David and Kathy

Greetings from Dave and Kathy. Follow our travel blog as we head to London and Warsaw!

In London, we have plans to see some of the sights, to enjoy some fine dining experiences, and to see friends. Five nights in London.

In Warsaw, we'll attend two performances of the opera by André Tchaikowsky, The Merchant of Venice. Seven nights in Warsaw.

Dave has spent 30 years researching and writing about the life and times of André Tchaikowsky, who is known in Poland as Andrzej Czajkowski. Dave's website: http://andretchaikowsky.com.

Oct 15

Here, Kathy is speaking with her brother Craig, who was supposed to join us for the London portion of our trip. Alas, Craig caught the flu or some kind of bug that made it impossible for him to make the trip. Craig! We love you and miss you already. The photo was taken inside the Admiral's Club Lounge at the Denver airport. We're enjoying free wine, snacks, and other worthwhile beverages. This is run by American Airlines but anyone with $50 can buy a day pass, which is what we did.

Oct 16

Our British Airlines flight #281 left DEN and arrived LHR right on time. After passport control, we used our Oyster Cards to take the tube to the Elephant & Castle stop and to the flat (image) we rented on airbnb.com. We ended up calling our landlady for help because we just couldn't figure out her map. She came at once and the flat, tiny by American standards, is quite comfortable. While searching for the flat, we did enjoy a stop at Barista & Baker for a sandwich and drinks.

Oct 17

After a late start, we went to the Borough Market for some food shopping, then back home for lunch and a nap. Next, High Tea at The Wolseley at 160 Piccadilly. There are many places to have High Tea in London, but this is one of the best. After strolling the streets in and around Piccadilly, it was time to head to the London Eye (image) for our sunset trip. Nearby, at the Southbank Center, we enjoyed a free jazz concert given by The Fresh Dixie Project (YouTube).

Oct 18

We went to Bishopsgate today and at the St. Botolph churchyard, Dave noted that elevators were zooming up the side of the Heron Tower so we took our own elevator ride (YouTube). We found, on the 38th floor, there was a restaurant called Sushi Samba. Great views, especially of the adjacent "Gherkin" building (image). Next, was a stroll down an unbelievably packed Oxford Street, the main shopping street in London. Back home for a long nap and dinner at The Balcon.

Oct 19

This morning we did a walking real estate tour of our area to see what was available; there wasn't much. Then it was off to lunch to meet my longtime London friend, Eve Harrison (image). The Côte Restaurant (Charlotte St.) was lovely. We continued on to the Royal Park of Kensington to see this year's Serpentine Pavilion, which was designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic. Each "Pavilion" represents new ideas in architecture. This one is made of Fiberglas (YouTube).

Oct 20

Breakfast a home, then off for a 2-hour tube and bus ride to Golders Green, a suburb of London. The occasion was lunch with Dave's longtime friends, Judy and Michael Arnold. Judy was one of the first managers for André Tchaikowsky and helped Dave with his research. Then off to the House of Peroni, an Italy-themed bar and restaurant. We were too early for the restaurant, but loved the single-table concept (image). Instead, we dined at the Del Mercato Italian restaurant.

Oct 21

With high winds sweeping across England, we were uncertain if our flight to Warsaw would take place, but all went well. Once settled in at the Warsaw Mercure Grand hotel, we went for an extensive walk of the hotel area. We realized we were close to a nice restaurant we visited when we were in Warsaw in 2012, so a lovely dinner at The Dyspensa where the walls feature paintings by Polish artists, including "Girl with Fruit" by Bartosz Fraczek (image). This was for sale for $1,200.

Oct 22

First, a light breakfast at a coffee shop called Kawiarnia Wypoczynkownia and then off to the Old Town to play tourist. Kathy took a rest by a silent friend (image) (it's actually Jan Twardowski) and then met a Panda Bear in person (YouTube). We met our friend Michal Chojecki at the BrowArmia restaurant for lunch, and then some shopping so Dave could buy a couple of shirts. An Opera House visit followed, next, off to the airport to meet Eve Harrison and dinner at The Dyspensa.

Oct 23

Breakfast at Café Vincent, then on to the Old Town with Eve, where "the girls" enjoyed shopping, buying hats and gloves (image). A tea was had at the charming To Lubie tea room, followed by a visit to the huge Arkadia Mall. Lunch was enjoyed at the Mielzynski Wine Bar, next, came a visit to the Opera House to pick up tickets for tonight's Andrzej Czajkowski Chamber Music concert. Click Here to see Dave with violinist Wanda Wilkomirska, who was at the concert.

Oct 24

Off to the University of Warsaw Library today to meet with the director of the Music Archive Division. It is there that Dave's Andre Tchaikowsky Archive has a home, which represents 30 years of research. Eve Harrison is considering placing her Andre Tchaikowsky Archive in the same location.

The afternoon was spent enjoying the Warsaw Food Tour, which consisted of heavy Polish country food in large portions. By the end of the 4-hour tour, we were ready to take a break from eating ever again.

In the evening, it was all about the Andrzej Czajkowski opera. His masterpiece, The Merchant of Venice (Kupiec Wenecki in Polish). The official poster (image) is very strong. Near the coat check counter, Dave came across the Three Monkeys (Click Here).

Oct 25

Dave and Kathy hosted an Andrzej Czajkowski Fan Club breakfast at the Bristol Hotel Café (image). Shown here (left to right) are Lewis Mitchell of Josef Weinberger Publishing, Alek Laskowski of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Dr. Michal Klubinski of the Warsaw National Library, and journalist Hanna Milewska. With freezing temperatures outside, we elected to have an afternoon of rest, but eventually ventured our for dinner at a Wiking seafood restaurant.

Oct 26

Breakfast at Café Vincent then on to the Kolo flea market (YouTube). Lunch was at U Szwejka followed by a superior coffee at Coffee Nero. The main event was attending another opera performance of Kupiec Wenecki with friends, which included Halina Janowska, author of a book of correspondence between herself and Andrzej Czajkowski called My Guardian Devil. Here, Eve Harrison (left) is speaking with Halina, with Ewa and Piotr Goldstein in the background (image).

Oct 27

Another breakfast at Café Vincent then some exploring of the area around the Chopin Museum. After a return to the hotel for a brief rest, onward to lunch at Tamka 43 with Alan Lockwood, a Warsaw-based American writer (Click Here). Eve and Dave took off to Hala Mirowska, which is mostly a produce market (image). In the evening, a special invitation-only concert honoring the opening of the History of the Polish Jews Museum. Later, dinner at the Pedzacy Królik (Rushing Rabbit).

Oct 28

Up at 5 am to take a taxi to the airport. Dave rarely takes taxis when he travels, but Kathy insisted and it was quite wonderful. Dave now loves taxis! We flew Warsaw > London > Denver today and everything went perfectly. Even empty seats on the airplanes giving us a bit of space. Then overnight at a Denver Airport hotel to rest. Today's (image) is one of Kathy's great Art Shots. This one was taken under the roof of the University of Warsaw Library.

Oct 29

Back home to Placitas, New Mexico. In the Albuquerque (ABQ) airport, there is a great statue called Dream of Flight (image) by Lincoln Fox. Fox is a Santa Fe artist and yet one more person inspired by the state of New Mexico. Perhaps the best known artist to live and work in New Mexico was Georgia O'Keeffe and there is a fine museum of her works in Santa Fe. Santa Fe is also the home to more than 200 art galleries, to say nothing of fine dining and Indian markets of all kinds.

We have many people to thank for their hospitality and tickets to the opera/concerts, CDs, programs, and so many blessings. The top of the list has to go to Monika Strugala, who extended every possible courtesy, and to Hanna Milewska, Michal Chojecki, Piotr Paszkowski, Judy Arnold, Eve Harrison, Sean Gray, and Lewis Mitchell. And for invitations to post-concert events, we can thank Alek Laskowski and Josef Weinberger Publishing. Finally, warm hugs to Halinka Janowska!