Day 4 - Gdansk + Gdansk Oliwa

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July 30th 2011
Published: July 30th 2011
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Busy day!

I must start by noting there is a daddy-long-leg spider crawling across the floor of the chill-room in the hostel. At least, I hope that’s what it is.

Anywho. Check-out was at 11h this morning... and I was so caught up in my dream that I thought my alarm was part of it... and woke up at 10h48. Good thing I packed the night before!! I def checked-out in my pajamas. I win at life.

After getting dressed and leaving my backpack in lock-up, I set back out to continue exploring Gdansk. I returned to ul. Dluga area to pick up a few souvenirs and grab some lunch. To do so, I had to fight thru the crowds! There was some kind of festival..? Or perhaps the street vendors are always set up like this on weekends, I’m not sure, but regardless, it was crazy packed in the streets.

Afterwards I went north of the train station to see the Shipyard area. On the way, I stopped at the Road to Freedom Exhibit – a neat little (underground) museum that chronicles Poland’s history from WW2 to the wall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communism and the Block in Poland. I didn’t know much about Poland’s history to begin with; for being so small, the museum is very informative. Each room is dedicated to a set number of years and would have props/models, information plaques/posters and a video. One of the video’s was incredibly graphic – it was in the Martial Law section and showed a protester being run over by a police truck. And not the way North America would show the clip... like you actually see him get hit, run over, and there’s a close enough shot of his body after he went under both wheels. Not pleasant.

I always love going to these museums in various countries because I’m interested in the historical piece... but on another level, it really makes you thankful and grateful for everything we have in Canada. For freedom.

Anyway. After the museum I went to the Shipyard where they have a large monument. (It’s at the shipyard where the uprising against Communism really started, and it was there where many protestors died). The monument is impressive – some far away it looks like a simple design, but up close there are intricate details
The MovementThe MovementThe Movement

which I always find fascinating.
I walked briefly into the shipyard (it was kind of empty, and thus creepy, so I went back) and then stopped by another church before heading back to my hostel. This church was St. John’s – very, very old. The brick work on the inside was cool – you could see the age at work.

I took the local commuter train up to Gdansk Oliwa... yeah, that was quite the experience... one that I wish I wouldn’t have to repeat on Monday. The train itself is nice, it was just packed to the rim... and I don’t mean ‘85 during rush-hour packed’ I mean ‘standing on each other/smushed against people and doors/no air’ packed. Beautiful.

The hostel in Oliwa is very homey. In fact... it pretty much is a home they just threw dorm rooms into haha. I like it though. I’m sharing a room with a Polish couple who have a bear of a dog – a German Shepherd/Malamute mix. He looks like a bigger and fluffier Anouk; he is so adorable, I want him.

I explored a little bit around Oliwa – went to the park and the cathedral. I didn’t actually get to go into the cathedral as there was a wedding going on, ahem. I spent quite a bit of time wandering around the park though – there are tons of walkways, ponds, flowers, etc. There are also dogs everywhere you look. I very much approve.

Last year I decided I would keep a tally of all the people I met in hostels to see which country was most popular – this year I plan to do the same, but want to add a new list to my arsenal... how many people ask me directions (or anything for that matter) in a language other than English. I had 6 people ask me things today alone (I’m up to 10 for the trip)... which is awesome because I just say “English” while I point to myself haha, and that is usually followed by them rushing off and/or frowning at me for good measure. No love.

Additional photos below
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Tank on a lawn?Tank on a lawn?
Tank on a lawn?

No big deal.

31st July 2011

Hi Julie. Sounds like you got off to a great start on your gap adventure. Are you allowed to take pictures in the hostels? I'd love to see what they look like. I'm sure they are much improved since my time - 1974 and 1977.
31st July 2011

re: hostels
Yep! I can post a picture of the place I was staying in last night, in the next update. Some of them are sketchy, but if you research before you go, most of them are well kept now.
2nd August 2011

Haha! you are always asked for directions no matter where you are :P you look native to everywhere you go! This also shows you look like you know what you're doing.... which is beneficial as a tourist that way you don't end up on an episode of criminal minds ;) Glad you're having fun.
2nd August 2011

Yeah, I'm not quite sure what to make of this looking native everywhere I go thing lol. Oh well. Anything and everything I can do to stay off Crim Minds =P

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