November 10, 2018


A brief outline of my trip to the Baltic border.

Gdansk was the last big item on the list of the Polish cities I wanted to see. And as it's possible to score return flights from Wroclaw for less than $15, it was just a matter of time until I pulled the trigger. It happened one afternoon last January — yeah, sometimes I'm a bit behind when it comes to sorting the pics I take. Anyway, here's what I saw there.

It was already dark at the time of my arrival. Still, I went for a stroll by the Motlawa riverfront, to get a little of the city's atmosphere before checking into my accommodation.

The next morning I started where I ended yesterday. The riverfront offers a neat mix of old buildings and modern architecture. Temperatures were freezing, but views warming.

From the riverfront, it is just a few steps to another point of interest: the Długi Targ (long market), a nice square topped with an old town hall, and at that time, Christmas decor:

One of the goals for the day was the tower of the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

It has quite an exciting ascent, as once you are above the ceiling, the interior is open with only the staircase winding up. Not many church spires have such a layout, and I enjoyed it. Seeing the tower's inner dimensions allows the visitors to fully appreciate the size of this thing — as I learned later, the basilica is one of the world's largest brick churches.

And the views, well, I enjoyed them too. Each direction offers some cool settings to look at, from the historic structures... industrial neighborhoods, and modern developments.

The church itself is also cool, with many details to like.

This check-marked, I just browsed streets that looked interesting - my favorite method of exploring cities where I never been before.

Eventually, it led me to the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre from 2008.

The next sight I had on my list was the Europejskie Centrum Solidarności, a good-sized museum/library devoted to Eastern Europe's anti-communist movements, mainly to the local union Solidarność.

It is located at the edge of the downtown, not too far to my next destination — the Gdansk Shipyard district.

It's no secret that I enjoy walking through these temples of work anyway, but here, it also had the historical context, as it was here where the Solidarność was formed.

As usual, the production size declined since globalization, but you can still see some of it, which is nice. Some of the buildings are rebuilt for a new purpose, such as club venues. It's cool to see new life in such an environment.

In here, I took some footage for my project Time.

Later, the sun started to set, and I went off to see the last point I prepared for the city center: the Second World War museum.

Out of all places with contemporary architecture in Poland that I visited, this was definitely among my favorites.

Finally, I got purposefully lost again, enjoying the maze of the streets around the riverside.

The last day I went away from the downtown area towards the Oliwa neighborhood, notable for a cathedral from 16th-century, with a fascinating, good-sized organ inside.

From here, it is about 4.5 km /3 miles to the shores of the Baltic Sea — another goal for the day. The path crosses a few neat parks, so the walk's all right.

Once on the beach, it opens views up to Gdynia (another coastal city further west) on one side, and Gdansk's pier on the other.

That was the next destination to reach. Along the way were some interesting stuff to look at. Seashells on the shore, seagulls casting above it, as well as the horizon with large cargo ships. Then there was also this view, that caught my attention:

Sandy beach with a children's playground shadowed by thick smoke coming from a coal-fired power station in the background. With the freezing temperatures around, this had a very apocalyptic feel.

Behind the pier is a freight harbor...

...offering a unique opportunity to observe loading all sorts of goods on and from these ships. The sunlight was gone, but since the port is well lit, it was actually more colorful than it would be during the day.

Speaking of lightning, it is done to serve practical needs only, with no spares for aesthetic. For example, just behind the lighthouse in the pic above is its predecessor from 1893 - sitting in complete darkness. I guess it is not a very popular place among tourists. Still, it was fun to stroll through. The harbor was the last place of the day, and of the whole trip.

If you liked this story, you might enjoy my post about the other cities I visited in Poland. Follow my Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, so that you won't miss out on my upcoming articles. Thanks for reading.

Published by: Jakub Stepanovic in Stories