It was a sign! We met one of Poland’s most intriguing travel personalities on the streets of Gdańsk: Wojciech Cejrowski who traveled much of the world barefoot … . We bought his book with his autograph and inscription … Now it’s our turn … But not necessarily barefoot:-)
We also met the members of a great busking band from Katowice, Cocotier who play a fusion of flamenco, jazz and folk. They performed this weekend during the Dominican Fair (Jarmarki Dominikanskie) an annual street festival in Gdańsk that’s been taking place there since 1260!
We loved the city of Gdańsk or Danzig, depending which part of its thousand-year history you decide to look at. Completely rebuilt after its Soviet ‘liberation’ after the war, the city today explodes with vitality, nightlife, restaurants and the most amazing scenery.
Here are some interesting facts about Tricity:
Gdańsk was an independent state before WWII
Hitler used the independent status and the internal conflicts of Gdańsk’s citizens as one excuse to invade Poland. He attacked the Polish troops 1 September 1939 off the Gdańsk coast, beginning WWII
Gdańsk is the birthplace of Solidarność and their leader Lech Wałesa at the Gdańsk Shipyards. The Solidarność movement had a big impact on the fall of communism in Central Europe.
We walked to Gdynia by the beach from Sopot and we really enjoyed the rustic untouristy beaches surrounded by a protected park…Gdynia is the most modern out of the three cities as it evolved from a small fishing village into one of the most influential sea ports on the Baltyk
P.S. My parents (Martin’s) lived in Gdańsk in the 70’s and it’s possible I was conceived there:)
P.P.S. Avoid travel on trains (PKP) during long weekends! It was an unwelcome adventure.
Have you been to Gdansk or the Tricity area in Poland? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
It was June 15, 4 days before our next departure to the Canary Islands, a nice evening without Niko in Leszno’s waterpark complex. We had some time to ourselves to enjoy the pool, water massage and a ride down the water slide. The result? Natasza’s broken collarbone. Many doctor visits later, one surgery and a few painful and emotional weeks, we are ready to move on…
It’s August now and the plans are forming with renewed hope. We have learned a lot during the last 8 weeks:
We know we are not invincible and need to take every possible precaution to make sure our trip continues safely
We need to be supportive when times get tough and arm ourselves with patience and love
We have learned to respect each other’s roles more
We are very appreciative of the support we have received from our friends and family (Thanks Kate, Igor and Nika for a wonderful visit in Leszno)
Natasza is feeling better now and is ready to tackle the world again (she is going to the hospital tomorrow, to have the metal rods removed, finally)
As part of her recovery, we took a much-needed break to fill up on vitamin D, Iodine and whatever else the Polish sea has to offer. Kołobrzeg is a small touristy town right by the Baltic sea.
We rented an apartment close to the park and the beach. We struck gold with the weather as it is usually very unpedictable.
We have heard many Polish folks say; “Having sunny days at he Baltic sea is like winning the lottery … “
Guess we did …
We really liked the beach, however being unaccustomed to the cold water, Niko was the only one brave enough to take a dip in the sea (average water temperature during summer is between 16-19 degrees Celsius). We did however enjoy fresh fried fish, smoked salmon chased by delicious cold Polish beer. We also enjoyed our daily stroll by the very green promenade parallel to the coast.
Niko’s favorites were soft ice cream and fries, not necessarily in this order:) Niko and Martin also loved the military museum with real decommissioned aircrafts and weapons.
It was a nice short break.
Are you planning a trip to the Polish sea? It may not be warm but it is beautiful. What are our thoughts? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
We had a great time visiting our good friends in Warsaw, Poland.
Considering that over 85% of Poland’s capital was leveled by departing German troops during WWII, it is quite amazing that majority of its historical buildings have since been rebuilt. The determination of the Warsaw people is clear. Warsaw is now home to over 2 and half million people, and since entry of Poland into the EU in 2004, it’s becoming a force to be reckoned with. It astonished us with its variety and multitude of its historical, cultural and artistic themes that ought to attract the world. Based on the variety of languages spoken on its streets it is clear; it’s succeeding.
While in Poland in Leszno, I try to take the bike out for quick treks around the surrounding forest called Karczma Borowa .
I have been enjoying these immensely and wanted to share with you the beauty I encounter. One day I decided to take my camera along to take a few quick shots.
If you don’t know it yet, the Polish forests are unique, beautiful, varied and rich.