Thursday, August 02, 2007


Almost a month ago (ach, how the summer slips by!) I went one morning on a mildly eccentric excursion with my friend, P. It was a lovely warm day and I thoroughly enjoyed the cycle into town - something I'm ashamed to admit I'd never done before (the journey was shorter and more pleasant than I imagined it would be - particularly the spruced-up chunk of park between the metro stations Pole Mokotowskie and Politechnika). We met at the foot of the Marriott Hotel and caught the suburban train southwest out of Warsaw, making sure to buy extra tickets for our bikes. Where were we headed? To visit the village of Tworki and the adjacent town of Pruszków. Why? Well, Tworki is dominated by an enormous psychiatric hospital that has more than you might think to offer a day-tripper on two wheels. And Pruszków is not only renowned for its gangsters, but also because P grew up there in the 1980s.
P tells me that when the hospital was built, before the Second World War, it was one of Europe's most modern. Today I would guess that it's one of the least (although that's a guess made purely on the grounds of a tour of the grounds - we didn't march into any of the wards). The imposing gates stand right by Tworki station. You get the sense that the hospital is the village: the church and a couple of shops are within its grounds. It's on a grand scale, with its red-brick buildings keeping their distance from each other, some of them hidden away in the forest, some seemingly abandoned and overgrown. Having said that, from the photos I took, the place looks in quite good nick ...
Tune in next month for Pruszków!

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