GDANSK, POLAND: This city is just one member of a tri-city metropolitan area, locally known as “Trojmiasto” which includes Sopot and Gdynia to the north by the Polish coast. The beautifully restored streets of Gdansk are lined with carefully restored hanseatic merchant’s houses. This gritty shipbuilding port in the north of the country was the birthplace of the Solidarity trade union movement that fronted the fight against communism.
Malbok. We started our visit with a tour of Malbork, located 50 km from Gdansk. Malbork is an impressive and unique castle where different structures and styles have been woven together in an exciting way. This castle was built in the thirteenth century and was the centre of diplomacy, military power and religious rites. Today visitors come here to relive the Christians – and the brick walls of the world’s largest Gothic building.
Food at Bogdan. After hours walking the castle, we came to Mr Bogdan Galazka, serving authentic culinary cuisine. Bogdan is one of those living in the castle and here he has his own medieval restaurant “Gothic”. The restaurant is located in the historic cellar with booing ceilings and exposed brick walls. The Chef is passionately attracted to his restaurant with the most incredible flavours. He cultivates own herbs in the garden, buying ingredients from local farmers and is inspired by world cuisine. Bogdan travel around the world in the winter to bring home inspiration. Gourmet food served by the Chef himself and listen to his stories are an additional pleasure.
Night Life. Summer evenings are normally warm, the air is fresh and streets filled of people. Gdansk has “Night Museums”, a festival which each year attracts people from all over the Tri-City and other Polish cities. The streets are filled by sound of violin, guitar and people singing. The world looks different at night, and Gdansk’s nightlife you can touch and feel the city’s narrow streets throughout the summer. Until late in the evening, dine, drink and get together with interesting people from all over world. Life in Gdansk is charming life.
Next day. Oliwa Cathedral is 107 meter long and the longest Cistercian church in the world – and with Poland’s largest organ. In this area you find a wonderful park that is divided into two different styles. One English and one French, two styles together with great love and imagination. In this park Cistercians used to meditate for inspiration from God and nature. Today the park is a great place for families and a space of green area.
Treasure Hunt. In the evening we walked by the restaurant “Gdanski Bowker”, located right on the banks of the Motawa. Tasting Polish Tatar and local beers gave us strength for next day treasure hunting. First stop was Mariacka Street. Here are the stalls, harmoniously placed in the street and surrounded by the city’s lovely terrace buildings in the city centre. Close by is also Mary’s Church, which is the world’s largest brick church and from the top of the church tower we experienced panoramic views of Gdansk. The wonderful Neptune Fountain has been in front of the Artus Court since 1633 and is regarded as a symbol of Gdansk. We ended the day next to Neptune Fountain, visiting of the city’s many charming restaurants. This tavern serves traditional Polish soup and venison and the staff is elegant and friendly.
Sopot. Neighbouring Sopot is the county’s summer party capital, with long sandy beaches and the tri-city’s best nightlife. Enjoy a modern city, delicious food at restaurant Meridian or buy handmade amber art. Gdansk is located on the Baltic coast with over one thousand years of history, mixed with modernity, pleasant streets and a unique atmosphere. Tri-City is a cheering experience.
Avoid. Gdansk is a fascinating city in all seasons – but if you dislike the cold, avoid winter.
How to get there. Gdansk is well connected by air to numerous European cities, including London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Oslo Rygge and Rome; check www.airport.gdansk.pl for full details.