Sunday, July 12, 2015

The big visit - part 1

On Sunday, June 28, my older daughter, Shannon, arrived for a one-week visit.  That afternoon, Alicja and I drove to the airport in Gdánsk to pick her up.

She arrived as scheduled, but unfortunately, her luggage did not make the connection.  We had to go to the lost luggage office and do the necessary paperwork to retrieve it.  They assured us it would be delivered to our home in Malbork the next day.  I had a vested interest in the luggage since she was bringing my golf clubs to me.
Shannon was feeling a bit rough after the long, overnight flight, so she laid down for a brief nap after our arrival back home.
Later in the day, we went to E. Leclerc so she could buy something to sleep in.  We also walked over to the castle area and stopped for a bite to eat.  We split a plate of kielbasa, potatoes and bigos.  It was her first experience with bigos which is a dish of cabbage, sauerkraut and small pieces of meat slow cooked in a large skillet.  It was quite good.
Following that, we retired to home for the evening.

Monday, June 29 

The first thing we had to do Monday was wait for the luggage to be delivered.  Alicja called Lufthansa and stressed to them the importance of it coming as early as possible.  They promised it would arrive no later than 11:00 a.m.  Fortunately, it was delivered as promised.  My golf clubs survived the trip intact. 
Since the Malbork Castle is closed on Mondays, our schedule this day was the Stutthof concentration camp in the small town of Sztutowo about a 45 minute drive from us up near the Baltic coast.
Stutthof was a small concentration camp compared to Auschwitz or Birkenau, but it is very well preserved and clearly shows how the Nazis treated the prisoners.  It housed prisoners of all types, Jewish, political and others.  It has a gas chamber and crematorium and it is estimated that about 65,000 prisoners died or were executed here.  It is also notable for the fact that it was here that one Nazi doctor created a soap using human fat.
Stutthof is a very somber place, obviously.  I think it is worth a visit because it is not as crowded as Auschwitz and visitors go at their own pace without being rushed as in the groups of Auschwitz and the larger places.

Entrance gate:

Gas chamber:


After spending a couple of hours touring Stutthof, we drove to the small community of Stegna on the Baltic coast.  Stegna is a popular beach/resort destination for people here.  We went to a little hole-in-the-wall cafe/restaurant and had lunch.  They serve a delicious lunch of fried cod with side dishes.  The fish is fresh from the Baltic and purchased daily from fishermen there.

And, of course, our view each time we return to Malbork:

So, that ended the first full day.  

to be continued...........

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