I'm gonna start a story about our first long European photo travel, which I had in 2008 with my friends. I also had another trip in 2009, but I'll cover it later, just after I'm done with the first one.
Orenburg - Moscow - Minsk - Warsaw - Lodz - Prague - Munich - the Alps - Venice - Rosalina Mare - Chioggia - Venice - Vienna - Krakow - Auschwitz - Minsk - Moscow - Orenburg
So, I'm a Russian photographer located in Orenburg, which is way too far from the Europe, actually it's on the border with Kazakhstan in Asia, and the first thing I had to accomplish to get to Europe was to leave the Asia. We (my friend and me) first took a plane to Moscow and then a train to Minsk, Belarus, which already made about 2400 km, almost the 1/3 of the travel distance. But that was just the start. In Minsk we joined our friends and headed to Polish border on orange VW minivan, which served us not only as transportation, but as shelter for night and even more.
The process of passing the border was the first unpleasant experience. We were told, we had problems and could not cross the borderline. But in an hour's time we could pass the border and soon arrived in Warsaw.
Warsaw and Lodz
To be honest I didn't have any super impressions of Warsaw. Polish towns didn't come close to my expectations unfortunately. Maybe expectations were too high, but Warsaw looked like a common uninteresting town without any architectural or cultural appeal. Warsaw doesn't strike you with incredible funky architecture or beautiful ancient monuments. As for Lodz, it left a depressive impression with lots of drunken people on the streets and ugly shabby houses. But even having said that, seeing all this with your own eyes and lense was very interesting.
I have to mention that the general impression of Lodz was a bit improved after visiting its central square, which looked much better due to many attractions, clubs, shops, modern art installations and nice lighting.
I've noticed at once that the Poles are not too happy about seeing Russians as their guests. I had an incident with a middle-aged Polish Woman in Warsaw. She probably heard me speaking Russian with my friend. The lady decided it was a good chance to express all her negative attitude to Russia, personifying it with me.
Good about Poland
The biggest and most positive for us was visit to Krakow and Auschwitz (Oswiencim), just in the very end of the travel. But I gonna write about those later in chronological order.
You can buy travel photos on my Travel Stock Photos website.