Deemed the one of the world’s “amber capitols,” Gdansk is a beautiful city situated in northern Poland very near the sea. The largest seaport in the country, Gdansk has been an important trade route throughout history and is now a huge tourist destination that has a little bit of everything for visitors to see.
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when traveling here. There seems to be a bit of stereotyping that Eastern European countries are “behind the times” or completely downtrodden, but I have not found this to be the case here.
Gdansk is a beautiful place that has seemed to find a wonderful way to mix the old ways with the new. The city survives on the tourist industry and accommodates guests very nicely and has seemed to find a way to embrace its past while continuing to move forward.
Controlled by Germany during WWII and later the Soviet Union, Gdansk is the city where the solidarity movement against Communism began to rise. Communism eventually fell in Poland after a series of protests, demonstration and sadly, death.
However, after Poland regained its independence, many of the other countries in Europe that were still under Soviet rule began to fight back against communism as well. The entire movement ended with the most famous event of the Berlin Wall being brought down in 1989.
Aside from emerging myself in Polish history, today has been spent exploring the reconstructed old town of the city and enjoying traditional cuisine at unbelievably affordable prices. At first I was a bit intimidated by the Polish menu and huge array of items available, but I ended up choosing pierogi, a type of boiled dumpling stuffed with pork.
Talk about delicious! They just melted in my mouth and left me feeling so full after only three of them on my plate of seven. I couldn’t leave the table without trying desert, though. I chose a pancake stuffed with cream cheese and fruit, smothered in cream. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to finish it all, but I sure tried.
My day tomorrow will be spent visiting the Amber museum and then traveling to the nearby city of Sopot, which is located right on the sea and is known for its pier and boutiques. It should be a great, and although this is going to make me seem like a total pig, I’m really looking forward to trying some more food!