25 Aug 2016

Exploring Poland, Part 2: Pomerania

After Poland astonished us with beautiful lakes and cozy towns, we decided to hit the beaches of the Baltic sea. That meant that our next stop is Pomerania Region, where the city of Gdansk is located.




We found ourselves a nice camping called "Sopot 45", that was about two hundred meters (if not less) from the sea. We went to the beach on our first morning, but since our day was already planed, we put off the pleasures of swimming for later. Sadly, as the future showed, we weren't able to swim in the sea at all, since we had so many things to see, and so little of time.



City of Gdansk was an object that stole a whole day from us (surely, I mean it in a good way). Rebuilt after WWII (as many other cities in Poland) it is a charming pearl of Baltic coast! As you might expect, it's full of tourists, but if you avoid main streets, the traffic can be pretty decent :) 



If you want an attraction, climb to the tower of St Mary's Church: even though the steps look like never ending, the view from the top is very rewarding!



Don't miss the Gdansk Crane! Located near River Motława, it is an unique building, that now acts as a city gate, although in the Middle Ages it was used as a port crane (man powered!). Near the Crane you can find some places to eat and little market where you can buy some souvenirs.



Walk through the Ulica Mariacka is not obligatory, but recommended. According to our book guide, here you can find examples of traditional Gdansk architecture. I liked it's buzzing atmosphere, although amber galleries here are quite expensive...



If you are interested in the earlier life in Poland, then visit a skansen in Kluki, where traditional village architecture and crafts are demonstrated. I liked that this skansen is alive: people were baking pancakes (and you can buy them!), digging peat (look at the photo below), there were all sorts of domestic birds and, most important, horses!





Compared to Lithuanian skansen in Rumšiškės, this skansen wasn't polished too much, but I liked this concept - it felt quite homely.



This picture of Baltic Sea is taken not in our camping, but in Łeba - about 100 kilometers from our temporary "home". We came here to look for sand dunes that are shifting constantly - they move up to 9 m a year! Sadly, even though we got the map of Słowiński National Park where these dunes are, we couldn't find them: whole coast was marked with yellowish color, that indicated dunes, and we couldn't grasp which were the most famous. Instead, we walked along the shore for few kilometers and found some nice dunes, even though they were not the ones we've been looking for...



Before leaving this region, we came to Malbork - the castle of Teutonic Knights. 



I strongly recommend you to come here on the opening hours of the museum (9 am). If you decide to come few hours later, this is what awaits you:



As you can guess, we managed to get in before this queue. The castle is huge. And when I say huge, I mean gigantic! 



Our tour with an audio guide took us about 2,5 hours and we managed just to see the Lower Castle and the Palace of Grand Master. The Higher Castle and it's tour was left unfinished, since we had to ride to the Silesia. So, bear in mind, that if you plan to visit Malbork, be prepared to spend a whole day between the walls of this castle.








That's all what we've got to see in the Pomerania Region! Stay tuned for more posts that are coming after this weekend, since, traditionally, we're going to the festival Mėnuo Juodaragis!




Photos © Vincas Razma and Asta Skujytė-Razmienė