Thursday, 3 May 2007

The world's longest weekend

Well, two weekends and the intervening week, actually. Poland has two national holidays within two days of each other - 1 May, the workers' holiday, and 3 May, the commemoration of the passing of the Polish constitution. This year the former fell on a Tuesday, the latter on a Thursday. So by taking three days off work, which most of Poland decided to do, one can have nine days' holiday.

On 3 May, we crossed Warsaw to see the fort at Modlin, which had become the setting for a WW2 battle reenactment. Here, a restaging of the Battle of Berlin took place, pitching Germans against Soviets. Huge crowds turned out - so huge that I could not get a glimpse of the action. The 19th century fort is massive. Below: Red Army 'soldiers' awaiting the order to advance.

There was also a large militaria fair taking place; we bought Warsaw Pact-issue gasmasks for 10 zlotys each (around 1.60 GBP) and a genuine unissued US Army trenchcoat from 1952 complete with liner for 270 zlotys (around 45 GBP). Below is the same T-34/85 tank within the fortress compound, which had been set-dressed to look like Berlin in May 1945.

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