During PixelHeaven Veve, Raxter and I ducked out to explore Warsaw a bit. Aside from an amazing vegetarian lunch that we had, the most interesting thing about this brief side quest was a visit that Veve and I made to the Zachęta gallery. We got in for the soul crushing price of one Zloty and were treated to some good stuff. The gallery had a lot video exhibits, the best of which was a fun piece featuring various shots of a guy painting with an easel in weird spots all around the world, including Table Mountain!
In the evening after PixelHeaven I met up with Bartek and bunch of other fun Polish devs. After stopping off for drinks we had planned to explore Warsaw a bit more on foot, but managed to hopelessly underestimate how cold it was. A new plan was quickly made in which we would party from the much warmer confines of the Flying Wild Hog offices; where two of our group worked.
Artur and Matt gave me a great tour of their studio including fancy private bathrooms, secret playstation dev kits and a balcony to make even the most seasoned balconeur blush. Seems like a fun place to work (despite feeling a little sexist). Flying Wild Hog is a studio with budgets and team sizes approaching AAA standards, but a tangible indie mentality.
We ate pizza, played a new build of Shadow Warrior 2, had some heartfelt discussions and slowly drained the vodka bottles before eventually hailing a taxi to return everyone home. It turned out to be a super fun and unexpected evening.
The next day was also earmarked for Warsaw stuff. I did some laundry in the morning and then met up with Bartek and Rafal for lunch. Bartek is a Warsaw native and he’s super proud of it, so after lunch we set off on a high intensity tour of the city.
Amongst other things, we walked through the old city, along the river and through the royal toilet gardens (apparently this name is accurate?). It was really fun to cover so much ground in such a short amount of time and Bartek was a superb guide. I’ve stayed with him in Berlin for about two weeks so far on this trip, but we hadn’t really hung out that much. It was reat getting to spend some more time with him and (I’m reasonably sure) he enjoyed getting to show me around his city. Warsaw is much more beautiful than I anticipated.
My last few hours in Poland were spent catching a train to Chopin airport and waiting for a late night flight to Reykjavik. Poland was a great experience though. I really appreciated being able to visit some more rural, poorer, and less touristy parts of Europe.