Thursday, May 30, 2013

Religion and Weather in Poland


Poland is one of the last bastions of  Catholicism in Europe. The country is more religious and more conservative than its European neighbors. Ironically, in spite of a Pope from Poland, many church officials acknowledge that Polish society is moving toward a more secular view of life, one with a greater separation between church and state, and a rejection of church mandates on individual morality.

“We are considered the European museum of Catholicism, but let me tell you we are no longer,” said Szymon Holownia, program director for Religia TV, a relatively new station that aims to convince Poles that faith can be relevant in today's world. “The relationship between faith and state is changing; it is changing dramatically in Poland,” Mr. Holownia said. “It is really huge.”


Poland's climate blends the moderate conditions of Western Europe with the more severe continental ones of Eastern Europe. Temperatures vary across the country.

For example, the average January temperatures are below freezing at -1C (30.2F) in the west and -5C (23F) in the southern mountains. In the summer, average temperatures are around 20C (68F) in the southeast to 17C (63F) on the Baltic coast. However, if you are visiting Poland in the winter, be advised that temperatures can drop quickly and in the summer, you may find heat over 100 degrees Celsius. 
Average annual precipitation is 18.5 inches, but it reaches 30 - 50 inches in the south, just south of Krakow. July is the wettest month and March the driest. Winter precipitation is half the summer rainfall.
So, try to pick the right time to go to Poland, since even in the summer you probably will need a jacket.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Capitol, Language & Currency of Poland


Warsaw has been the capital of Poland from 1596 to 1794 and again since 1918. For much of the Middle Age, the area in which you now find Warsaw was the Duchy of Mazovia, a sparsely populated region, loosely subject to the Polish crown. The city of Warsaw was founded in the second half of the 13th century.

Warsaw, known in Polish as Warszawa, is not only the capital; but, is also the largest city in Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly 260 kilometres from the Baltic Sea and 300 kilometres from the Carpathian Mountains.

The population is 1.708 million (Dec 31, 2011), has it has an area of 199.6 sq miles (517 Km).


Polish is the official language of Poland. It is also used as a second language in some parts of Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. This phenomenon is caused by migrations and resettlement's as well as border changes brought by the Yalta agreement after World War II. As a result, lots of Poles were left outside Poland. Polish is spoken by Polish first generation emigrants living all around the world, however their children and grandchildren know it only as a second language. The total number of speakers worldwide is estimated at 50 million.


The Polish currency is the Zloty. This currency is denoted with the currency sign " z" and the ISO 4217 Code for the Polish Zloty is PLN. It is divided into 100 smaller units called Grosz.

The constitution of Poland provides that the Poland government shall have the power to print the Polish Zloty and Grosz coins to be used as a legal tender in Poland. The Polish Zloty bank notes and Grosz coins are both designated as "legal tender" in payment of debts.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Introduction to Poland

Bordering on Germany in the west, the Baltic Sea 
and the Kaliningrad region of Russia in the north, 
Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine in the east, and the 
Czech Republic and Slovakia in the south, Poland 
is the ninth largest European country. It has a area 
of 312.685 km (120.727 sqm) and a population of 
40 million.

The official language is Polish and religion is Roman 
Catholic (95%), Orthodox (2%), Protestant (1%)

Currency: 1 zloty (PLN) = 31 cents.

Poland offers a variety of attractions:
  1. Wild scenery in the south with skiing and hiking
  2. Stunning old towns of Krakow, Zamosc and Gdansk
  3. Wilderness of the Bialowieza National Park
  4. Water sports in the Masurian Lakes in the north.

Stunning Cities

  • Krakow - the old royal capital - is acclaimed for its many precious architectural monuments and a unique friendly atmosphere
  • Gdansk, Wroclaw, Torun or Kazimierz Dolny rank among the most beautiful places in northeastern Europe
  • Warsaw, virtually destroyed during WWII has been completely reconstructed
  • Several Polish castles and palaces (accommodation possible) 
  • Ancient salt mine in WieliczkaElblag canal).

National Parks
Poland has twenty-two national parks with varied landscape - seaside,
lake districts, marshes, highlands and rocky mountains. Tatra, Mazury,
Biebrza, Narew, Wolin Island or Bieszczady have outstanding scenic
beauties and famous spa resorts.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Where to stay in Berlin, Germany

Schlosshotel Im Grunewald (5 stars)

Built in 1912 as a residential palace for Dr. Walter Von Pannwitz, a confidant of Kaiser Wilhelm, this beautiful palace has become an elegant hotel that sets the benchmark for Berlin high living.. The early 1900 style has been preserved in the exquisite and recent renovation of its facilities. Today the hotel has also embraced technology and offers in-room cable and WIFI.

Located in Grunewald, one of the most exclusive areas of Berlin, the Schlosshotel also offers a private bar with premium drinks.

A swimming pool, fitness center, and elegant spa facilities are available at the Alma Schlosshotel. Guests are also welcome to relax in the sunbathing area.

Address: Brahmsstr. 10, 14193 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 895840
Price starts at $312 dollars per night

Quentin Berlin Hotel (4 stars)

If you prefer to stay in a Hotel that is more modern, I think this is a great one .

In a quiet side street, the Quentin Berlin is a 10 minute walk from the Kurfürstendamm shopping boulevard and the famous KaDeWe department store. It offers a varied breakfast buffet each morning and a wide range of restaurants can be found at the nearby Winterfeldtplatz Square.

The hotel offers the security of a 24-hour front desk with lots of information for tourists. All rooms are air-conditioned and have a flat-screen TV and minibar, free wired Internet, with cables available at the front desk.

Nollendorfplatz Underground (subway) Station is a 5 minute walk away, giving you quick access to the city.

Address: Kalckreuthstr. 12, Schöneberg, 10777 Berlin
Phone: +44-2081233160
Price starts at $84 dollars up

Titanic Comfort Hotel Berlin Mitte (3 Starts)


Titanic Comfort Hotel Berlin Mitte is the perfect hotel to start exploring Berlin. The hotel is located in the vibrant heart of the German capital, just a short stroll away to the famous Alexanderplatz and Potsdamer Platz.
Sitting in the quiet and exclusive part of the Spittelmarkt, the hotel is easy accessible by public transport and has paid parking space all around the hotel.

Address: Elisabeth-Mara-Strasse 4, Berlin, BE 10117 Germany 

Phone: +49 30 7677 1870  

Price starts at $65 dollars







Reasonable accommodations in Berlin

Baxpax downtown Hostel/ Hotel

Located next to the S-Bahn Station Friedrichstraße and the Friedrichstadt Palast you can relax in the cafè Bar, fireplace lounge, the backyard or on the big roof terrace.

A breakfast buffet is provided for an extra fee. Guests are welcome to use the rooftop terrace and Cosmo Lounge throughout their stay. 

This hotel has great reviews for the price 
Address: Ziegelstr. 28, Mitte, 10117 Berlin 
Phone: +49 30 2787488-0
Price starts at $ 53 dollars

Hope you have a good stay in Berlin and enjoy your time there. 



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Places to visit in Berlin, Germany

There are beautiful places to see in Berlin, I will give you the ones I visited and loved.
Hope you enjoy them too. You can also learn about culture, history, food and architecture that Berlin is famous for without paying a single Euro.


This is a beautiful park that you definitely should see, it is a very relaxing place and the green heart of Berlin. It offers the visitor miles of walking paths, bike trails, and with more than 600 acres, you can enjoy lush lawns, leafy paths, small creeks, and even a traditional beer garden. It is loved by the people of Berlin for its ability to restore calm while surrounded by a sea of strife.

It is a must see!

Potsdamer Platz

Potsdam Platz is a thoroughly modern shopping and entertainment center. Built in 1995, you will find bold, modern architecture designed to support the thousands of visitors that walk its promenades.  With its large shopping center and lots of movie theaters, it serves as the venue for the annual Berlin International Film Festival - something not to be missed in November.

The dome of the Sony Center was modeled after Mount Fuji. At night you will see lots of different colors on the dome, a highlight for the area.

The Reichstag

Is one of the most famous locations in all of Germany. This has been an edifice for travelers the world over to come to Berlin. Built originally in 1872, it fell into disrepair in 1946, after the war and was restored and modernized and reopened in 1999 after German reunification. Now, with its magnificent edifice and stunning glass dome, it is a triumph in modern architecture. This has been the major seat for Germany’s political parliament since it was was remodeled. It is currently located near the Brandenburg Gates building.

Here, is a little secret. Sneak into the west side entrance and go to the Dachgarten restaurant. You will be pleasantly surprise with an amazing view of the Berlin skyline. In addition, they have four set meals. The food was good, the Kaiser is enough food to get you through the day all the way to dinner. Also, by making a reservation you can avoid the line by taking a separate elevator.

Brandenburg Gate

During the Cold War and the division of Germany, this landmark represented the divided Germany.

Then, when the wall fell in 1989 and Germany was reunited, the Brandenburg Gate became the iconic landmark of a new Germany. This is a must see, otherwise your trip won't be complete.

Berlin's Museum Island

Located on an island in the center of the city, Museum Island is home to five world-class museums and the Berlin Cathedral. UNESCO has designated this impressive collection a World Heritage Site. You could spend several days here.

The Protestant Memorial Church of Berlin

The Protestant Memorial Church is one of the city's most prominent landmarks. World War II Allied air-raids destroyed its tower; so the damaged building was preserved as a reminder of the destruction of war and turned into a War Memorial.

Because of the important role Germany played in the reformation, a new church was built next to the damaged memorial. This new church is a striking contrast to the old with a concrete and glass tower reaching to the skies.

The Berlin Wall

Constructed in 1961 to block all contract of Communist controlled East Germans with they countrymen and families in Democratic West German, the Berlin Wall served as a daily reminder of the Cold War that raged between the Allies and Communist Russia.

Finally, during the terms of Reagan and Gorbachev, the wall was dismantled in the early 90s Today, parts of it are still intact with the longest portion providing an International Memorial to Freedom and a Gallery of the walls history. On the opposite side of the Gallery, you will find hundreds of different paintings from painters all over the world with their symbolic view of "freedom at last."

Special Request - Blaubeuren

As a request from my friend Sabine, I will talk a little about her birth town. I have never been there but doing research about it, I want to go, it looks lovely. 

Blaubeuren, located  about 6 hrs south east from Berlin, is a town with beautiful medieval buildings located in the Alb mountains about an hour away from Tübingen. Munich is the closest city with an international airport.

The city of Blaubeuren is named after its most famous landmark, known as the “Blautopf,” which translates literally to “Blue Pot” (or “Blue Bowl”.) The picturesque Blautopf is a crystal-blue spring that feeds the Blau River, which eventually flows into the Danube in nearby Ulm.

The vibrant blue color is the result of a high concentration of limestone, and it reminded me instantly of the bright-blue Caribbean water. The spring itself is approximately 70 feet deep, and serves as the entrance to an extensive underground cave system. Unfortunately, these caves have only been explored a handful of times by experienced scuba divers. There have been a number of fatalities and accidents while exploring, so permission to scuba dive in the Blautopf is seldom granted.