If wandering through colorful buildings on cobblestone lined streets sounds like your idea of a idyllic stroll, you are going to want to stick around. This is a look at historic Warsaw in Winter, through the lens of a mindful photo walk.
If you’ve been here before, you’ll know experiencing wellness through travel is what T & I is all about.
And what better way to build well-being than to mindfully explore than with a camera.
Amongst my favorite weekend adventures, was a trip to Warsaw a few years ago. In the freezing, yet invigorating cold of January.
Snow or no snow, this exploration will give you some inspiration to put this area on your bucket list. If it’s quiet introspection you crave, try early morning.
Photo walks are such a great travel activity for well-being. It’s an ideal time to be present in the moment and practice mindful travel.
Since mindfulness is beneficial to our overall health, it’s a simple way to match your self-care needs with your travel adventures.
Walking is also a great way to stay in shape while you travel. And, doing things you enjoy, like taking photos, is important to mental health. And what travel is really all about.
I typically work photo walks into every trip as they add happiness to my day.
Honestly, when it comes to wellness travel planning, a photo walk may just be the easiest way to work physical activity into a natural travel endeavor.
Really, who doesn’t like to grab their camera and just explore once in a while?
Since I love old architecture, I planned to get up early and explore the historic center of Warsaw, to include The Old Town and The New Town.
Amongst the most picturesque parts of Warsaw, The Old Town was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
Stare Miastro (The Old Town)
The day starts by walking along the medieval barbican wall.
Not far from the outpost is a statue of a child soldier weighed down by an adult-sized helmet. It was unveiled in 1983 to honor the children who fought the Nazis in Poland.
This is one of the most moving statues I’ve ever seen.
Sometimes words can’t adequately convey the deep emotions you feel when encountering the realities of WW2 across Europe. You don’t have to go very far in most countries to find these stark reminders.
The Rynek Starego Miasta (Old Town Market Place) is the gem of The Old Town. It dates back to the 13th century and is the heart of the historic center of Warsaw.
The colorful tenement houses are engaging. Every second they pull your attention to a new texture, or color, or pattern. Yet, the story behind the square is even more amazing.
Using old blueprints and photos, they rebuilt almost the entire area after it was destroyed in WW2.
Brick by brick, with incredible attention to detail.
You’d never know it, as it feels like any other old square in Europe, worn down and aged with a beautiful patina.
I practically had the square to myself, making it easy to get lost in the moment.
That’s the advantage of winter in Europe, it’s easier to have a quiet experience. Traveling off season does have its perks, as you can better relax & unwind, even in the city.
You could study the details all day in this area.
The textured walls, ornate doors, and architectural patterns make this area ideal for practicing mindfulness.
There are so many details that draw you into being in the present moment. It’s glorious!
It goes without saying that if you make it to Poland, a dish of pierogies (or two) should be on the menu.
Mindfully savored and enjoyed, of course.
Nowe Miastro (The New Town)
Warsaw’s Old and New Town neighborhoods are connected by Ulica Freta or Freta Street. This pretty cobblestoned street houses two picturesque Catholic churches and The Maria Sklodowska-Curie Museum.
The long and open street provides the backdrop for a pensive stroll in the snow. The patterns and lines of this street are mesmerizing.
The New Town dates from the 15th century and like The Old Town, it was mostly destoyed during WW2 and rebuilt after the war.
This part of town is more secluded, making it an ideal place for reflection.
Although Lazienki Park wasn’t a part of my morning stroll, I couldn’t sign off today without mentioning it’s another ideal place in Warsaw for a mindful photo walk.
The largest park in Warsaw, its classical architecture in harmony with nature. It’s a peaceful place to stroll and spending time here will leave you feeling better.
Parks are truly idyllic for relaxing, no matter where you roam!
If you like authentic travel, Poland has much to offer. I finally got to Krakow last year right before the pandemic hit and was equally as charmed with the city. So much so, there was a return trip in the works the spring.
If you’ve ever considered visiting Poland, go for it! The Polish culture is rich in food adventures, local traditions, and beautiful architecture.
It’s an ideal place to experience slow travel and definitely worth exploring!
until the next time…
live well – travel well – be well
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