Poland is one of those mystical countries that always surprises us with its beauty. A few years ago, we spent some time in Poland mostly in Warsaw and Krakow. The quaint streets and colorful buildings were quite picturesque and the depth of history emanating from the country was astounding. We loved Poland and were quite excited to get back, this time to the small coastal town of Gdansk.
Gdansk is quite small and one day was plenty of time to explore the highlights. We strolled through the old town admiring the main squares and waterfront. The famous crane was the biggest port crane in medieval Europe and holds two large human powered wooden treadmills inside. With the exquisite engineering, only four people could lift two tons worth of weight.
We meandered through Long Market, a market square with small shops and eateries. Here lies Neptune’s fountain, opened in 1633. The sculpture faces the old residence of the Polish kings where the god of the Sea bowed his head to the aristocracy. St. Mary’s Church towers behind Long Market. The church was built in 1343 and has functioned as both a Roman Catholic church and a Lutheran church.
The immense Monument to the Defenders of the Coast commemorates the Polish soldiers who fought Hitler’s army in 1939.
No visit to Poland would be complete without pirogies. We sampled a potato and cottage cheese pirogi platter and a garden vegetable variety, along with traditional Polish beer. We also sipped the Goldwasser liquor of Poland, a spiced liquor with real gold flakes suspended throughout.
Our Viking journey continues. Up next, Helsinki!