We flew from Oslo to Gdansk in the north of Poland which took less time than the flight to Kirkenes. Marianne's ancestors on her father's side came from Poland and it has been her ambition to visit the country. We will also be visiting Warsaw and Krakow before flying home.
It was a beautiful Spring afternoon with temperatures a bit over 70. We found a place to have traditional Polish food for dinner not too far from our Airbnb and toddled off about 6 pm.
We did not know what to expect in Gdansk but we were immediately pleased to see so many distinguished buildings.
We are staying in the old town not too far from the main station.
There was a lot of damage in WWII and consequently a lot of boring modern buildings.
But in the old town there is much to admire.
I'm not even going to try to label all these interesting buildings but this tower is Basta Jacek. You can translate the wiki article into English.
After about half a mile, we reached the restaurant which we entered by going down the stairs.
Marianne managed to eat about half of this large dish of potato, ham, onion and melted cheese. Really healthy.
Naturally I chose a much more healthy dish with meat bulbs and mashed potatoes. On the left was slightly vinegary carrot and what we think might have been vinegary turnip. Both of the vinegary things were cold and refreshing. The meat balls and potato were good as well.
I had a half liter of draft beer and Marianne had a third of a liter.
We used our Visa card and I just looked at how much the entire meal cost.
That is similar to the cost of one glass of beer on the Lofoten.
My muscles were hurting after all the walking in Bergen and Oslo so I took an Ibuprofen pill which really helped. Even so, I probably had about ten hours sleep before we headed off for another walk the next morning.
Another beautiful day in Gdansk. We have been so lucky with weather on this trip.
If you look at the grass and dandelions at the bottom of the photo you will notice that they are not cut. That practice seems to be common here.
Some sort of academy.
The memorial to the Solidarity trade union that eventually won independence for Poland. It's worth going to the link to read about them.
The famous gate # 2 at the Lenin Shipyard where in 1980 Lech Walesa announced that a deal had been done with the Communist Government. In some ways you could say that this gate was the symbol of the start of the fall of communism.
A museum has been built and yes, it is leaning.
I presume this field is where the shipyard stood.
Perhaps this was the agreement.
Numerous people were killed or imprisoned during the period. Read what happened to this person. Yes, 'seemed suspicious' is a bit of an understatement.
There are numerous plaques.
This woman on the left, Anna Walentynowicz, was very influential and an early leader of the movement. She was fired just before she was due to retire and this sparked the protest movement.
On the right is another important person. Somehow I cut most of him out of the photo but you can read about him here.
More long grass.
This style of housing used to be popular in Gdansk and is making a return.
We arrived at the west bank of the Motlawa River.
A statue to Tadsusz Ziolkowski who was the Commander of the Shipping Port. He was executed in a concentration camp near Gdansk in 1940.
Both sides of the river are lined with interesting buildings.
Spring was in the air and the cafes were doing good business.
A sailing boat motored by.
There is a crane in this picture. Not the one in the background. Not the bird on top. It's the building which has a crane built inside.
These huge wheels were operated by men walking around the insides.
More about the crane.
Quiet street running perpendicular to the river.
Another street. This was busier.
We then entered a much wider street known as the Long Market (Dlugi Targ) which is the center of old Gdansk.
The street is lined with wonderful buildings.
Amber is the popular material for street stalls. There is along history of trading in the substance in this city.
The beautiful buildings go on and on.
Amber for sale.
Bare legs were worn on this beautiful day.
It all looks so beautiful, but most of it is restoration.
It is difficult for the mind to comprehend the damage that was done to this city in WWII.
This link shows before and after photos of the reconstruction. You can read more about the reconstruction here.
Gdansk was German from 1920 to the end of the war and was known as Danzig. The city was overrun by the Soviet Army in 1945. Many of the remaining German inhabitants were expelled to Germany and Poles moved in.
We started to wander back to our bnb.
We wandered into the old Market we had strolled by the night before. It appeared to be mostly filled with clothing stalls.
But apparently when they restored the building, they found the remains of a very old church and decided to leave the remains in place.
It was time for a cold beer.