Wandering at Wilanów

Warsaw is a Jekyll and Hyde city—the winter definitely being Hyde. It’s a beast, no question about it. I am glad I don’t have to go through it again—and so are my lungs. This last winter seemed to drag on forever, with an unusually cold, wet spring that was hard on crops and people alike.

But, this last week, Jekyll finally arrived, in the form of true, warm sunshine. The trees are pollinating promiscuously: white fluffy stuff falls like snow and piles up everywhere, along with the smaller grains we can’t see. It’s hay fever central for me, but worth it. So worth it.

This is not dandelion fluff. Pretty sure it is birch tree pollen?

Today we went out to the 17th century Palace of Wilanów to walk around in the sun. We’ve toured the palace before, and I do recommend it, but I’m Baroque’d out by now, and today was about being OUTSIDE.

There are large formal gardens immediately surrounding the palace, with meadows and wetlands further out in the direction of the river. As with most Warsaw parks, the place is immaculately kept, with very little litter, etc. This is a city that values its parks.

The front lawn of the palace.
The formal gardens are all right angles, tidy boxwood hedges and topiary.
Really a LOT of topiary.
Curvy lines are permitted in the Baroque decoration.
Nike in the gardens.
A fleur-de-lis in the French-style upper garden. And more topiary.
Of course there were several bridal shoots taking place. Poles are the marrying kind!
A slightly forlorn-looking gallery of original garden statuary behind glass. I think most of the statues left out in the weather are reproductions.
Luscious ladies and pudgy cherubs everywhere.
In the lower gardens, topiary, dolphin fountains, and slightly shabby symmetry.
A floral border–looking a bit the worse for wear from the hard spring.
Where the formal gardens meet the “wilderness.” Idyllic.
A “Chinese” pagoda hiding in the woods.
Creeks wind through the woods to a wetland below. We heard lots of birds and frogs everywhere. So nice when you come out of a city apartment.
Some of the pretty flowers!

I have never in my life been so happy just to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Never! I am so thankful that spring finally arrived, so we can enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces of Warsaw before we leave.



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