My next destination last weekend was more a cute, little journey through Germany’s neighbour: POLAND. I went to…
GDANSK – WARSZAWA – KRÁKOW
and it was great!
Let’s start in Germany, Lübeck. It was the first time that I started at this airport – and it will be the last. It’s a sad sad place. Unfriendly and cold. Luckily I never have to go there again. Look at their duty free shop.
I always wanted to buy everything in a duty free shop – it was my dream. I missed the chance to let it come true.
Anyhow, the flight to Gdansk (Danzig) was smooth and quite short. We arrived at our Air B’n’B host and went to town. I didn’t look up much before we went there – this time I made sure what the current currency in this country is – and I was surprised! What a stunning beautiful city!
By that I mean, of course, the Old town of Gdansk. It is a quite small but stunning beautiful area with narrow streets comprised by high, unique painted, buildings. The centre is a wide street which you can enter (and leave) by passing to gates.
We had a nice stay there but honestly, if you plan to go there – don’t stay longer than 3 days maximum. It is a beautiful place but there’s not much going on. A few bars, a few restaurants and a few museums are located in the Old Town of Gdansk. And well, the weather was sunny but too cold to walk around for longer than an hour.
Front view of St.Mary’s Church
The main church of Gdansk is also one of the biggest in whole Europe. Its the St. Mary’s Church. It is a massive building made of bricks. It’s construction startet in 1343 and was finished in 1502. Fucking old. I didn’t take more pictures because the church is too massive and big to get a quite nice view on it – also it’s in the middle of Old Town.
The Town Hall
Another beautiful building is the Ratusz Glownego Miasta (the town hall), it’s located in the middle of the Old Town as well and really beautiful. I could tell you a lot about the history of Gdansk now but I think that if you`re really interested you can look it up yourself -it’s definitely worth it.
The most remarkable sight – the Crane – embedded in the Motlawa River Embankment
Taken from the other side of the river, in the background you can spot St. Mary’s Church and the town hall
Parts of the old city wall.
After having a pleasant stay in Gdansk we took the Bus (Polski Bus – which was surprisingly comfortable) to the capital of Poland – Warszawa. And what can I say? I was disappointed. A lot of stuff went wrong, too. Maybe it also influenced my overall impression of Warsaw. But after the beauty of Gdansk this city is quite ugly. At first you are welcomed by a relict of the socialist/communist past of Poland, the Palace of Culture and Science…
I was lost in this gigantic puzzle of ugly malls, shops and restaurants. We only walked around a little because we had to find a place to sleep. That day was kinda fucked up. The next should be better – and it was. As we figured out Warsaw also got an Stare Miasto (Old Town). We went there but it was different from the one in Gdansk. The streets were freaking tidy, as if someone walks by with a wiper every now and then.
We walked around the christmas market, the castle, ate dumplings (Pirogies) and had a beer, or two. This night was also the first night that I tried couchsurfing and we were really lucky that we had such a friendly and sophisticated host, thank you again very very much Ula :), where we slept. She also showed us a cool place with more alternative bars you might not notice in the first place. All in all I’m not a big fan of Warsaw right now but on the other hand, we only stayed there one and a half day – and in winter. I’m quite convinced that Warsaw got cool places, bars and areas where people can hang out and have fun. The next day we spent with buying me gloves for fucks sake, it was fucking cold already!! I always had to hide my hands in my jacket or pants. Incredible. Later we took another Polski Bus to our final destination:
and it was about time. I was really excited to go there because a lot of people told me how cool this city is. Even newspaper articles wrote about the flair, the bars, the history and the beauty of this place. We had a beautiful Air B’n’B stay half an hour away from the city centre. We were hosted by an old, very cute couple who didn’t speak english or german. It was really funny to communicate by gesture and Google Translator, haha.
We arrived New Year’s Eve at 9pm and immediately went to the city centre to experience the main party at the, can you guess, Stare Miasto.
Best picture ever.
After half day sleeping we moved on to explore Krakow. First destination was Kazimierz, the old jewish district/ghetto of Krakow. This district is really impressive. You have nice, cozy, sometimes fancy bars, restaurants and clubs there. I bet it’s awesome in summertime! We had to go from bar to bar because the temperature kept sinking. It was -15° during the day, the lowest was on our last night -24°, so we had to keep ourselves warm. Kazimierz is not only full of bars – it’s also full of Street Art if you keep your eyes open.
Afterwards we visited Krakows Old Town, which was more relaxed than Warsaw but still not as beautiful as Gdansk’s is.
We tried to follow a “free walking tour” and barely managed it to follow them half an hour. I was freezing to death, haha.
There are two things which I didn’t taste before but did in Poland. It’s mulled beer and mulled wine (polish style). Especially the mulled beer sounds weird at first sight but you really need to try it! Even more when its -15° outside.
It’s tastier than it looks, I promise!
In conclusion: Krakow was the best place to stay, it’s nearly as beautiful as Gdansk but with pubs, restaurants, cafés and clubs. But you should probably spend more time there because of the history & culture, Krakow has a lot to offer – and Oświencim is nearby and should be a must. Whole Poland has a sometimes difficult but really interesting history which is worth to learn and to know about.