Poland Day Fifteen A Train Ride To Gdansk And Poland’s Baltic Coast.
It was another early start on Saturday morning. No time for breakfast. We met our young guides Kasha and Karol in the lobby of our hotel around 6:00 am We then proceeded to the nearby train station. Our train left Warsaw at 6:15 am.
It was a three hour ride to the city but the train was modern and comfortable and I enjoyed watching the passing scenery under the April sunshine. . Our train crossed over the bridge I walked to on my first morning in Warsaw and we were soon outside the city limits.
The train traveled through mainly rural areas, farms,
and woodlands, occasionally passing a small town or industrial area.
It was a pleasant ride and the countryside again reminded me of my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania. We began to pass larger towns and commercial areas and I knew we were near Gdansk when we passed the magnificent Malbork castle, home of the famous Teutonic Knights. We wanted to stop here but there was no time on our schedule this visit. Hopefully I will get back to visit it since it is one of the largest castles in Europe.
We arrived at the grand old train station in Gdansk under sunny skies but still cool temperatures. Here is a link to some more photographs taken from the train on the ride to Gdansk . https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-train-ride-April-22-2017-
We set out on our walking tour of this 1000 year old city, once a member of the Hanseatic league and one of the richest cities in Europe.
Unfortunately, like so many cities in Poland there was much destruction during the war but much of the city has been rebuilt.
We walked the busy streets of the city and entered the old town through the Highland Gate that was built in the 16th century. The gate is the beginning of the Royal Way that takes one through the medieval city and ends at the Green Gate. Here is a link to some more photographs from our walk to the Highland Gate. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-Walk-to-city-gate-April-22-2017
Once inside the gate, you immediately were transported back in time and felt like you were walking in the city of the Middle Ages.
The narrow streets were filled with many statutes and artifacts that were salvaged from the ruins of the destruction left by World War II.
And there was the splendor of the reconstructed Gold Gate that was the entrance to the main Avenue of the city, Ulica Dluga.
We leisurely strolled the old street taking in the many wonderful sights including the small shops along the way.
It was now late morning and we decided to have breakfast. We found a charming little place, the Cafe Bar Mon Balzac where we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast.
After breakfast we walked over to the impressive Church of St. Mary. This massive church is the largest medieval brick church in Europe.
It’s construction was began in 1343 and took over 150 years to complete.
We first made the long, and exhausting climb up the 410 steps to the tower,
and we were rewarded with spectacular views of the city below and the surrounding towns and Baltic Sea to the north.
To the west were the shipyards which Lech Walesa and the solidarity movement made famous. We enjoyed the magnificent views in the strong northerly wind and then made the long climb down the 410 steps to continue our visit to the church. Here is a link to some photographs from the church and tower. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-St.-Mary’s-Church-part-two-April-22-2017-
The church was filled with may splendid paintings and artifacts which adorned the many altars.
I enjoyed the medieval astronomical clock, it reminding me of the one I visited in the cathedral in Lund, Sweden. Here are some more photographs of our visit to St. Mary’s church. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-St.-Mary’s-Church-
After leaving the church we continued our walk through the old town and past the town hall and the famous Fountain of Neptune.
We soon came to the Green Gate, which ended the Royal Route. We walked through the gate and onto the old streets and rive walk along the Motlawa River. Here is a link to some more photographs of our walk through old town Gdansk. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-old-town-April-22-2017-
Passing through the gate was like walking into another world. We gazed up the blue waters of the Motlawa River canal and the ships, buildings and Ferris wheel, which seems to be present in all river and port cities around the world these days.
The large ships in the canal attest to Gdansk’s importance as a port and trading center, and to which it’s wealth over the centuries could be attributed.
We walked along the river walk taking in the beautiful scenery and watching this crew team practice on the calm waters of the river.
We also had time to visit one of the many amber shops in the city. Amber, fossilized tree resin is another source of the wealth of Poland’s Baltic coast over the centuries. My sister and niece enjoyed the many items for sale and even I, not being a big shopper, purchased a small insect encased in amber millions of years ago.
We walked along the river and the many shops but had to leave this wonderful place and exited the river walk area of the city through one of the many ancient gates.
We walked the streets of the city, passing quaint, well maintained housed, many adorned with symbols of their proximity to the sea.
As we made our way back to the train station we passed a number of squares churches and monuments depicting the long history of the city.
And like all cities there were all kind of products for sale. I just photograph, I don’t judge.
We passed another nice park before finally arriving at the train station, where we were going to take a train to another part of Poland I have not yet explored, the sea coast! Here is a link to some more photographs from our visit to the river. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-Motlawa-River-walk-April-22-2017
“You have sea, you have boat, you have oars, and then why on earth you are rotting in the port?”