Thursday, 16 August 2012

Ten Minutes Over Warsaw

A few days ago, I posted photos of the helium balloon that takes passengers up for tethered lights over Warsaw. And so - time to try it out. 35 zlots a pop for a ten-minute flight. Stacja Balon is just across the river in Praga Północ where the Most Świętokrzyski meets the Wybrzeże Szczecińskie

So - our Ascension Day. Time to visit the heavens, well, with the gondola rising up to 130m at least, which is a full 16m higher than the viewing gallery on the 30th floor of the Palace of Culture (visible at the tallest building on the panorama below). And around the same height as the London Eye at its zenith.

Directly across the river, where the orange crane stands, is the building site for what will be Powiśle Metro station on Line Two. The excavated tunnels filled with water, causing traffic chaos around this part of Warsaw early yesterday, and this is lively to continue for some time.

LinkLeft: a good view from here - you can't see the Orange logo. These are the people who sell me an 6mb/s internet connection for 60zł a month that keeps cutting out, requiring regular manual reconnection. I'd have terminated my agreement with them years ago (they sarcastically call the packet we have 'Internet mojego marzenia'), but Orange (formerly TPSA) has a monopoly on broadband round Jeziorki.

Below:
a matchless photo of the National Stadium, in the distance, the Most Siekierkowski bridge, and the Grochów district of Praga Południe to the left.


Right: Looking down on Most Świętokrzyski. Very little traffic this evening, due to the road closures associated with the flooding of the tunnels under construction at Powiśle Metro station and yesterday's midweek public holiday prompting many people to take today and tomorrow ofp.

Plenty of cyclists using the bridge's cycle paths - of equal width on both sides.

Below: the Vistula, with the Most Średnicowy, Most Poniatowskiego and Most Łazienkowski spanning the river. On the other side - Powiśle.

Below: returning to base after our ten-minute flight. A small queue has gathered for the next trip. If you're not booking a group visit, but want to go individually, keep an eye on the website (here) and on the weather. The balloon is sensitive to wind (this morning it was not flying on account of the windspeed) and there's little sense in going up in dull, overcast days. Weather permitting, the balloon will go up as late as 22:00; but I reckon going up at sunset would yield staggeringly good views.


And so, the balloon ascends once again (left). It is a great idea, and evidently popular with Varsovians and tourists alike. Originally the balloon was meant to fly for the Euro 2012 championships, but its popularity means it will stay around for a while yet. DO pop by to take a flight; it's glorious on a clear, still, summer's evening. Take a camera with wide and telephoto lenses, and work your way around the gondola to snap photos in all directions.

This time last year:
Warszawa Zachodnia - before the remont

This time two years ago:
Happiness, Polish-style

This time three years ago:
And watch the river flow...

This time five years ago:
Armed forces' day parade

2 comments:

Neighbour said...

Michael,

You don't have to stick to "francuska dojarka". I have moved to Netia without a problem. Internet connection now is 6Mb without interruptions.

Re. photos - I guess these were taken with 10-24 and straighthened?

Is it shaky up there? I would like to bracket on fast motor to possibly use for HDRs.


Best regards,
Neighbour

Michael Dembinski said...

Has this post had some effect?

Since I wrote this, I've had no interruptions of service - the little icons on the bottom right on my desktop are showing unbroken connection... Is some one at 0r@nge reading these posts?

10-24 and straightened indeed. Shakiness - not too bad. I wouldn't think a 5fps motor would have a problem with matching frames for HDR use.