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Monday, 4 January 2016

Warsaw - Zloty Tarasy - A Sweet Recharge = Grycan

My dearest travellers,

Have you ever been to the busy-bee-like city of Warsaw - the capital of Poland? You may have passed through it or you may have had a connection to the International Airport Chopin, but if ever you have at least a day off, this city is worth your time for a short visit. If you are a museum and a history buff, you will surely enjoy it; if you are an addictive shopper, on the other hand, you will still be satisfied with the choices Warsaw offers.
We prefer to travel, from Krakow, to Warsaw by train. Before we used to take the Polski Bus, which was comfortable and cheap, had WIFI and also sockets to recharge your phone/pc; but now we care a lot about the time spent travelling. By bus, it would take around 5 hours; now the newest type of trains, connecting Krakow to the 3 cities by the see (Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot), takes you from Krakow to the Central Station Warsaw in about 2 hours and 15 minutes. And if you buy the tickets in time, you can get them as cheap as 49 zloty (per one person, one way) - prices in December 2015.
View from the Palace of Culture (on the top floors)
The lovely part is that the train stops at Warsawa Centralna (Warsaw Main Station), which is smack-city-center! and right next door you have the well known (by the locals): Zlote Tarasy. The Złote Tarasy (English: Golden Terraces) is a commercial, office, and entertainment complex in the center of Warsaw, Poland, located between Jana Pawła II and Emilii Plater streets. It opened on February 7, 2007.
Warsaw City Center & The Mermaid Symbol of the City
The architectural concept of Złote Tarasy was designed by The Jerde Partnership, for which the firm received the 2006 Architectural Review MIPIM Future Project Award in the Retail and Leisure category. The total area of the building amounts to 205,000 m². It includes 200 shops and restaurants (occupying 63,500 m²), a hotel, a multiplex cinema (8 screens, 2560 seats, opened on 31 August 2007) and an underground parking garage for 1,400 cars. A transparent roof covers its signature central indoor courtyard designed for concerts and similar events. The building cost $500 million. For me, the design always made me think of a tidal wave, a tsunami, rushing towards you... also it reminds me of the Dali paintings... but if you ever seen it, you know what I mean ;)
We went - my dear friend and I - right before Christmas, on the very 23rd of December 2015. My friend never saw Warsaw before so we made it a day-trip as a Christmas Present :) It was freezing cold and there were not many people around, as still it was a working day, so the city was quite deserted, except for the malls, where people where fighting over presents for family/friends. We enjoyed a nice short break ar the Grycan shop inside Zloty Tarasy (I believe it was the level the same with the street level... that would be -1). We needed something to refresh ourselves and give us a bit of energy kick. Of course something sweet was in order, but icecream would have been too much, especially that I was still sick and nose running...
The history of the Grycan brand goes way back, up to the prewar days! Here is what the Grycan site says:
In 1946, under the repatriation programme, the family moved to Wrocław. In this city, which was still recovering from the wartime destruction, Józef and Weronika Grycan, my parents, settled in an old town house on Grunwald Square. This is where our first ice cream parlour in postwar Poland was opened. Its marquis read: “Teddy Bear ice cream – Weronika Grycan”. I can still recall those ice creams flavours... cocoa, vanilla, coffee – and in the summer: wild strawberry, garden strawberry, and lemon. We also offered “Penguin ice cream”, probably the first ice cream sold on a stick in Poland. Every year, beginning in May Wrocław’s street, vendors would sell them either from push carts or special cases insulated with fine wood shavings. Wanting to uphold the family tradition, I started to learn the craft. I completed an apprenticeship at the Bristol Hotel in Warsaw, which was renowned for its confectionary workshop. That’s where I met my future wife, Elżbieta, the daughter of my master. Raised just as I was, in a confectioners’ family, she has been my companion for over 30 years now, supporting me in all my personal and professional undertakings. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that together we would build a widely known ice cream brand ”Zielona Budka”. That came true in 1980 when I took over an ice cream parlour in Warsaw on Puławska Street.
We had delicious fresh curled waffles (in Polish: rurki) with whipped cream (in Polish: bita smietana) & a power drink, a freshly squeeked juice. Ioana tried the "Relaxing Juice" with pineapple, peach, lemon and orange & I tried the "Extra Relaxing Juice" with kiwi, pineapple, pear and orange. All was freshly squeezed and delicious; after having it we got more energy to look about the place and buy some more things for friends and family :)

The prices:
- The freshly squeezed juices were: 200 ml = 5.9 zloty; 300 ml = 7.9 zloty; 400 ml = 9.9 zloty
- The waffles with whipped cream: 2.8 zloty per piece.
- The train from Krakow to Warsaw - from 49 zloty up :) (depends when you buy it!)
- The train from Warsaw to Krakow - same as above ;) 
- Time in Warsaw with a dear friend - priceless :)

* I was not repayed in any way for this post and all the opinions are my very own, straight from the heart! *

P.S.S. All pictures were taken with the Samsung Galaxy S4 camera, a present from my awesome hubby :)  and they were taken on the 23rd of December - no modifications on light/size.

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Enjoys Short Breaks In Warsaw With Dear Friends :)