(Poland) The thing I found at the end of Winter

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[15/02/19~28 (D+1277)] 

It was the square of Warsaw, but there were not many people in the night.




There was some fortress next to it.



When I researched an attraction in Warsaw on online, Uprising Museum was at the top. Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation by the Polish resistance Home Army to liberate Warsaw from Nazi Germany.



The Uprising was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union’s Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces. However, the Soviet advance stopped short, enabling the Germans to regroup and demolish the city while defeating the Polish resistance, which fought for 63 days with little outside support. The Uprising was the largest single military effort taken by any European resistance movement during World War II.



On 1st of August initially the Poles established control over most of central Warsaw, but the Soviets ignored Polish attempts to establish radio contact and did not advance beyond the city limits. Intense street fighting between the Germans and Poles continued.



So at the beginning the Poles were winning. But after 5th of August, they were losing the control and Soviet ignored helping.




On 2nd of October the Poles surrendered.
Although the exact number of casualties remains unknown, it is estimated that about 16,000 members of the Polish resistance were killed and about 6,000 badly wounded. In addition, between 150,000 and 200,000 Polish civilians died, mostly from mass executions.
Over 85% of the city was destroyed by January 1945, when the course of the events in the Eastern Front forced the Germans to abandon the city.



There was a small cinema and had documentary for 10 minutes. At the ending I was terrified when I heard how many people died and how the city was destroyed.



I guessed it was my first time to visit this kind of war museum. Uprising Museum was very well decorated. I felt like I was at the middle of the war. There was everywhere war sounding such as shooting gun, bombing, people screaming, singing, air-raid siren, and so on. It made me too uncomfortable. I thought to visit here one time was too enough that I should not visit again.


Video I took

I heard all of Polish were proud of Warsaw Uprising. But some of them have told actually it was useless uprising because many people knew at that time that German would lose the war in 1944. So some Polish insist that they actually didn’t need uprising and losing everything.
When I saw this sad story, also I wondered why they did uprising and lost everything. But soon I agreed their decision because my country had similar story.
Korea was under Japanese rule from 1910 to 1945. People tried uprising, but every time it was not easy. In 1945 we became suddenly independent because Japan lost the war. And it led Korea tragic. Korea became an independent nation divided under two separate governments and economic systems by Soviet Union and the United States. The first president of South Korea, a dictator, was supported by the United States. And we had more dictators after that and it made Korean society corrupted and to have so many problems. Also we could not punish pro-Japanese after independent because the U.S supported them actually. In 21 century we, Korean, still are struggling to clean pro-Japanese. So many of Korean are jealousy of France, because they punished successfully pro-German.
The dictator would never leave even after they died, because they brainwashed people’s mind. The proof is that Korea now has dictator’s daughter as the president. She was so incompetent and not smart but she was elected by the simple reason, dictators’ daughter.
I always do wish if we became independent by ourselves, and then Korea would have never been separated. Korea had 5000 years same history. We use same language over 5000 years. But recently we were divided by other countries and ourselves.
To get help from other country means you will lose the important thing. It is better to win by yourself. There is no such an angel who would help with kindness between countries. You must pay back to a devil who is pretending an angel after getting help.
As the person who had this kind of opinion, I respected and admired the Poles about Warsaw Uprising.
Rest in Piece….



When I was looking for an attraction on online, there was a library on the list as well. It was said the garden of the library is beautiful. But I could not find the garden or maybe I misunderstood.



Science Museum was also on the top of my researching, so definitely I decided to go there. Before going out in the morning, I checked the map of the place to remember.
After the library, I tried to find Science Museum for two hours. I remembered that it was 10 km (6.25 mi) from the library. But when I arrived there, I could not find the building. I asked a local people and she told me it is just the next to the library. WHAT??
Oh… my memory cheated me. I went back and it was true that it was only 5 minutes away from the library. Besides the museum was closing that I could not have fun.



I felt sad that I decided to have fun at the next morning before cycling. I went early before they opened. It was Sunday that before opening there was a line.



The museum had two floors and many things to play about science stuff.



It was for testing about astronaut. It was telling that an astronaut would work with difficult condition such as wearing very thick gloves and screwing at the space.



It was a bit special room that the child could not come here. So, it was very quiet. There were screen and you could play about science fact.



Some experiment



When the people places their elbow on the metal thing and block their ears with fingers, they could hear some sound.



There was a joystick that people could control machine of geological prospecting which was placed at the bottom.



Some simple thing…



Arm of the robot was very popular.


While hanging around the museum, I saw funny thing which was usual actually.

-Mama wishes her child have fun.
-Papa wishes he has fun with his child.

-Mama would show how to play and watch until her child could play well
-Papa would show how to play and he would play by himself because he could not wait his child play well.

-Mama could be bored because she is only watching.
-Papa could be not bored because he is playing together or alone.

-Mama would not make her child cry on the game, because she would lose every time for her child.
-Papa would make his child cry on the game, because he would win all the time to have fun.


Simple explanation is below the picture.


mama vs papa







The video of Copernicus Science Centre

It was really good place for not only child, but also adult. I didn’t have much time that I could not play all of them. After having lunch at the museum, I started cycling. However I was very sick with swollen throat, but I was too busy to buy the pill. I arrived a bit late at the local people’s house I arranged on online. My host’s friend came to say hello to me and we had some fun at the late night.



At the next morning, I did some shopping for food and bought medicine fo cold. I wanted to have hot soup for the lunch, but I did not know how I could order. After using body language, I ordered something.



(Total 13 zloty- 3.6$ )
What was it? The tasty was a bit familiar and weird.



Aw… it was beef intestine soup. When I was in Korea, sometimes I ate it. But it has been really long time to see it, so actually I didn’t want to have it. But I was hungry and sick. So, I tried to eat with stopping breathing with my nose. I just remembered that when I was in Kenya I had similar soup. But at that time it was totally unsanitary place, so I had really hard time to eat there.



Tonight I also arrived before at the local people’s house.



My host asked me how was the trip today. I told him about my lunch. My host, Piotr, brought me some local restaurant after hearing my story and he helped me to order right one which I could eat well.



After having dinner he suggested to go to bowling club. Actually one of my dream was to play bowling which I’ve never done before. The first floor was bar and the down stair was for playing. There were only two stages, but it was no problem at all.



At the beginning he got around 90 points and I got around 50 points.



After a few games, I got better. At the last game, I got 96 points and won against him. Yeah this was the reason I loved game. I must win to beat and have fun. I doubted 1% that he lost the game on purpose. But I was sure 99% that I won against him by my excellent playing.

Maybe when I have my family one day, there would be only two papas. I would not lose the game on purpose because I love to win, beat, and have fun. Lol
When my future children win against me, I would not cook at that night. lol
(I am just kidding…. lol)



At the next day, I had to go to the big city, Lublin. It was really easy to cycle, because there was a big secondary road at the next to the highway.



Again I had the lunch at the restaurant. It was around 3$. I regretted after opening and drinking pepsi. Why did I order it? It gave more pain to my swollen throat. Lol



There was cemetery on my way. It was very unique scene. The bottle of the glass was for the candle to light.



Today I also arrived on time, just before the sunset.



My host, Marcin and Monika, would arrive at home late, so I spent the time on having hamburger and walking around the city.






There were so many old towns in European cities. But on the picture, I could read something. The building at the center looked very nice while the other building at the side looked old. I usually saw most of times in other European cities only like the center building. It means that if the old building is not maintained well with money, it would look like at the side building on the picture.



After I got to my host house, my host showed me his house. At the down stair there was some interesting one. I saw similar one in some Finnish house in Finland. But there was one difference.



At Finnish house I’ve stayed, he used the wood to warm water to heat the house on this kind of machine.



But here they burnt coal to heat the house. Finnish guy had the forest which was belonged to his father. So, the wood was actually free. (By the way he needed to fuel to cut and carry the wood). He told me to burn the wood to heat the house was super much cheaper.



Also Marchin told me to burn coal was much cheaper.



Another interesting stuff at the kitchen. The knife and chop board had same color for each. I loved to have one in the future. They told me it was wedding present. By the way the knife was not good, so actually they didn’t use it often.



I had the plan to go to the dentist to cure my broken crown in Lviv which was the next big city in Ukraine. I wanted to rent the flat there because it would take two or three weeks to have a new crown. I was looking for the house on online at the day time, so I went out late.
In Poland there were many Nazi concentration camps. The biggest and famous one is Auschwitz concentration camp which is at the south in Poland. It looked like if I want to go there by bus, I had to stay over three days because bus schedule was not good.



Actually I just realized that I was suffering from depression. I guessed there were a few reasons maybe. Lack of the sun… being blamed on online after being hit by car from the back, followers on online just ignored my pain as saying you don’t have any injured so you must be fine. It made me too lonely.. I was alone at the hardest time. Too many gloomy days without sun…
I didn’t know I was depressed for a while. At the end of winter I just realized I had the problem mentally.
Actually I was confused. What was it? Depression or what? I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t know why I have to live or even die. My mind was too blank and dark. So, I really didn’t want to visit the darkest place, Auschwitz concentration camp which could make me down too much.
When I arrived in Lublin, I realized that there was also big camp. It was near by the host house, so I could not ignore it.



It was called Majdanek concentration camp. It was quite big that it would take over two to three hours and needed to walk around two to three kilometers (1.87 miles).
Above the pictures was the place to burn people.



I arrived too late to have enough time to look around, so I deiced to come tomorrow again.



In the night, we met at the center of the restaurant. The above one was not mine, but it looked beautiful so I took the picture.



When I asked what Polish food is, they recommended it. hm.. Actually I saw this kind of food in Eastern Europe and Russia. It looked like they had common food.
When I was alone, I was too down. But when I had meal with them, I was very normal. It was really weird to be blank and depressing too often without any serious reason.



After the dinner, Marchin and Monika left with busy schedule. I decided to spend more time in the city. I found a very nice café and ordered some icecream.



I felt lucky to find the book café that there were so many English books. I was curious why they had so many English books. In my experience, only some people spoke English in Poland. The most surprising thing was that they had even Korean books.



To exchange the book was free, so I chose two books and went back to the house and came back to exchange.



When I went back to the house, the present was waiting me. His friend who worked at the chocolate company gave me many chocolates. Also Marchin gave me local beer which was made in his city. I didn’t drink beer on the road, so I drank as soon as getting from him. Haha.



Marcin and Monika were very busy that always they went somewhere to learn and for social life. I am opposite that I love to stay at home. So actually it is miracle that the laziest person, I, is cycling around the world.



I went Majdanek concentration camp again in the next early morning. I would do as like I visited to Science Museum in Warsaw that I would look around in the morning and start cycling at the afternoon.



The camp was operated from 1941 to 1944. Unlike other similar camps in Nazi occupied Poland, Majdanek was not located in a remote rural location away from population.
The two largest groups containing prisoners in the camps, both numbering in the millions, were the Polish Jews and the Soviet prisoners of war (POWs) held without trial or judicial process. There were also large numbers of Romani people, ethnic Poles, Serbs, political prisoners, homosexuals, people with disabilities, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholic clergy, Eastern European intellectuals and others (including common criminals, as declared by the Nazis).





The place to burn people



Before burning, they put corpse down and took all valuable thing such as gold tooth.



Now and past..




gas chambers





The total number of victims is controversial, beginning with the research of Judge Zdzisław Łukaszkiewicz dating back to 1948, who gave the figure of 360,000 victims. It was followed by estimation of around 235,000 victims by Dr. Czesław Rajca (1992) from the Majdanek Museum, which was cited by the museum for years. The most recent figure (78,000) was given in 2005 by Tomasz Kranz, director of the Research Department of the State Museum at Majdanek. That number is close to the one currently indicated on the museum’s website. It is considered “incredibly low” by now retired Dr. Rajca, nevertheless it has been accepted by the Museum Board of Directors “with a certain caution”, pending further research into the number of prisoners who were not entered into the Holocaust train records by German camp administration as a known fact. For now, the Museum informs that based on new research, some 150,000 prisoners arrived at Majdanek during the 34 months of its existence. Of the more than 2,000,000 Jewish people killed in the course of Operation Reinhard, some 60,000 Jews (56,000 known by name) were most certainly exterminated at Majdanek, amongst its almost 80,000 victims accounted for, altogether



Bathing and disinfecting the newcomers was one of the camps obligatory rituals. After showering, prisoners were made to immerse themsleves in concrete tubs filled with a disinfecting solution. During the prisoners’ stay in the camp baths and underwear were rarely changed, usually once every few weeks.



The map of camp in Poland during Nazi..



It was very big that there were many buildings.



One of building was used as Museum. It was weird that looking of museum from outside looked like gas chamber, but the inside of museum was very clean and nice.




At the center of camp, there was the building where people slept. The bed looked like a baby bed, because it was too small. It was said that the room was very dark and insanitary.




The video I took

Towards the end of the war, the camps became sites for medical experiments. Eugenics experiments, freezing prisoners to determine how downed pilots were affected by exposure, and experimental and lethal medicines were all tried at various camps. Female prisoners were routinely raped and degraded in the camps.
The camp was really well managed that it looked real camp. I thought I would not visit again here. One time was too enough.

Today it was dark cloud sky again.



I had to cycle harder at the afternoon, because I started late.



I was so hungry, but I could not find a restaurant. After 3 pm, I found one just before dying with starving. Again it was difficult to order something because of language barrier.



I just order something around 3$. But this time was the best ever that it was so tasty!!!! What a lucky day!



I ordered coffee, but it was instant coffee. They gave me free desert.



It was so yummy restaurant!!!!!! AWESOME.



Tomorrow I had to cross the border, so I took the picture of local money. There were more notes, but it was all I had.



The photo for 39,000 km (24,375 mi)



Today I had also the place to stay at a local people’s house. I was invited at the dinner. It also looked similar to the food I had at Balkan.



Zamosc which was a bit small city



The next country I would go was Ukraine, but they had the worst exchange rate for themselves. But for me… I was so sorry to say…….it was good for me…….oh……..being human is sometimes tragic…….
1$ was 8 Hryvnia last year. But suddenly it went down (up) that 1$ was now 26 Hryvnia……….
I was not sure that I could get the same rate from ATM in Ukraine. So I wanted to exchange money before crossing the border, but every exchange shop in the city closed because it was Sunday. If I cycled 130 km (81 miles), there would be a big city, Lviv in Ukraine. I wanted to reach there today.



Just in the morning after cycling 20 km (12.5 mi), I heard some noise. To hear noise from bicycle means there is the problem. I stopped to check what was going on and I found that the rim was broken. I’ve never seen this problem that I was embarrassed.



If I went 80km (50 miles) more, I could buy a new rim. So I decided to keep going. I wish it stays stronger. But after hour, I got a flat tire.



Rim was totally broken and it broke the tube. It was impossible to cycle anymore. I tried to hitchhike to the next city to fix my bicycle. But it was so hard that I waited over three hours to get a ride. There was a young guy finally who stopped and gave me a ride. At the next city which was smaller, there was one bicycle shop. But it was closed because it was Sunday.
The guy was extremely kind that he took me to the border which was 30 km (18miles) far. There was no any big city that I thought I had to hitchhike from Ukrainian border to Lviv.



Thank to him, I could arrive to the border. About a broken rim, I felt a bit unfair. So the reason rim broken was because rear brake was worn out and it scratched the rim.
But actually it was not only my fault. When I was at the capital of Poland, I went to a bicycle shop to fix the rim and brake. The brake was touching the rim. I was not good at mechanic that I just went to a bicycle shop.
But the mechanic was not really good. Actually he was not the only one who was not good at fixing it. Seriously 90% of mechanic I’ve met in Americas, Africa, and Europe were bad at fixing it.
All the time there was same story.
They told me “Hey look your rear rim is fine” as pedaling so strongly to make rim turn so fast.
Then I told them “Because you pedaling so strongly, that’s why it look oaky. Let me turn slow. Look IT IS TOUCHING!! Brake is touching the rim”
After talking this routine conversation over four times, finally mechanic tried to fix.
I had no idea why mechanics ignored this problem all the time and insisted “there is no need to fix” while brake was still touching rim.
After arguing with him, finally he fixed about brake touching the rim. I had asked him at that time “Should I change the brake??”
He told me “NOPE”
Look……. Brake broke my rim!!

Anyway first of all I had to cross the border. That was the biggest thing I had to have a deal for now.



I could stay only 90 days in 180 days in Schengen Area in Europe. But actually I’ve stayed over 128 days at this time. I knew some other law that I could stay at some country each for three months such as Germany, Sweden, and Poland. It was recommended to collect all the receipt to prove how long I stayed at those countries.
But actually it depended on the immigration. If he or she said that that law I wanted to insist is not important, but Schengen visa is prior, then I would be in trouble. So, most of traveler didn’t try to stay over 90 days although they passed on those countries.


By the way I did know some cases people stayed over 90 days.
– Korean business guy stays for 3 months in Paris and goes home for one month and comes back to Paris. He keeps doing it, but he never has the problem at Paris airport.
– Two Korean cyclists stayed over 90 days in Schengen Area, but they didn’t have problem to go out and even come back after a month at the border.
– Another Korean cyclist stayed over 90 days in Schengen Area and went to England, but he didn’t have any problem at all.
– I’ve stayed at Slovenian Immigration’s house in Slovenia. He told me it depends on Immigration. If the worker at the immigration is too strict, the worker would fine 500 Euros for the guy who overstayed for only one day. But if the worker is so flexible, it depends on the situation. He told me if the guy is so rude and arrogant, the worker would fine even for one day over stay. If the guy is so humble and polite, he would not fine even for 30 days overstay

So my conclusion is it depends on luck.



I did love to cross the border so much, because it made me excited. But I did not like to face the worker in the immigration, because always they make face. Most of them treat me like criminal.
But the worker I’ve met was extremely kind ever. I’ve never seen that much kind immigration worker. He put a bit more ink on my passport. He even said sorry about that. Wow… I’ve never seen polite immigration worker at the border. I was so moved and I felt so lucky ever. I’ve met so generous and kind immigration at the time I needed lots of luck

So, here one problem was solved!

There was another actually small problem. This border was weird that people must take the vehicle to cross. I read that other cyclist took the car to cross. But for my case, they just let me walk with my bicycle. Lucky day…

It was time to cross the border. I was actually nervous to cross Ukrainian border. I must get out of Schengen Area, and Ukrainian was the closest one I can choose. I’ve asked a local people living in Lviv about safety. They’ve told me Lviv is totally fine and safe.

I hoped I could find a flat and fix my tooth well in Lviv. Yeah first of all I needed a ride to Lviv.



Days in Poland = 26 Days
Distance of cycling in Poland = 749.32 km (468.32 mi)
Cities I stayed in Poland = 9 Cities
Gdansk, Ostroda, Marwald, Rybitwy, Warsaw, Pilawa, Ryki, Lublin, Zamosc
Expenditure in Poland = 281$
($1=3.6 złoty)
[15/02/19~28 (D+1277)]

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  1. I enjoy your writing and your spirit to overcome so much as you ride. Sometimes when I wake up and it is cold or raining and should I take the car to work. I say to myself what would Jin do or think of lazy/soft me ?

    • Reply
      The Woman Traveling The Universe July 5, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      I would say “I am jealousy of you. I love to lie down on the couch or sit on a car.. um……. :)”
      It is okay to be lazy! haha
      Take care 🙂

  2. Welcome to Ukraine! I’m reading you not so long, but I was wandering if you’re going to visit Ukraine. I hope she (because in our language every thing in the world has its gender) would not disappoint you. I didn’t understand why you’re asking about safety? There’s only problem in the east of country.
    And thank you for your opinion, or your telling, about your country. It’s very interesting beacuse we have same situation. Our president is a betrayer, and at this time we can be absolutely free if we find the courage to fight, or be separated by his hand.
    But don’t worry, you can travel all across country – there are mountains near Lviv, there are castles and fortress everywhere, (there are amazing cathedral near Lviv’s trainstation), also there are many interesting historical place and objects in Kyiv, Zaporizhia and in other citys and behind of citys. Also Crimea is now occupied (which has a very beautiful place too), but you can go there (I think it’s safety).
    So good luck! I’ll be waiting for your impressions.

    • Reply
      The Woman Traveling The Universe July 5, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      Hello Volodymyr,
      The news only likes to talk about bad thing as you know. They only show us about war in Ukraine. So, many of foreigner are afraid of going there. What a sad thing.. By the way my stay in Ukraine was so good 🙂

  3. The concentration camp looked like a horrible place. However, I think everyone should visit a place like that, at some point. We avoid repeating in the future, by learning from the past.

    • Reply
      The Woman Traveling The Universe November 5, 2016 at 9:00 am

      Yes, it is true that we must learn from the past and people who did wrong thing must apologize to go to better future.

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