In all the excitement and anticipation of going to Stutthof in the morning, I’d totally forgotten we were going to Gdansk for a quick tour in the afternoon.
Our actual port city on this stop was Gdynia. We didn’t really see much of it though, except passing through on the bus. What I did see of it, appeared to be a fairly modernized city, even though its history dates back to the 1770s.
Gdansk, also known as Danzig, is a beautiful European city. Full of historical charm, I found it to be much of what I expected from an older. European city– and more.
The city dates back to the 10th century, having been both a part of Poland and part of Germany over its complex history. It is also known as the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, which led the fight to end Communism in Central Europe. Gdansk, combined with the cities of Gdynia and Sopot have become a metropolitan area known as Tricity.
We had an advantage here. Since this was a private tour, our guide got us oriented as to where we were and pointed out interesting landmarks and then let us go out on our own to explore.
On Long (Market) Street, we saw the rather famous Neptune Statue, created in 1617 by architect Abraham van den Blocke. Then we visited St. Mary’s Church, which is the largest brick church in the world.
This time of year, the streets of Gdansk become a festive open air market with hundreds, if not thousands of vendors selling everything from clothing and art to wine and sausages.
I could have spent a whole day just wandering through the streets, sampling all the magnificent food offerings and shopping the unlimited variety of merchandise for sale. Many of the streets were crowded but there was no rush. It was a very relaxing atmosphere.
We walked to City Hall, saw the Town Hall Tower as well as many other points of interest before returning to the bridge at the Motlawa river where we rejoined our small group.
Such a beautiful, clean city. I could easily spend several days here relaxing and exploring.
I’d like to extend a very special thanks to Judy Perl of Judy Perl Worldwide Travel (NYC) for making this incredible day possible.