Once one of the biggest empires in Europe and today one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe. Land of many castles and very dynamic cities, you can still feel the influence of its communist past with the imposing red brick builds all around the country. Same red bricks I see in Manchester but that's a story for another article.
Christianity's presence in the country dates back to the 10th century when Mieszko I, the leader of the Piast dynasty accepted the religion for the realm and that has led to multiple churches being built around the country. They are also known for being one of the very rare countries around the world that came out of the 2008 economic crisis unscathed, very much to learn about the country.
This article, ladies and gentlemen, is about the land of Polska!
Some of the cheapest flights from London thanks to the Polish presence in the British capital (I love you for that!😘).
✈️A London to Gdansk flight can cost around £30 and takes a little over 2 hours
🏠 Hotels rates around 130PLN/night (£26/€29/$34)
🚗 The rental car was probably the cheapest ever. I paid £8 for the 3 days
💶 The currency is the Polish Zloty (PLN) and the conversion rate is GBP/PLN = 5¦EUR/UAH = 4.5¦USD/UAH = 4)
🗣 The official language is Polish along with Czech and, Slovak. I also think English is common across the board.
⛅️ Temperatures stay above 16°C between May and September and go much lower outside of that time period
⏱ The time zone is GMT+2 and they do observe daylight saving
🍔 Food is relatively cheap and I was spending around PLN 38 - 94
And here's footage to prove it wasn't too good to be true.
I did not get a chance to go to Warsaw but very much loved Gdansk.
Where to stay?
On this occasion, I stayed at Dream Loft Łagiewniki which is a mixture of a hotel and Airbnb. It merely provided what a tourist needs (bed, kitchen, wifi, toiletries, and shower).
It was a whole flat I was given in a very quiet neighbourhood despite being in the heart of the city.
The Central train station is also located a few minutes walk away and they offer free parking.
As you know, I am not in for the fancy so this did just perfectly fine for me.
As this was just a Gdansk trip, I wandered around the city and tried to enjoy its beauty. Occasionally, I was stopped by random people who would ask me where I was from and what I was doing in Gdansk. This is often an opportunity for me to teach some geography🗺.
This is actually a hotel but it is located in such a cute location, I could not help but visit it. It sits right at a curve of River Klodawa and its mainly white facade reflects the sun beautifully.
It really has a cool and vintage vibe to it had I known about it earlier, I would have certainly stayed there. The night rates are only around €36 and the hotel offers all things from free parking to continental breakfast, even badminton equipment.
It sits on it own little island so even those fussy tourists to whom quietness is a must would be happy.
If you were considering staying with them, here's a link that could come in handy.
Another "non-landmark" but I think was cool to visit was Klatka B. I happen to bump into it after going heavy on the Gołąbki in a restaurant nearby. Unplanned walks often lead to some fun destinations and I think I will never say that enough.
I loved the menu in Klatka B and this exasperated chap who stands outside of it.
This is a little island in the center of Gdansk that sits between the Motława and the Stepka channels. It is also the home to the Polish Baltic Frederic Chopin Philharmonic, which is probably one of the best music venues in the country.
I am not sure if it was purely by luck but there were a plethora of large galleons along the bank of the river, on the eastern side. This particular one caught my attention as it reminded me of Queen Amina of the Zaria, on the northern side of Nigeria.
I could not find out whether I could visit the boat as there was no information in English or someone standing on it but it would be fun to jump on the galleon.
There are also a lot of bars and restaurants along the side of the river so a walk in Ołowianka is recommended any day. If not just to see the birds fly around and go about their business, the ambiance, food, and drinks are just very much worth it.
Unusual buildings are quite common in Europe and one would think about the Pisa Tower in Italy or the dancing house in the Czech Republic but here's another one in Poland. Krzywy Domek (The Crooked House in Polish) was built in 2004 as part of a 4,000m2 shopping center.
It is based on a very busy street in Sopot that I tend to compare to Oxford street or Champs Elysees. I spent a whole morning wandering around. There was a coffee shop inside the mall and there were a lot of shops all around. I took here one of my first long exposure shots.
There was also a lot of souvenir salesman that make quality items - Another reason to go.
This pier was built for pleasure and for cruise boats, this pier was open in 1827 and is the longest wooden pier in Europe (511m). It starts from the beachside that is popular among runners and also is the party area when the sun is out.
It is also a spot to watch the World Sailing Championship, the Baltic Windsurfing Cup and the Sopot Triathlon which take place near the bay.
And of course offers an unobstructed view of the Baltic sea. Also there are frequent flights to Malmo and Stockholm thanks to its proximity to these 2 hubs.
I feel my trip to Gdansk went very well, despite the stereotypes people tend to make out of certain countries. Although I did not interact with many because I was a little under the weather, I found those I have spoken to very nice and quite helpful. nstead of having regrets about not going to Warsaw, I simply resolved to going there on another occasion.
Until next time...