Sunday, July 19, 2015

Day trip to Gdańsk

On Wednesday, we took a day trip to Gdańsk.

We took the train from Malbork.  First of all, it turned out to be a train ride from hell.  While standing on the platform waiting for our train, they announced that our train had been cancelled and we would/could take the next one.  Alicja said it had never happened to her before.  So, we waited about 20 more minutes for that train.  When it arrived, it was already mostly full.  But, we squeezed on.  It was standing room only.  Shannon and Alicja stood and they let me sit since I am old.  Sadly, it was one of those “milk-run” type trains that stops at every little outpost along the way.  And, of course, it got more and more crowded.  But, finally, we arrived.

        I had to go to the restroom and these were on the wall over each urinal.  Funny.

We met Alicja’s son, Marek, at the station and then we walked to the Old Town area.  First, we stopped at a little cafeteria (coffee shop type place) for a snack.  This is the first place Alicja and I stopped at way back in 2011 when I made my first trip here.

We toured St. Catherine’s cathedral which is the largest all-brick cathedral in Europe.  It dates back to the 14th century and is very impressive.  In the back is a crypt below floor level where they display some remains uncovered during the construction may years ago.

Old baptistry:

The crypt:

We paid to tour the bell tower which is very tall.  There is a museum type display area of which shows various tower clock workings.  Further up are the bells and even further up is the top of the tower.After about 2000 (it seems) steps, we finally reached the top.   It is quite high and affords a really nice view of the city.  Alicja took some pictures with my camera since I decided I did not care to go outside and look down.

We wandered all over the old town area and stopped for lunch.  In the summer, almost all the restaurants have tables with awnings or umbrellas set up outside.  It makes for very pleasant dining.  The old town streets don’t have vehicle traffic, just pedestrians.  And, it is a very active area.  It was fun to sit, enjoy lunch and watch people going by.

After lunch, we toured some more.  Mostly shopping the the various shops located there.  Finally, Shannon and Alicja found an art shop they felt they HAD to spend some time in.  Fortunately, next door was a little wine bistro.  So, I told them to find me there and I had a glass of wine while they shopped.  A good deal for both of us, no doubt.

Wine shop:

Our original plan was to visit Gdańsk for a while and then go to Sopot for the remainder of the afternoon.  But, everyone was enjoying Old Town, so we opted to skip going to Sopot.  Hopefully, next time.
Our train ride back to Malbork was much better.  Plenty of seating and it did not stop at every little nook and cranny.

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