Yesterday was a public holiday here in Poland and for the second year running, back by popular demand, they gave the troops a day of parading around in Warsaw. And what a beautiful irony (or perhaps just good planning?) there is in Poland trooping its colours past the front gate of the Russian Embassy on the very same day that Russia threatens Poland with nuclear attack. There must be plenty of people having deja-vu at this point – Russia, attack, tanks in the streets – why it’s just like the good old days!
Weatherwise, they could not have picked a worse day for a parade if they tried. Yesterday simply defined the phrase “piss on my parade”. The heavens opened shortly before it all kicked off at Plac Pilsudski and boy did the rain come down. It managed to brighten up a little from about 2pm onwards but only managed to behave for 4-5 hrs before coming back with a vengeance for the rest of the day and night. It was the kind of weather I expect one gets in tropical regions and other places I have absolutely zero desire to visit – hot, wet, humid, sticky. If there’s one kind of weather I truly detest, yesterday was it.
So, there we were, detesting the weather in Pilsudski square, already soaking wet and wondering why we didn’t just stay at home. There were thin crowds at the square (wonder why?!?!) and those who were there were either crammed against the railings for the best view (we got there too late for that) or hiding from the weather under the eaves of Metropolitan. We did neither and just sort of wandered around the square a while before heading off to another part of the parade route.
We did hear some horribly loud bangs at the square as the artillery let loose and we heard Lech mumbling somewhere in the background. Most worrying was the fact that they had their missiles aimed at my office building! Or are these perhaps the American missiles that have caused all the fuss with Russia today? Who knows.
Off we trolled to Al. Ujazdowskie and, as foretold by guest comments on this very blog, there was much more going on down there. The street was bumper to bumper troops and military hardware lining up ready to trundle down the street, past the rapidly relocated Lech & Co and then on past the Rusky’s Warsaw homestead before ending up somewhere around Łazienki park.
Here are a few snaps to give you the general atmosphere of the event:
soldiers with red hats
and soldiers with funny hats with feathers in them. Edit – thanks to “Logrusmaster” I now know this is the mountain infantry brigade (Brygada Strzelców Podhalańskich) who fought at Narvik during II WW). That would also account for the nice warm cloaks!
They had Skorpion 3 trucks, used for flying model aircraft as far as I can tell. EDIT – according to “ajbarrios” these are not model airplanes but are ‘drones’ used for reconnaissance. I think the fact that they are unmanned goes without saying!
but the sexiest were the Leopard 2A4 tanks
If anyone can put meat on the bones of these descriptions, I’d be happy to edit.