The Inn Under the Red Hog

Our super helpful reception staff in Warsaw, Polonia Palace Hotel with perfect concierge abilities, advised this interesting restaurant, which sounded perfect and so we did give it a chance to try.

Interesting logo

Interesting logo

The name of the restaurant comes from the original Inn, which was operating in the very same place until WW2. The “Red” comes from the communist leaders meeting in this Inn. In the restoration of the building, some letters of Rosa Luxemburg to Gustav Lubeck were found, in which they found many information about the building history, these meetings were mentioned. Today with nice decoration of old times you can feel the communist restaurant with flags and pictures and the climate of Lenin, Fidel Castro and Mao.

The cover of the menu, with the story of the building

The cover of the menu, with the story of the building

The restaurant also has a nice outside area which we preferred in the nice May weather of Poland.

Ordering the wine, from the wine list

Ordering the wine, from the wine list

The menu, a creative approach

The menu, a creative approach

Today's wine

Today’s wine

IKEA candles, the most international object of restaurants

IKEA candles, the most international object of restaurants

In short, it is a nice place to go, sounds very touristy, but I can say it is not a tourist trap. Delicious food, warm and welcoming atmosphere and helpful and patient staff.

Next: A heaven for “Carnivore”: Butchery and wine

Polonia Palace Hotel and Folk Gospoda in Warsaw

If you have already read my previous post, you probably know, we arrived later than we planned to Warsaw and to our hotel-Polonia Palace hotel. The hotel is in the very center of Warsaw and is one of the best stays and value for money hotels I have ever stayed. Having read the tripadvisor advice in advance, I have already asked, not a main street room, but a side street room instead, in order to avoid the street voice. That was settled, but we were asked to wait about another hour, for our room to be ready. we were just starting to be angry, but luckily the receptionist guy told us that our room is upgraded to a suit, which is a nicer and bigger room. Well, that sound fine than, right?

Polonia Palace Hotel 100th year

Polonia Palace Hotel 100th year

So after waiting one more hour, we finally settled in our room. The hotel is 100 years old, but nicely refurbished and minimally decorated. Everything you need is on arm’s length. A fine restaurant, a bar, relaxing lobby and high ceiling rooms with finest bed and most importantly very very helpful staff. By the time, we reached our room, it was already time for dinner, so we went to the reception to ask some advice. What they did was more than an advice. They provided a booklet of fine restaurants with a few paragraphes of what they provide each. A couple of dozens of alternatives to choose from and the receptionist staff were very eager to answer any question about them. So we chose to go a local cuisine one called Folk Gospoda, which was a 5-10-minute-taxi away from our hotel.

Folk Gospoda looked more local than we tought, with wooden interior, needlework cushions and dark little windows.

The interior

The interior

The most common food in Warsaw is dumplings, where various kinds of staff dumped in flour, and boiled or fried.

Dumplings

Dumplings

The wine of the evening was a house wine. Well, I am not a wine expert, but I can say it was -how can I say- awful.

The house wine

The house wine

The other food we chose were not so bad, but the best thing I suppose was what our son had ordered. Any guess?

The white think is very very buttery butter.

The white think is very very buttery butter.

The soup, very tasty

The soup, very tasty

Something we could not understand, not so fancy.

Something we could not understand, not so fancy.

Our son's order

Our son’s plate

Next posts; streets and cafes in Warsaw.

 

Great Cruise tour-day-3

The main activity of our summer has been the Cruise trip with MSC Poesia to Norwegian Fyords. We were a group of 8: Me, the organiser-as always, my husband and our son-as expected, my mom and her husband, my uncle and aunt and my grandfather. So group aged from 9 to 90. Tough isn’t it?

Day 3 was officially the first day of our military serving – oops pardon me – the excursion. After a long day of being in the middle of nowhere, it was nice to wake up and see the moving mountains from our window.

Good morning view

Good morning view

I live in a rather crowded part of my country, in a rather big city. Therefore it is strange to see a lonely house, in the middle of a steep hill. I wonder how one can live up there and what they can do. Today and in the coming few days, we have found out that Norwegian people are very outdoor activity guys. Cycling, climbing, kayaking, kanoing, trekking, very many outdoor activity far beyond my city life, is their lifestyle.

For today we booked a day excursion from Geiranger to Hellesylt, which meant that the cruise would leave us at Geiranger and hopefully be at Hellesylt, where we will be going bu bus. But goşng out was not so easy at the ship. We and a few thousand more people woke up early, got ready with a quick breakfast and gathered at the big theater and waited for others to gather. By the time it was 9:00 am, groups are announced one at a time, and we all got off the ship one by one. Moreover, Geiranger was a place where the cruise could not get close to the sea shore, so we were taken to the coast by lifeboats.

Little lifeboats moving back and forth to take everybody to the shore

Little lifeboats moving back and forth to take everybody to the shore

Each group, with the stickers of tour numbers on them, trying to follow their own tour guide, to the lifeboats. A bit of hectic trying to keep my group aged 9 to 90 together, but finally we got on a little orange boat of 150 people and moved to Geiranger. After a five minutes journey, here we were back on our feet on Norwegian soil at last. Finding our bus in the tiny town of Geiranger which was meant to accomodate a few hundred people, but a ship-load of people getting off to be loaded 40 buses, caused all the roads to be filled with tourists. With a little search of the buses, we finally found our bus and got on it – no missing people from our group up to now.

From Geiranger, our bus started to climb the uphill, where we enjoyed lovely view in every corner. We also did have a chance to stop in a couple of viewpoints to take some photographes.

Little Geiranger and our lovely cruise

Little Geiranger and our lovely cruise

Residues of the ice age, what caused the Fyords to be formed

Residues of the ice age, what caused the Fyords to be formed

After about 2 hours drive with 3-4 stopovers, we finally arrived to a lovely restaurant called Grotli. I should say, evet though there were more than a hundred tourists starving, the service and the food were super. The asparagus soup especially was best ever for sure. The following Norwegian Salmon is very delicious also. There is also a nice story – actually real- in April 1940, in the middle of WW2, two planes of Germany and Britain shot each other. The surviving crew members begin to shoot each other, but later must share the same cabin, in order to survive the Norwegina winter. The unlikely friendship between the pilots, was filmed 2012 with the name “Into the White”. Here are some photographes of the restaurant and the plane used in the film.

Our son's only concern is the Ipad.

Our son’s only concern is the Ipad.

Inside the restaurant, very warm and welcoming

Inside the restaurant, very warm and welcoming

My Grandfather's concern is to learn the story behind

My Grandfather’s concern is to learn the story behind

In front of the restaurant - from the camera of my uncle

In front of the restaurant – from the camera of my uncle

The afternoon was also mostly on the bus with lovely nature and view of the lakes and the mountains, with a few stops by the lakes and a village called Stryn.

View of lake

View of lake

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Colorful tiny boats

Our bus tour ended in Hellesylt where our Cruise was about to come. So with a couple of other thousand of tourists, we searched for a souvenir shop to buy something, but unfortunately a few shops in the little village of Hellesylt were loaded with people with more than their capacity. Moreover, there was a very very long queue of people, waiting for the cruise to come. So our day trip ended by waiting for about an hour in the queue.

View of Hellesylt from our room

View of Hellesylt from our room

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DSC01956

Great Cruise tour-day-2

The main activity of our summer has been the Cruise trip with MSC Poesia to Norwegian Fyords. We were a group of 8: Me, the organiser-as always, my husband and our son-as expected, my mom and her husband, my uncle and aunt and my grandfather. So group aged from 9 to 90. Tough isn’t it?

Day 2 was what they call in Cruise language “Day at sea”. A good day to get to know the cruise life, learn what is where and enjoy the only morning to be able to wake up late. Since we all did not like the 13th floor restaurant, we started the day at the a la cart breakfast restaurant at level 5, which was much more better than 13th floor self service hectic restaurant. Afterwards the group seperated to enjoy the relax day. I used this opportunitiy to take the Salsa lessons, which I already forgot the steps by now. However the numbers are still in my mind: one-to-three…five-six-seven, uno-duo-tre…cinque-sei-sette, ein-zwei-drei…funf-sechs-sieben, bir-ki-uc…bes-alti-yedi, one-two-three…five-six-seven…

The elevator door

The elevator door

Having a sushi-lover-son, for our lunch we all met at the Kaito Sushi Bar, which was an oasis, free of crowd, as it was an extra paid restaurant. We took a long table in the middle and enjoyed the fine Japanese cuisine for a couple of hours.

Our son learning to do the sushi

Our son learning to do the sushi

Kaito Sushi Bar

Kaito Sushi Bar

Our “Day at sea” went on with an afternoon nap, and getting ready for the Captain’s cocktail party, with the dress code of “formal”. Going down to the Zebra Bar at deck 6, we felt that the purpose of this getting dressed is to take picture with the captain which required a long long queue to be waited. Not my kind really. So after drinking a couple of colored liquids so-called cocktails with some chips -very unfriendly to my diet, we headed to our restaurant and our tiny far end corner table. Today it was also the birthday of my uncle. With the nice surprise cake of my aunt, and the Indonesian version of the “Birthday song” of the staff, we celebrated his birthday.

After dinner, we headed to the theater for the evening’s animation. I do not want to criticize the animation in the evenings as it s a matter of “likes and dislikes” Some days it was average, some days above average in my opinion.

Decks

Decks

"Sun" decks, if you find the sun.

“Sun” decks, if you find the sun.

Great Cruise tour-day-1

The main activity of our summer has been the Cruise trip with MSC Poesia to Norwegian Fyords. We were a group of 8: Me, the organiser-as always, my husband and our son-as expected, my mom and her husband, my uncle and aunt and my grandfather. So group aged from 9 to 90. Tough isn’t it?

Actually our flight to the Cruise point-Copenhagen, started a day earlier, so let me start by telling you the day -1. Since our flight was an early bird one (Which we all hate) first-time-ever, we stayed in the hotel just by the airport in our home city, although we live just about 30 min. from the airport. We enjoyed a fine wine with a well done meat for dinner, in a wine yard close to the airport, and the airplanes passing just above us. We saved about 45 min. more sleeping time and in my opinion can save your next day, especially if you are not an early bird family.

Day 1 was a typical traveling date, long flights with some delays. First breakfast at the first flight, second one at the lounge and the third breakfast at the second flight (not a good start for my diet). Arriving to Copenhagen Airport, transfer to our cruise and getting into the first queue of never ending “get in the queue” ‘s.  After about an hour of waiting in the queue, we finally got on our ship found our rooms on the 10th floor, saw how a room can be so tiny. Opening the extra bed for our son and the situation got worse. Good that my grandfather is with us and staying in a single room:-) Our son is immidiately posted to my grandfather’s room and here it is, we have a rather normal room again.

Checking the daily news in the room

Checking the daily news in the room

We were told that the restaurant on the 13th floor is open all day. That would be a good choice for a late lunch actually, but we got our first lesson right after. It was absolute mess with lots of children around, people with loads of food on their plate are searching for some more and we try to find a place to be seated. Lesson number one: Never ever eat lunch at 13th floor.

Learning to tie the life jackets

Learning to tie the life jackets

Having started the day very early in the morning, I would die for a mid-day nap for a few hours but duty was waiting. First I went to listen the extra tours provided during the tour, as we were a big group I wouldn’t risk not to take a tour. Later on I understood that I did the right thing, as the Norvegian Fyord cruise ports are on very tiny villages, where you would not find much things to do. Bus/Train/Boat tours on the other hand take you to further than the Fyords, which you will see on the coming days.

Listening the tours and deciding the suitable ones for us, did not finish the duties. We all supposed to be in the rescue training at 5:00 pm, ready with our life jackets. Listening to “What to do” in 7 languages and find out the deck we would be ready. Fun but not for sleepy tired people like us.

In the cruises, you either eat dinner at 6:00 pm or 8:15 pm. It was good that we preferred to eat at 6:00 pm. Altough this caused us to miss most of the departures from ports, in later days we have learned that it is not the only day 1 started early. Each day we had to woke up earlier than the previous:-(

Just after we settled down we met our waiter; an Indonesian guy, so kind, but unfortunately did speak very bad English.  Somehow we managed to order, eat and finally got in our beds, before sunset of north.

View from our room at Copenhagen port

View from our room at Copenhagen port

Back to normal city life

After a 3 months of on-and-off travelling and living in a summer house, we moved back to city together with the start of schools. A combination of being in a semi-developed country with low profile internet connections in summer resorts and an unfriendly-technology-user mom resulted in being a poor blogger. But I will recover the gap with a full detailed information about our first-time-ever cruise travel, today and in the coming days.

Besides the small travels to here and there (mostly SSS-Sun, Sea and Sand holidays) the main activity of summer has been the Cruise trip with MSC Poesia to Norwegian Fyords. We were a group of 8: Me, the organiser-as always, my husband and our son-as expected, my mom and her husband, my uncle and aunt and my grandfather. So group aged from 9 to 90. Tough isn’t it? Everything went well, as you will see in the coming days, but will I try again? Not every year I must say. Maybe once in 2 years or three. We’ll see.

Whoever goes to a cruise will tell you how nice to be able to see so many places without packing and unpacking your luggage. But I am now aware of so many “but” s.

For instance, have you seen the Truman Show? If not, please do. We felt like being in Truman show. In every corner, every elevator, every stairs, there are people waiting to block your passway.  As if people wait for you to get out of your room and start moving when you want to get on the elevator, or relax by the piano or eat some snack. By the end of the week, you feel “that was more than enough of people.”

You can follow me on the next couple of posts for day-to-day details.

Weekly photo challange: The golden hour

Hot air baloons in Cappadoccia

Hot air baloons in Cappadoccia

The weekly photo challange of the week is the golden hour, which is the first and the last hour of the day. Well, traveling with a child, I realised that it is very rare that we walk around in these hours. The photo above was taken in Cappadoccia, not because we have been in one of these balloons at 6:30 in the morning, but because our flight was very early (which is sooo rare, as a flight before 10:00 am is not a flight to my family). This rule is valid both for the flights and any activities in our holidays: Never dare to go out before 10:00 am.
When I went trough the photographes of our travels, I realised that in the last hour of the day, “Where are we gonna eat?” is the main concern of my family. Tired of being out all day, we mostly prefer to have a mini rest in our hotel, before going out for dinner, or we already start to look for a proper restaurant to feed our stomachs. Sure we have missed some beautiful moments of the days of our travels. Well, I will be more cautious in enjoying the evening golden hour of the day, however, no promise for the morning golden hour. After all, a holiday is a holiday, where you enjoy to sleep longer and longer hours.