After staying at the bar for probably too long after a long day I was understandably exhausted and slept in for far longer than I had planned. It was gone 1100 before I left the hostel.
As it was still raining heavily and quite cold I decided to go Poznan Parmiarnia, a huge botanical garden and aquarium. I had a list of Poznan attractions to see, kindly supplied by Agnes' best friend Monica who is Polish and who's family come from Poznan This place was on her list so off I went. Also the thought of spending a few hours in tropical heat was quite appealing!
After some initial confusion with the trams; there seemed to be two number fives going in different directions I found the place and paid my 4zl to get in. I thought my PoznanCard which I had bought yesterday would get me in but it only got me a discount.
The place was very good indeed. Naturally I headed to the aquarium first and stopped by a carp feeding pond. Some of the carp were huge and there was a wide variety of carp in there and they were so used to human contact it was possible to stroke them, which I did obviously.
I walked around the very impressive aquarium looking at many different species of fish from over the world, they were all very well presented in large tanks with very clean glass that made viewing the fish very easy.
Agnes had texted me earlier to tell me about a live butterfly section so when I wandered into a room full of dead butterflies on display I thought maybe I had misunderstood something or they had changed the day or something. I was wrong and after she had text me the exact pavilion they were in I found them! Typical I thought, I couldn't find them despite being in the same building and Agnes 500 miles away knew what room they were in before I did!
The butterfly section was great, in a kind of air locked area to prevent them escaping and becoming food for the many kinds of animal that call this place home.
I had a butterfly land on my top and walk up to my head, I suspected it was a White Stripe from the Philippines and the sign proved me right...
I became aware of a man with a large camera taking photos of the butterflies then of the one that had chosen to land on me. He introduced himself as Peter, a journalist from the Gazeta Poznan newspaper. He asked me for my permission to put the photo in the newspaper and on the website! This made my day and I readily agreed. I had only been in town for just over a day and I'm in the paper already!
Having seen enough I left and took the tram back to the centre and to another Bar Mleczny. Totally bewildered again by the menu I resorted to a trick I have tried with success here. I stood looking as confused as possible at the menu trying to pick out things on the menu from the book. Of course I am really trying to make it look as obvious as possible that I need some help and for an kind english speaking person to offer some assistance. it worked a treat and I got a lovely chicken meal with bacon sauce for the usual bargain price.
After I'd eaten I headed to the Museum of The Wielkopolska Uprising of 1918-1919. A notable and crucial period in polish history as this victory, described by Jacob as one of the only Polish military victories in recent years, granted Poland additional territory and allowed the Polish state to be reborn.
I got to the museum at 1630, half an hour before it closed and had to really persuade the old lady to let me in. She wrote down 1700 on a piece of paper to which I pointed out that it was only 1630 and begrudgingly she let me in. She needn't have bothered to be honest as all the displays and interactive exhibits were in Polish only and I wizzed through the small museum in 20 minutes. Shame as I was looking forward to it.
I referred back to Monica's list and went in search of two traditional Polish restaurants. The first two on the main square were out of my league pricewise so I had a look at a Czech restaurant. This was was much more within my budget and I decided to return there later. Also on the list was 'an old communist style pub' called PRL. She had written " you'll like it" after the address, I suspect Agnes may have told her friend about my Cold War obsession! It was nice, typically dingy and dark and down a cellar. If you didn't know it was there you'd never know. It was great in there, not many people and I think I may go back one evening to check out the atmosphere when it's full.
After my very nice Czech meal with a very curious tasting beer- even after finishing the pint I still couldn't quite decide if I liked it or not- I went to the Blue Note Jazz Club for an" Irish Party" that Agnes had told me about. I didn't know quite what to expect but it turned out to be a huge screen playing various Irish singers and groups in concert. After nursing a beer and enjoying the atmosphere jumped on the last tram of the night back to the hostel.
Not sure what to do tomorrow but I have plenty of options, both within the city and some excursions so I'll decide in the morning. Time for bed now.