newly installed medieval galleries by the curators. I took far too many photos, but here's a selection of some:



{us art historians listening to a tour of the galleries}







That evening we headed out for some good Polish wheat beer and dinner:
{a mega skyscraper, now home to the Palace of Culture and Science, but of Stalin origin}
The next day I gave my paper and we were once again treated to an amazing lunch in the gallery's cafe: 

The day ended with an amazing tour of the medieval collection in storage. I always find it so fascinating being able to see historical objects up close--with their grime and wear of the ages.
{conservationist brushes}

{gorgeous old paintings & glass}



{limbs from some cherub or baby Jesus}


{close looking}


{me, amongst the statues}


 We then moved on to an amazing spot where there were a ridiculous amount of beers--in the 100s to choose from, with a beautiful view of an old building, ravaged by time & wars.
{enough beer on tap?}



 The final conference dinner was held in a lovely old Polish restaurant:

 On Saturday morning a friend & I walked into the Old Town of Warsaw--it was largely destroyed during the war, but they have attempted to reconstruct it to its former glory. Because of that, it looks a bit more pristine than one would expect. But the colours are lovely and the squares delightful.








{we had a drink in this lovely little cafe, where ladies went around watering all the lovely pots of flowers}
& then...it was time to come home.
In the end, a fantastic, lovely, stimulating few days!
xo,
L


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