Thursday, 24 May 2012

Warsaw: spruced up and looking in its prime

The football starts in just over two weeks. Seven kilometres of motorway have been opened this morning, linking the S8 which skirts round Warsaw's north-east flank to Pruszków, still over 100km from Stryków where the motorway from Berlin currently ends. Meanwhile, the city authorities are doing their best to make Warsaw look clean, modern and welcoming.

Graffiti has been removed from my favourite bridge, Most Poniatowskiego. Left: steps leading up to Al. Jerozolimskie from the passage to W-wa Powiśle station. The écru-coloured walls are a magnet for the vandals; within minutes of the painters restoring this structure to pristine condition, Warsaw's public monument-defacer community has been out and about uglifying this beautiful structure, and others, such as Arseniusz Romanowicz's W-wa Powiśle station.

Birching is too good for them. Bring back the stocks, public flogging etc. In the meanwhile, before too many visual equivalents of doggy-do return to despoil the walls of the bridge, it is a rare chance to photograph it looking like it should.

Right: steps leading down to Śmigły-Rydz park in Powiśle. The neo-gothic vaulting reminds me of the Chapterhouse Steps at Wells Cathedral.

Once at street level, turn left for the Polish Army Museum (Muzeum Wojska Polskiego). Entrance to the park, filled with an eclectic mix of Soviet and Western militaria, is free of charge.

Below: a Cold War-era MiG 21 fighter gleams bright in the morning sun.

Below: a Sherman tank and 25-pounder field gun, both as used by Polish soldiers fighting alongside the British in Italy and the Normandy campaign. Worth remembering that Poland provided the fourth-most numerous army to fight the Germans (after the USSR, USA and UK). Hanging on the railings of the museum, a series of illustrated historical posters leaving our footballing visitors from the East in no doubt as to who won the Cold War.

Our city is truly at its best right now; spruced up for the visiting football fans, and enjoying some wonderful spring weather. A north-easterly wind cooled the air to a pleasant 21C today; walking around Warsaw a real joy.

This time three years ago:
Heron over Jeziorki

This time five years ago:
Present rising, future loading


adthelad said...

Am enjoying the wide angle shots - sharp too. I note you mention correcting for distoryion in a previous post - which software, if I might ask?

Michael Dembinski said...

DxO handles the in-lens distortion (barrel/pincushion, chromatic aberrations). Photoshop used to correct the parallax.