September 5, 2014
I’ll admit that before this trip I knew little to nothing about Poland except for they have great sausage. That would be correct. Turns out they have pretty much great everything!
I spent my first day in Poland in Gdansk. You can go on and try to say that. Gdansk. I don’t think anyone knows how to say it exactly right. Anyway, Gdansk is a unique look into the past. You see, Poland was once Poland. That sounds incredibly stupid but let me elaborate. Something happened called the “Partition of Poland,” where it was separated and given to other countries and the entire nation ceased to exist. Gdansk – in that time – was part of Germany, so the city naturally became more German. Then, at the beginning of WWII, the entire city was flattened. Afterwards, when Poland became a country again and started rebuilding, it decided to ditch the German buildings and only rebuild the old Polish ones. Henceforth, the entire city is a reconstruction of what once was.
Most of my day consisted of exploring old buildings including a lot of cathedrals. The tallest building in Gdansk is St. Mary’s Cathedral. For five zloty (that’s like $1.50) you can climb its tower and get the best view of the city. Of course, I had to do it. What I didn’t know was that it was over 400 steps, half of which consisted of an extremely steep, winding staircase that was shoulder-width.
I was about sick by the time I got to the top, but the view was definitely worth it.
Also everything in Poland is cheap. Like, dirt-cheap. I had one of the best steaks I’ve ever had and it was under $10. I love this country! I have bought so many souvenirs, so for the folks at home, guess where a lot of your Christmas presents are coming from!