How I accidentally found a forest (and other stories)

Last Friday I decided to take a walk to Fort Bema – which is located in Bemowo area. It’s quite far away from the center, yet the combination of the underground and bus worked really well and I was there within 30-35 minutes. I lost my way a bit though and this way I realized… I am in the forest!

So I decided to get out of my bus at the stop called “Fort Bema 02” (in Warsaw bus stops are not only called with some name, but also with some number – this really makes life very easy and Tallinn could try that near Kristiine Keskus for example ;) ). Instead of crossing the road I went on the same side of it as I saw several people going there (I always do that when I do not know the area as I believe that if people are walking to some direction, there must be something popular there). It turned out that I am going into blocks of flats and next to them there is… a forest. At first I thought that people living there must be very lucky and then I realized that if a developer buys some forest space, they may cut it off completely to build new blocks…

Anyways, I took the opportunity to picture the forest itself. It was marvellous. And even though I do not know the name of it (it might have been “Bemowo forest” but I am not sure) I would be happy to come back there and take a walk.

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There are a few more forests in Warsaw that I am aware of and I would be happy to see them soon (or at least before winter). They are Bielański and Kabacki forests. I read there are at least 15 of them in Warsaw and this might be true as Warsaw is pretty green on the suburbs.

As I mentioned already, my goal was “Fort Bema”. A lot of people are impressed with this place and for me it was a major letdown. But maybe you will like it. Let’s start with some good things. “Fort Bema” acts like a major park now, with a lot of playground space for children (there are spots for them to play and parents can sit and take a look if everything is fine), but the next parts are much more for adults.

Some of the area is well maintained, especially the moat that goes around the fort buildings themselves (and looks like a nice, well-organized river) and the bridges above it.

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I must admit it kind of reminds me of the Czarna Hańcza area in my home town of Suwałki, Poland. The buildings of the fort, that were used for storing ammuntion and later on – for producing it, seem to be very much abandoned. Some of them have been destroyed by an ugly paintings (I am not using the word “graffiti” here as I believe it shall be used for artistic paintings). The city seems not to care about it that much and it makes me sad as it could be a great attraction for the tourists. On Friday evening it was absolutely not crowded, there were just a few people lying on their blankets and sunbathing, riding their bikes and running. The playground part was pretty much full of people though.

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Inside, those buildings are not any better.

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So if you are somewhere in this area, you can take a look, but I think the area itself would be more eye-catching than the buildings themselves.

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I read that in 2002 city tried to convert Fort Bema into a city park. I have a feeling they did their job in a very chaotic way – some parts are marvellous and some are not good. There are also more and more residential buildings built around. To sum up – in my opinion other parks in Warsaw are better – I personally enjoyed Pole Mokotowskie (always crowded btw) and Park Skaryszewski much much more!

Have a happy week!

Adam

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