Today was one of those times where the go-go-go pace will probably come back to bite me in the butt. I attempted to see as much as I possibly could in the short amount of time I have here, and now my feet and legs are definitely paying the price: I don’t think I could walk up and down a long flight of stairs if my life depended on it.
Oh well, though. I shall survive.
Gdansk is such a beautiful place that it’s worth the soreness and fatigue to be able to see as much as I have. There’s so much to see and do here, and although I’ve spent the past couple of days combing the streets for hours, I don’t think I’ve really made a significant dent in the list of things to do.
This morning I started off the day by continuing to browse through the various amber stands in the city looking for a good deal. After some searching I was able to find a few great pieces. Eventually I put my mild bargain-shopping addiction aside and headed to the train station to go to Sopot, a resort town about 15 minutes from Gdansk.
I had a very difficult time finding ticket machines, and once I had my ticket in hand, finding which platform to stand on was impossible without asking for help. Luckily I was able to speak a mix of German and English to figure out where I had to go and what I needed to do in order to use the rail system.
Although the entire ordeal was a bit frustrating, I’m really glad that I was able to make the trip to Sopot. The town has a lot of shops and restaurants nestled along the seaside and also the longest pier in the Baltic region. I planned on spending most of the day there, but with the sun beating down and the temperatures rising, I returned to Gdansk after about 1.5 hours of wandering around aimlessly.
Returning to Gdansk proved to be another adventure, but with a little time I was able to find the appropriate tickets and not miss the train. After arriving back in the city I took the time to sit down and enjoy another traditional meal and take some final photographs for my scrapbook back at home.
Overall my trip to Gdansk has been amazing. At times it was difficult to find my way around, but with patience and some searching for people that speak the same language, everything worked out. The people here were wonderful hosts, and due to their gratuity and the beauty of this city, I would love to come back again for a longer visit.
1.) When shopping for amber, be sure to check all of the stands before you make a purchase and ask to see the certificate of authenticity by the provider. If the seller is unable to produce the document, don’t buy it. This region is known for high quality pieces and it would be a shame to be tricked.
2.) Eat the local cuisine! There are so many delicious Polish foods and with the affordable menu prices, you can try a bit of everything. I’m proud to say this is my first trip that I never felt the temptation to head to McDonalds.
3.) Research and learn more about the history before you come. There were so many historical places that I passed and had no idea what they were until after I had visited the Solidarity Museum. I wished I would have better educated myself about what to expect and also to know how important Gdansk was to the Polish (and later Eastern European) rise against communism.