Wroclaw, a city full of colors and gnomes. 

A week after landing in Warsaw back in September, I was already eager to explore other Polish cities. Despite the numerous advice from colleagues, telling to visit Krakow, I decided I needed to first pay a visit to one of the most colorful cities in Poland. I was looking online at pictures of different Polish cities and this picture stuck out. I thought to myself could this be in Poland? This reminds me of perhaps somewhere in the Netherlands or Belgium. Vibrant colors definitely was not what I had in mind when I thought of Poland, with its conflicting past.

Image from google of Wroclaw

Back in September when the weather was still warm and sunny, I was happily admiring the vibrant colors and also people watching in the market square. I was also very keen on finding the photo spot from the Google image.

I went inside a vegetarian cafe,”Vega”, right by the old town hall, which by the way is delicious and a very affordable price. I  asked the waitress if she knew where the photo was taken. However she said she wasn’t sure. :/

After wondering around the old town, I think I found the spot where the photo was taken 😀 However, because it’s still warm outside, patios and visitors were covering some parts of the buildings, so I decided that I would return to Wroclaw when it’s chilly and sunny:) brrr!


And fast-forward to Feburary, I did return to Wroclaw, with a side trip to see the UNESCO wooden church in Swidnica, which I will write about in another post.

The weather was very sunny but also cold ! However there were way fewer people on the streets, and I had the colorful houses all the myself 🙂

Here is my attempt at recreating the Google image that I found.
And now, I will share my two cents on the things you shouldn’t miss when visiting Wroclaw!


1. Climb climb climb ! Up the church towers!

For the best views of the views of the old town, climb the bell tower of St. Elizabeth. For a small fee (I forgot how much >∆<) and lots of hard work, you are rewarded with super awesome views of the cute buildings down below!

Fu view of old town wroclaw


Houses right out of a fairy tale

Another tower to climb is the tower of St. John the Baptist on Cathedral Island. This will/might give you a view of the sunset and the beautiful canal, which I hopd, but did not see :/ due to early closing times.

Awesome views from St John the Baptist

2. Look down, and spot little gnomes hiding in the city.

For some reason (perhaps I can Wikipedia) Wroclaw is sprinkled with little gnomes hiding in unexpected corners throughout the city. There are apps and maps that you can download or buy that gives you the exact location of each gnome. There’s a gnome riding a pigeon, eating pierogo and even one playing the slot machine 😀 I’m a big fan of gnomes because of one of my favorite childhood book —

See how many gnomes you can collect ! :3

3. Stroll around Cathedral Island and the romantic ‘most Tumski’ bridge full of love locks.

Don’t be like me and rush into buying a lock from the first lock vendor you see. The further along I walked, the cheaper the prices got !!

I was alone, but I think with your honey here, it’s going to be very romantic ❤


our love lock hehe

4. Visit  cute independent stores.

I really like this bookstore hiding the alley behind the town hall. It has a hipster feeling to it and tastefully decorated and so serve as a cafe.  I bought a classic Polish children’s book on world maps. 🙂 I will need to learn more Polish to understand it, but the reason I bought the book was because it listed Taiwan as a country !! Woohoo ! Being a Taiwanese-Canadian, those are the small things I become to appreciate:D

Those are my thoughts on the beautiful city of Wroclaw. If you have another other suggestions please let me know !



I’m hoping to visit Poznan next as I read that it’s also very beautiful ❤



Winter weather in Warsaw is not very outdoor friendly, unless you’re prepared to wrap yourself up like a snowman before venturing outside. I decided that this gloomy winter weekend is a good time for musuems.

I didn’t have much expectation for the POLIN, Museum of the History of the Polish Jews, as my interests are mostly in the fine arts and not history. However, the winner of ” European Museum of te year  2016″ did not disappoint! 

A mondern and minimalist design building

Ticketing and entrance

I was very impressed by the numerous interactive displays in museum, clearly captioned in both Polish and English. I quite enjoyed the display that lets you create your own Jewish coins with your name spelled out in Hebrew. I wish I can somehow take one home ! 

My name coin

It also had stamping stations for you to take home prints taken from  traditional Jewish designs. 

Printing station in POLIN

The museum follows the timeline of Jewish history in Poland since the first arrival in 10th Century, up to the dark times of Holohaust. I found it extremely heavy and sad to walk through the WWII section of the museum. I think the museum did a very good job of bringing visitors back in time to the 1940s through many personal quotes as well as old photos. 

I did not know that Poland had the highest number by far of Holocaust victims. I also learned that thousands were killed in the gas chambers while being told that they were given a chance to shower. 😥 

The museum had on snippets of personal stories which really makes me able to connect and trying to picture myself in their shoes. 

Warsaw post war

In addition to the Holocaust section, the museum also features a replica of a sysnongue alter which is beautiful decorated, as well as a replica of a typical Jewish street and village scene. 

Street scene

Wooden synagogues of Poland

The gift shop also carries a nice selection of books and artsy souvenirs which I didn’t see in the old town. I bought a famous children’s book written by a Polish Jewish writer which I will be reading soon 🙂 

Adorable childrens books in the gift shop

I highly recommend the POLIN musuem as it gave me a more in-depth look at my new city that I’m temporally calling home. 

Chopin in the Park

Every summer from May to September, the Łazienki Park (pronounced something like ‘whyjenki’) offers free piano concerts by the Chopin statue. I was very lucky and caught the last concert of the season before Warsaw gets too cold to sit outside for an hour.


Chopin statue

This is apparently the biggest Chopin statue until China decided to build another slightly taller Chopin in 2007. But of course, I think this one is the legit one 🙂 It was destroyed in WWII sadly, but the cast for the statue was kept in a warehouse and a reproduction was able to be made.


Audience gathering

I was amazed at how quiet the audience was for the entire duration of the recital. Even the little ones sat quietly, enjoying the music (Or playing Pokemon Go..). Such good audience etiquette 🙂 Many couples and families brought lawn chairs and picnic. it reminds me of our summer “Symphony by the Lake” with the Vancouver symphony. The performer was a talented musician who was a close runner up to last year’s Chopin competition.


Other than the Chopin statue, the park is also home to museums,  palaces, red squirrels, and peacocks  🙂


I can’t wait till the leaves change colour in the park. I’ll pay another visit soon to photograph Warsaw’s autumn colours 🙂


Online Yoga

One thing I’m starting to miss a lot (beside the boyfriend) is going to the yoga studio. In Vancouver, the yoga studio is literally 3 minutes from home and I had no excuse not to go! Yoga has been very special to me. I won’t say that it changed my life, but it did make me become connected with myself.

I first started yoga a year and a half ago hoping to distract myself from a sad break up. Instead of being distracted , I realized how strong I can be if I just put my mind to it. After a couple weeks of going two to three times a week, I can lift myself up a teeny tiny bit with just my arms 🙂 and my balancing poses became steadier.

I love how the yoga teachers would always connect the physical practice with the spiritual mind. This whole yoga-vegan-hipster Vancouver vibe is totally up my alley haha. 🙂

Here in Warsaw unfortunately, yoga is not a big scene like Vancouver. They have a couple (3 or 4) yoga studios scattered through out the city, but all a 40min  bus rides from me 😦

I tried looking online for videos and yoga teachers. Recently, I’ve start using this fitness and health site called “Grokker“. It had different series of yoga, fitness and cooking videos, all categorized by length and level. So far I have only done two videos from the site and I quite like the yoga teacher I was watching 🙂 her pace is not too fast and she leaves plenty of down time at the end.

I shall update later on how this site is working out for me 🙂

If you’re a yoga lover in Warsaw, please let me know where you do yoga ! Namaste 🙂 ❤


A taste of Warsaw’s Old Town

Last Saturday, I decided it’s high time I be a real tourist and get to know Warsaw better! It’s pretty awesome that the city offers free walking tours! Apparently, this company has been around for ten years now, and surviving solely on donations and tips they received at the end of the tour.

Here’s their website


The tour started at the famous King Sigismund’s column, which as our tour guide said, was one of the worst kings in the history of Poland! He apparently started the conflicts between Russia and Poland, was very ill-tempered and a dedicated Catholic who  worshiped the Bishop and brought on corruption. How very strange to have a giant column of a bad king hmmm.. Our guide said the only good thing this king did was moving the capital from Krakow to Warsaw haha..


We walked to the main square and also the palace which was just close by. Everything in Old Town is all very close to each other. In fact, you can walk all around Old Town in 30min. I was kind of disappointed that most of the stores are and not cute little hipster stores.

In the main square, was the mermaid statue , the guardian of Warsaw. There’s a story having to do with how it came to be. But because I am so short and our tour group was so large, I was all the way at the back and could not hear a thing… >__<   I think the story goes something like this: a brave guy saved the mermaid who has a pretty singing voice, and now she’s the protector of Warsaw. Also, the guy’s name was “War” and the mermaid’s name was “Saw” and their names became “Warsaw” :p


Warsaw Mermaid

During the tour I decide to not be shy and I started a conversation with this other Asian guy walking beside me. Turns out he’s from Malaysia and I happily told him that one of my very good friends is from Malay 🙂 we chatted for the rest of the tour. Yea, I guess with the right company, it’s more fun to sight see with a buddy.
He doesn’t like to take photos every 3 seconds, unlike me. This reminds me of my guy back home hehe 🙂 ❤ He only takes photos of me, his cat and mango smoothies. :p Makes me miss him.

We walked by Madam Currie’s house. She’s the only person in the world record that received two Nobel prizes and first woman to get a drivings license 🙂 way cool ! I really enjoyed the story of her told by our guide.

We also walked by the remaining wall of the Jewish ghetto and the atmosphere got more solemn as she described the conditions they lived in and how they were shipped to the killing gas chambers 100km from Warsaw. I can still remember clearly in my mind, my Grade 10 social studies class on World War II and Hitler. Our teacher warned us that the video he’s showing us is quite graphic. I can never forgot the scene of how the German soldiers threw thousands of dead bodies into a big hole. The bodies were all extremely skinny and all naked. This is such a heavy part of human history. 😦

I’m also very impressed at the resiliency of the Polish people. Their Old Town Warsaw was destroyed 95percent, and yet the buildings were rebuilt from ground up and looks very authentic. It is now part of the UNESCO heritage site because of their great architectural skills !


When you visit, be sure to climb up the hundred something stairs up the viewing terrace by St. Anne’s at sunset 🙂 The best view over Warsaw’s magical old town.


Warsaw Mermaid

Perfect light from the viewing terrace

Opening of the Travelling Cat’s Journal

It’s been exactly three weeks since I’ve landed in Warsaw. I have never stayed in the same European city for this long before. I was very excited when I received my first mail in the mailbox, and inside my very first Polish bank card! It’s all becoming real now!! I am officially not a tourist!

I am not very good at this whole blogging thing, so I am going to list down all the impressive things that I have accomplished in the short span of three weeks:)


  • caught a giant spider in the apartment and safely released it back to the wild
  • discovered where to buy tofu and seaweed!
  • shopped at the local bazaar ; communicated by pointing at the grocery adding smiling and nodding.
  • somehow started a fan club for Miss Yu which consists mostly of Chinese kids. 😉 oh what can I do, they love me!
  • Taught a  400 kids choir without losing my voice and patience !
  • Sat on the train for 8 hours for a “day trip” to a not so near-by town
  • Sang for 2 hours in a Polish choir, with Czech texts (but then decided it was too unbearable and then quit)
  • has decided to pick up the harp 🙂 lessons starts next week !
  • Went to a Warsaw social meetup event alone, and was (hopefully) not too awkward !
  • Has made music classes at the school slightly more fun than last year 🙂


Hello Warsaw, you’re not too bad at all 🙂