The irony of travel is that sometimes adopting the trappings of a “normal life” can feel like a holiday in itself. Great pleasure can be found in the routine, everyday activities of life which when you are on the road aren’t so routine and everyday anymore.
We spent just over a week in Warsaw, seeing some sites, but mainly just enjoying the business of living. Two reasons had brought us to Warsaw for the week – I was doing a week of yoga practice with Ashtanga teacher Basia Lipska and Roberto was going to see his favourite band The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
We rented an apartment right in the city centre and for nine days enjoyed all the perks of having our own space – double bed, kitchen, washing machine, private bathroom – which in normal life is nothing amazing, but when you have been on the road feels like luxury. Shopping, cooking, cleaning, reading, sleeping, writing, practicing – we didn’t need anything more to be content.
We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at home – so appreciative of the clean, simple flavours and nourishment that only home-cooked food can bring. We found a café around the corner that made excellent coffee and went there everyday, feeling like locals by the end of our stay. The city was explored, bit-by-bit, with long afternoon walks to the old town and parks throughout the city or just around our neighbourhood past the many street-side cafes and bars, full of people, enjoying the afternoon sun.
The week of practice at Ashtanga Warsaw was great. Practicing in a room full of people with a teacher definitely adds a different dimension of intensity compared with self-practice – and a lot more sweat! The studio itself was one of the nicest I have seen, with high ceilings and a cute little café selling fresh juices, coffee and raw vegan sweets. It was lovely to meet Basia who is from Poland originally, spent many years living and teaching Japan and now lives in Oslo.
(The lovely Olga at Ashtanga Warsaw)
Roberto’s Warsaw experience also had its own element of intensity – tickets in the mosh pit right at the front of the stage for the Chilli Peppers concert. He said the Polish crowd went wild, screaming of an encore, which amazingly the band granted. The night was finished off with a two-hour walk home from the concert venue.
(Red Hot Chilli Pepper ticket)
(Sunset from our apartment)