Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

not a square but a long market - Gdańsk

Posted by Hippo Bean at 10:12 PM

second radison blu and another excellent location, right in the old town. however, the room was the smallest of all the hotels on this trip but it did had a nice view of the top of the buildings and i could even see the old town tower from my room window. Wrocław old town was impressive. Poznań even more so but the Gdańsk Stare Miasto beats them all. it did not really have a square. the old town was a long and wide pedestrian cobbled street, the Dlugi Targ, the royal road that began at the golden gate and ended in the green gate, lined with ancient but renovated buildings with the now familiar dutch facades, restaurants, banks and shops. The Radisson Blu was at the green gate corner and as you stepped on the royal road, you could immediately gaze upon the red brick town hall with a high clock tower. Behind it the massive Mariacki Church, the St Mary's, the biggest brick cathedral in the world. one could not fathom how big this church was until you climbed the town hall clock tower and saw it from above. it's ginormous! butthis town was also the most touristy. it's never empty of visitors even in the middle of the night.

had wanted a perogi dinner but checked 3 different restaurants and none had any. finally asked one and was told they had dumplings. but when the waiter came, he said they didnt have any perogi. chose a seafood pasta and they didnt have any seafood either. finally settled for an over priced pasta bolognese and the waiter was so rude and slow that I didnt even leave a tip. later I walked to the end of the street and found a nice italian restaurant and made a mental note to eat there the following evening.

We drove to the old shipyard to pay homage at the monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers of 1970 the anti-soviet solidarnosc, a 3 crosses monumnet in solidarity square. But it was the european solidarity center building that got my interest. it was built with rust-coloured sheet metal that resembled the hulls of the ships. very interesting and fantastically beautiful structure. Next we came to the port where the Vistula ended at mouth of the Baltic sea and the Westerplatte peninsula where a monument was erected to commemorate the polish defenders. it was here at the battle of the Westerplatte that the first fight against the germans occurred, thus the first battle of WWII. Was told after the battle, which the polish lost, the german commanders actually saluted the polish almiral because the polish soldiers fought so valiantly. the Gdańsk marina, the lower town, on the left past the green gate, the channel area, was a bigger version of the new haven in Copenhagen. very picturesque, actually my preferred area because it had less crowds and had a slower pace.

In the afternoon, i walked to the train station to get a photo of its decorated facade. waited for a tram to pass by so I could get the red and white locomotive on rails in front of the red brick railroad station. Back in the old town, I had wanted to climb the town hall tower for views of the town below but the ticket line was long and the old dumb looking woman at the cash register just ignored us completely, and kept typing on the keyboard. many just gave up and so did it. climbed the Mariacki spire instead. It was gruesome and tiring but interesting 480 steps up, as they were on 4 sides of the enormous bell on the inside of the spire. however, once up there, one could not really see much as the railing was high and a brick slanted roof was right below the spire. so i went back to the town hall tower. this time the ugly woman was actually selling tickets, so I bought mine and visited the museum building which had breathtakingly decorated ceilings and walls filled every inch with paintings, and then all the steps up to the top of the clock tower. the reward was spectacular views of the miasto and the enormous brick cathedral. I've kicked myself for not bringing my samsung phone for a selfie. it would have been the perfect place for a selfie with the cathedral as backdrop. ah well. knees crumbling with pain in total agony, went for a massage at the hotel spa. didnt expect much since the one in riga was mostly rubbing oil on the body, but this one turned out to be one of the best ones I've had. in the evening I was refresh and re-energized due to the massage and had a wonderful meal of minestrone (which turned out to be simply a veggie soup) and a lightly battered sole which tasted very fresh. had a nice time in Gdańsk, even with the hordes of tourists.

Gdańsk photos:

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