If you follow Klara on Style Gallery, you’re more than familiar with her ethereal photographs (and adorable outfit ideas). What you may not know is that the lush forests, cobblestone streets, and other charming settings you admire in her snapshots are all glimpses of Warsaw, Poland — Klara’s hometown. We love learning about the world, especially when Style Gallery friends play tour guide, so Community Specialist, Bridget reached out to Klara to get the scoop on life and style in this gorgeous European city. Check out their interview and Klara’s photos, and let us know what dazzling destinations you’d like to explore next in the comments!
Hi Klara! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, I’m Klara, and my blog is The Robot That Had a Heart. I was born in Warsaw, Poland and have lived here my whole life. When I was choosing photos for this post, I realized I don’t have pictures that show Warsaw as a whole: no cityscapes, no photos of buildings, or famous monuments. Instead, I’ve decided to show you snapshots from daily life in Warsaw. Through a couple of those fleeting moments caught on film, hopefully you can grasp my city’s atmosphere.
Where are some of your favorite places in Warsaw?
I love to go out with friends and visit places around the city centre that serve beverages and one-bite dishes. At our favorite place, we’ll have a drink or two while listening to Polish oldies and tasting some delicious local food like pyzy (potato balls filled with minced meat) and tatar (raw minced beef served with raw egg and pickles) and featherbed herring (served with sour cream and grated apple). I am aware that those names may seem weird, but trust me, they are all better than they sound when it comes to taste and texture! Other than that, there are some great pubs along the banks of the Vistula River that are definitely worth checking out. You could go on a night-long expedition, spending an hour at each pub, and I bet you would still have some left for the next day. When it comes to clothes, I like to shop at thrift stores–and there are so many here! I can always find something exciting for myself–some original pieces that are not readily available in high street shops.
You go on lots of out-of-town adventures. What inspires you so much about escaping the city?
I’ve always felt a close connection to nature. I was brought up in a quarter bordering a large forest in the south of Warsaw, and I used to take long walks in the overgrown fields near my home almost everyday. In fact, after having lived in the city centre for a year and getting tired of the constant noise, I came back to live close to my fields again, and it feels wonderful. My boyfriend and I like to explore different places outside Warsaw, as well, and we often visit different parts of Poland, be it the seaside or the mountains. We drive around and look for lovely spots to take photos. Abandoned buildings, beautiful forests, and old parks are always a welcome sight. It feels natural to me to take my photos in such settings, and I don’t mind getting my legs stung with nettles and my hair being unravelled as I needle my way through the tall grasses and prickly bushes. I think these remote areas are indeed a part of my personal style, and I always imagine my outfits in connection with them. You know, I always say my style is fairytale inspired, and what better place to be a fairytale character than those dreamy natural spaces!
You make a point on your blog that continuing to learn is important to you. What’s something in particular that you’ve learned recently?
I don’t think it’s possible to move through life without learning something new every now and then! Personally, I just get hooked on new things and like explore them. As I am particularly fond of making stuff with my own hands, I constantly learn new crafting techniques. My biggest learning adventure as of late has been sewing clothes. I’ve been doing that for the last two years, and I love how fulfilling it is. It’s also good for my closet, as I never get bored with my clothes because I can make them new! Other than that, I’ve recently started learning about my city’s history. It’s exciting to think that I am a part of a place that is hundreds of years old. I enjoy reading about people who lived here and am trying to understand how those lives developed along with social and historical changes.
What is the one thing you wish you could tell the rest of the world about Warsaw that they may not know already?
Warsaw is a difficult city to love. It is full of contradictions and contrasts. There is a lot of old bordering with new and a lot of ugly alongside beautiful. It takes a skilled eye to see charm in that, but it’s so worth it when you find it! If you ever come to Warsaw, check out some not-so-touristy routes. Walk along the untamed east bank of the Vistula River. Go to Praga to see the old and ruined, but still very much alive part of the city. Visit Mokotów and spend some time among its calm parks and villas. Explore Ursynów or Bielany, which are full of socialist era blocks of flats. Who knows, you might wander out into the wild, and from there, hidden under a quiet tree on some hill, watch a city that is like no other.