WARSAW, POLAND 🇵🇱: THE “ANCHOR”

The anchor emblem seen on walls throughout the city, indicate significant locations for the Uprising of 1944. More information below the next photo.

So what does an anchor have to do with fighting Nazis?  The Kotwica is actually more than an anchor, as the figure is an amalgam of the letters P and W, which take on a number of meanings when associated with the Polish Home Army’s (AK) fight to retake Warsaw.  Starting in 1942, members of the Polish underground “Wawer Minor” sabotage unit started using “PW” to signify “Pomścimy Wawer” (“We Shall Avenge Wawer”).  The Wawer Massacre of December 26-27, 1939 was one of the first massacres of Poles in occupied Poland, and its memory fueled the opposition in Warsaw.  The meaning of “PW” was soon expanded to include “Polska Walcząca” (“Fighting Poland”).

“PW” increasingly appeared in the city as a “signature” on acts of resistance and sabotage; and in 1942 the AK put out a call to design an emblem that could be easily printed.  A design that combined the P and W into an anchor – the Kotwica – was submitted by Anna Smoleńska (code name “Hania”) and was chosen as the symbol of the underground.  Smoleńska, an art history student at the underground University of Warsaw, was arrested in November of 1942 and died in Auschwitz in March 1943 at the age of 23.  Thought she did not live to see an independent Warsaw, the symbol she created endured though the war and beyond. https://culture.pl/en/article/decoding-warsaw-a-guide-to-the-citys-sights-and-symbols

Why the “Mermaid of Warsaw?”

One legend claims “long, long ago” two sirens swam from the Atlantic Ocean to the Baltic Sea.  One sister stopped in the Danish straits and can to this day be seen by those visiting the port of Copenhagen.  The other sister (clearly the one with more discerning taste) kept swimming until she reached Gdansk, where she then turned to follow the Wisla into the heart of Poland.  Reaching what is today Warsaw, she decided she had found a home and stopped at the shore to rest.  It wasn’t long after her arrival that local fishermen began noticing someone was tangling their nets and releasing the fish.  Though it meant a loss of livelihood, the fishermen were so enchanted by the siren’s song that they never caught her.  That is, until a wealthy merchant realized he could make a profit showing off the siren at fairs.  He captured the Wisla siren and locked her away in a shed.  The siren’s plaintive cries were heard by a young farmhand, who with the help of his friends, returned her to the river.  Grateful to her rescuers, the siren vowed to help them in times of need.  The siren of Warsaw is thus armed, waiting with sword and shield to make good on her promise and defend the city.

A second tale again highlights the mermaid as the armed defender of the city, though with a different origin story.  This one claims that “in ancient times” a griffin defended the city.  The griffin would often accompany local fishermen to the Baltic, and on one such journey he spotted a mermaid.  It was love at first sight, and the mythical pair returned to live happily in Warsaw – until the griffin was mortally wounded during the Swedish invasion.  As the siege of Warsaw raged around her, the mermaid picked up the arms of her dying lover and joined the defense of the city.  In gratitude of her service and sacrifice, the people of Warsaw honored her by placing her image on the city’s coat of arms. https://culture.pl/en/article/decoding-warsaw-a-guide-to-the-citys-sights-and-symbols

Warsaw Spire.

Sigismund’s Column (Polish: Kolumna Zygmunta), originally erected in 1644, is located in Castle Square, Warsaw, Poland and is one of Warsaw‘s most famous landmarks. The column and statue commemorate King Sigismund III Vasa, who in 1596 had moved Poland‘s capital from Kraków to Warsaw.(Wiki)

Presidential Palace. Construction started in 1643. Bertel Thorvaldsen‘s statue of Prince Józef Poniatowski in front.

The Royal Castle in Warsaw (Polish: Zamek Królewski w Warszawie) is a castle residency that formerly served throughout the centuries as the official residence of the Polish monarchs. It is located in the Castle Square, at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there from the sixteenth century until the Partitions of Poland.(Wiki)

The Stadium.

Old Town.

13-15sep18. Warsaw Poland 🇵🇱

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KIEV (КИЇВ), UKRAINE (УКРАЇНА): GLORY FOR UKRAINE (СЛАВА ДЛЯ УКРАЇНИ)

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Slava duly Ukrayiny: “Glory for Ukraine”

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St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery Михайлівський золотоверхий монастир

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St Volodymyr’s Cathedral Патріарший кафедральний собор св. Володимира

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Sviato-Pokrovskyi Cathedral

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Kyivska Perepichka ! A perpetually long queue moves quickly towards a window where two women hand out pieces of fried dough enclosing a mouthwatering sausage. The place became a local institution long before the first ‘hot dog’ hit town. AN ESSENTIAL KYIV EXPERIENCE. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/ukraine/kyiv/restaurants/kyivska-perepichka/a/poi-eat/1276912/360928

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NARIZHZHYA & NOVYI KALKAIV (VILLAGES), UKRAINE: HUMILITY AND GRATITUDE

I visited the villages of Narizhzhya (population 300) and Novyi Kalkaiv (population 30) (about a 4 hour car ride from Kyiv)  this past weekend and it was humbling to see how villagers live. We were welcomed with food, beds, and warm smiles.

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bus stop ~ автобусна зупинка
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bicycle ~ велосипед
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Katya and her cat. Unlocking the basement door to take steps down to pickled tomatoes.
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Kitchen in the ‘summer house,’ separate from the main house.
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Ducks ~ качки
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Cheese dumplings ~ пельмені з сиру
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Tomatoes ~ помідори

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Borscht
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Cabbage dumplings ~капустяні пельмені
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Katya’s farmhouse.
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A kalunya (sp), hut, where she keeps hay.

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Organic cherry tomatoes.
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With beetroot for the rabbits.

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The next morning I walked out of the main house to this scene ~ cleaning onions 
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Katya’s favorite cake from Kyiv, a special treat for her.
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For breakfast, last night’s cheese dumplings, fried. Awesome. Delicious ~ смачно
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Breakfast spread: coffee, dumplings, jam, sour cream, and cake
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This cabinet is over 100 years old and was a gift from her best friend of 60 + years, whose childhood home, it used to be in.

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with humility and gratitude
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The doorway into another meal in another village: Novyi Kalkaiv. The husband and wife who live here, are 2 of the 30 people living in the village.
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A meal of kapusnyak (Ukrainian sauerkraut soup) and stuffed red peppers.
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In Luda’s kitchen.

9sep18. Narizhzhya & Novyi Kalkaiv, Ukraine.

Chișinău , Moldova : Un weekend

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O sâmbătă dimineață . A Saturday morning .

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Sa ne rugam . Let us pray .

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Carol Schmidt (German: Karl-Ferdinand Alexander Schmidt;[1] 25 June 1846 – 9 March 1928) was an Imperial Russian politician in what is now Moldova. He served as mayor of Chișinău (1877–1903). He was a Bessarabian German and is considered one of the best mayors Chișinău ever had. (wiki)
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The Nativity Cathedral

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Stefan Cel Mare Park

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Central Post Office

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Graffiti writers in Stefan Cel Mare Park

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jun2018. Chisinau, Moldova .