The month of May in Warsaw will have temperatures between 55 and 60, and a low of 41, with fifteen days of rain forecast. So, it will be colder than back home, but definitely not warmer than Greece. Athens will have highs of 89, and lows of 73, with only two days of rain forecast. Santorini will have highs of 84, and lows of 73.
The key will be to pack smartly, both for the cooler Warsaw, and the relative heat of Athens and Santorini. This conundrum often reared its ugly head on my business travel days. I would start in Palm Springs, head to Denver, then back east.
Generally, the weather should be comfortable in Greece, shorts during the day, slacks at night, with a light jacket. Warsaw may require a few more layers both day and night, based on the forecast and my last visit there.
On my first trip to Warsaw, Mr. Mike and I found the city to be friendly, with many options for food and culture. We even spent the better part of a day in search of the “Black Madonna.” We visited the Curie’s home (now a museum) in Old Town, rode the metro all over the city, and got a nice sampling of Polish beers and nightlife.
Poland has been home to some rather famous people (famous Poles). One is Copernicus, the famous Polish mathematician, astronomer and scientist. He identified the sun, rather than earth, as the center of the universe.
But perhaps the most famous person from Poland is Frederic Chopin. Others include Pope John Paul II, Madame Curie (my personal favorite), Lech Walesa (Solidarity), Wislawa Szymborska (poet), Joseph Conrad, Angelique Kerber, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Meyer Lansky, Caroline Wozniacki, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and Anja Rubik (not the Cube).
Speaking of Madame Curie: The mother of modern physics was known for her work with radioactive materials and the discovery of elements like polonium and radium. Unfortunately, her research took a hefty toll on her health, leading to aplastic anemia, which caused her death. The exposure to radioactivity didn’t just affect her, it also affected most of her belongings, including her clothes, furniture, and books. Now, more than a century later, Marie Curie’s notebooks have to be stored in a lead box, as they are still radioactive (and will be for another 1,500 years!).
Circling back to Chopin, many people are surprised he was not French. But he did live a goodly part of his life there. Widely considered a keyboard music genius, he only performed 30 public concerts in 30 years of performing. His piano concertos are widely considered the best and most significant.
Having read Madame Curie’s biography, written by her daughter, I knew I had to visit her home (now a museum). The story is both interesting and amazing. She was perhaps the strongest woman of her time. Why was I so drawn to her, aside from her great scientific contributions? In her very rare and intermittent time off, she loved to ride a bicycle in the French countryside.
What is Poland famous for today? Many say potatoes and pierogis. But I say, it is the great spirit of its people. During this trip, I intend to learn much more about the Polish pysche, what they think of Americans, and how they see their future. Maybe I will find Lech Walesa?