Monday, 9 December 2013

Visit Gdansk - Danzing

This year around national day of Poland felled on Monday, November 11, fortunately for us, it’s going to be a long weekend. First thing came to my mind where and when to hit the road, after hitting some clicks I found the Polish trains have a great deal on weekend commuter tickets (see more information below on how to get there). I immediately made up my mind to get most out of the deal in travelling across Poland during the weekend. On Thursday night, I gave call to my of friend, to whom I always trusted and knew she will never say no to my plans, I was still sceptical as we just came back from our Baltic/ Scandinavian trip week ago.
Nonetheless, she agreed to my dictated plan on visiting Gdansk and Lodz. On Friday evening, we took overnight train from Katowice at 20:05 to Gdansk on price of a seat, I was happy we can stretch our legs and catch some sleep during the journey, but to my disappointment the train reached Gdansk on time at 6:00am, avoiding me to catch on some more sleep.
Gdansk Railway Station

I asked, Angel my friend what now? We knew Gdansk is a very historical city as World War II triggered over her dispute, it is also considered as most beautiful city on the Baltic coast and one of the most important port cities in northern Europe. 

A) Old Town Square in Gdansk :- “Let’s take a walk towards Old town square”, she said, from her experience as she knew Baltic cities are famously known for their architecture and the square will be the best place to source more information about the city form the tourist office.
She was right again, but the Old town square of Gdansk was not similar to what we saw on rest of our Baltic trip, we started with Royal route from the upland gate towards Green Gate, we came across numerous narrow streets selling amber all the way. The square looked so colourful with its picturesque well known residence building on moistly morning, navigated our way through most important canals called Radunga and Motlava famous for local eatery and pubs. 
Every Building has a Story
B) Neptune Fountain:- Looking for tourist information across it; we found renaissance style fountain in front of Arthurs Court, The Neptune fountain is city’s most loved symbol and often a meeting point for city guided tours, along with other tourist, we took the opportunity as well to get the best souvenir picture.

Neptune Fountain in Gdansk with Tower clock behind
C) Town hall:-  The main town hall on the Old town square exhibits history of Gdansk and Poland, we were much more eager to climb the clock tower to get panoramic glimpse of the city, with a reasonable price of 5PLN. Punter Tip:- The museum is free on Mondays

D) Zuraw:-  (Wooden Crane) :- The first written mentioned of the wooden crane is documented from 1363, It was used to lift loads of cargo weighting upto 2000kg from harboured ships, Zuraw was badly damaged during world war II, The crane after being rebuild in 1955-62 was handed over to martime museum, to this day it is called upon as the oldest port crane in Europe. On below picture you will see ’Zuraw’ and ‘Soldek’ the first ship build at Gdansk shipyard.

Zuraw Oldest Wooden Crane in Europe and First Ship 'Soldek' built at Gdansk Shipyard

Punter Tip:- The museum is free for visit on Saturday 

Polish Post office Monument, Remembering the courage of Post Employees defending their heritage
St. Nicholas Church is the oldest Church in Gdansk

Love Bridge, Common Sight in European Cities, what caught my eye was Lord Shiva- Hindu Deity on one of Locks

Statue of Jan Hevelius, a known astronomer and Brewer

A must visit is the Local Hala market favourite for it's fresh foods and local produced Goods
17th Century Gate marks the entrance to the Longest Street.
It was 7pm, by now Me and Angel thought it’s time to check out our hotel....near beach side at Oliwa, ....Guess what it was a Mistake?; Cont...d on Lodz Post.. 
Punting in Gdansk:-
By Bus :- My Preferred choice is WIFI enabled,  between 40-50 PLN it can ferry you from Warsaw, Krakow, booking earlier can even cost you less.

By Air :-  Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport is connected with major low cost airlines, Bus 210 runs between airport, city centre and train station.

By Train:- caters to your various needs, worth checking special offers on their web page as we found out weekend ticket was a great deal,
                                                   * It cost 154 PLN (2nd Class); 247 PLN (1st Class)
The ticket bearer is entitled to unlimited travel across Poland on domestic intercity and TLK trains, from Friday 19:00 hours until 6:00 am of next working day, In our case the Monday was national holiday, we could enjoy the benefits until Tuesday morning 6:00 am, On board you can take any free available seat, It’s better to take additional reservation ticket before start of your journey were you no need to pay anything extra, reach booking office show them your week end ticket and they will print a reservation for you...

Cost of Living in Poland- For Survival Guide Click8

Public Transport:-
Bus/ Tram
-       Single  Ride        
 3.00  PLN
-       Upto 60 mins  Ride        
 3.60  PLN
-       24 Hours Ticket
12.00 PLN
* There is student discount for ISIC holders under the age of 26, in all public transport, It always better to    buy extra tickets in hand  as Ticket vending machines are not available on ever stop/station.
* Do not forget to validate your ticket after boarding the bus/ Tram, If you are not sure ask someone where to punch it,  There is on the spot fine of 140 PLN + cost of ticket if your caught by ticket inspector.

Xmas in Gdansk
Getting away from Gdansk :- Sopot beach town with resorts, Spage Getaways , and Gdynia named after fishing village, both can be best reached with SKM Kolejka (Commuter trains), running in between them very 10-15 minutes, we didn't manage to catch on this cities but what I heard from my friend’s it’s great escape for nightlife and relaxation place along sea side.