Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The five day trip to Warsaw (Day 1 afternoon) - Accommodation and strolling along Nowy Swiat and Krakowskie Przedmiescie streets - The 24th of June 2015

I reached Chopin airport in Warsaw at around three and soon headed towards the city centre so as to leave my luggage at the hotel I'd be staying at for four days (Novotel) and still have some spare time to walk to the University campus where the Aviation forum I 'd be participating in would be held.

Having taken the Al. Jerozolimskie I walked into the Nowy Swiat, which I was rather impressed by. I wished our city centre streets were as beautifully embelished with flower pots as the capital city of Poland's were.

Not much later and as I looked right the imposing statue of Nicolaus Copernicus, whose radical ideas changed people's perspective in regards to the cosmological view, stood there as if to remind the passers by that one's revolutionary ideas may not always be as crazy as they might seem. The statue, said to have been unveiled in 1830 is associated to a rather interesting story as well.
During World War II Nazis are said to have placed a bronze plaque insinuating the man represented in the statue was German, having led a young brave boy scout to react and unsuspiciously remove it. Furious with such an attitude Germans are said to have then removed the statued, having dynamited quite a few surrounding buildings and hidden the staute in Silesia. The statues was only recovered a few years after the war, the young man  (Alek Davidowskie) acknowledged for his bravery and the plaque which was at the centre of the stormy reaction placed at the Warsaw's History Museum, where it currently is to be seen

Just across from Copernicus' statue the Holy Cross Church I would get back to later, once visiting wasn't allowed during mass.

A little bit farther on the main entrance of the University of Warsaw Campus. Though I expected to be able to see a lot more of the compound over the next two days I couldn't help having a quick look at some of the buildings. How different it all looked from the University compound I had attended back at home ...

I continued walking towards the old city having briefly stopped at the Church of St. Joseph, the Betrothed of the Blessed Virgin Mary where similarly to the previous church I had stopped at a mess was being held.

I then walked slightly to the right into a small garden where a particularly interesting black and white collective photograph exhibition was being held. According to what the placard said it was supposed  to be a fascinating journey across Warsaw in the second half of the 19th century, as recorded by the outstanding precursors of Polish Photography, Karol Beyer, Maksymilian Fajans and Konrad Brandel.

I strolled around for half an hour as I pondered on its importance as a documentary ensemble, though it may certainly be equally important from the perspective of photography techniques and the way photography was perceived when the photos were taken.

(To be continued) 


The gardens of Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga and the street manifestations incorporated in the sound of Lusophone festivities - Lisboa Mistura, Lisboa - The 20th and the 21st of June 2015

If on one hand I found some quietness and reflective time at the beautiful gardens of Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga as I walked out of the temporary exhibitions, it was in the streets of Lisbon that I came across the bustling of the musical manifestations held during the Lisboa Mistura (Lisbon Mixture) comprising different sounds from various countries. 


I came across a group of young talented African dancers and quite an astonishing pupeteer along Rua Augusta but the moment I reached Largo do Intendente where a huge stage had been placed it was totally different, the rehearsing sounds of Alsarah and the Nubatones I had never heard of had me mesmerised. I was too tired to be back in the evening so as to listen to their live concert but was happy enough to have had the pleasure of listening to interspersed musical extracts for something like half an hour.

I would also miss Vieux Farka Touré's concert though I had expected not to miss Hugh Masekela's.  For some fortunate the following day I went back Intendente as Hugh Masekela was doing a sound test and subsequent to that a small rehearsal. The fact that there were quite a few people around the stage watching his impressive humourous vitality as he danced to the sound of his rough voice and the pungent sound of the clarinet he kept on singing for what sounded like endless hours (it didn't last more than some fifty consecutive minutes).

I was completely fascinated by Masekela and the rehearsal was enough to have me decide upon going back home with the memories of those special minutes rather than having to wait for another two hours for the live concert, in which I would certainly be squeezed among hundreds of people and unable to hear my voice as I sang along with him "African woman".