With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

Archive for the ‘Poland’ Category

Gdańsk

Posted by Heliocentrism on July 5, 2018

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

We spent a day in Gdansk. This is a port city in northern Poland. Throughout history the city went back and forth between being Gdansk, a Polish city, and being Danzig, a German city. We walked through the beautiful city while it rained off and on. It was quite a dreary day.

I came all this way and you guys are napping… Where’s your fountain?

A lot of the things we wanted to see were outside. Like the Lion fountain in the photo above, many of the sights were turned off, under repair, or disappointing in other ways. What made things worse, Gdansk seemed to have been in a data dead spot. Neither Mark’s or my sim card worked consistently in this city.

We couldn’t explain why we had no internet connection. But, that meant we didn’t have access to my online maps or information. There were some street oddities that we just couldn’t find because of our lack of an online map.

Because of that and the rain we were ready to head home before lunch. We found an indoor restaurant with wifi and ordered food. We got directions to get us back to the train station. But, after lunch we came up with one last plan of action.

What did people do before the internet when they got to a new town? They found a Tourist Information Office and read some brochures. So, that’s what we tried.

a replica of Mussolini’s Fascistmobile

At the information office we were told that the World War II Museum was open and, on Tuesdays, it was free. An activity that was free and indoors seemed perfect for a rainy day in Gdansk. It was just a 15 minute walk from where we were.

The museum was amazing. It was informative. It was educational. It had a great audio guide. It was huge. We slowly went through the many sections and rooms of the museum. There was so much to learn.

One of the many scenes we walked through

We were a little past the halfway point of our museum tour when Mark noticed the time. It was almost 18:00. The last train to Warsaw would leave at 19:00. We had lost track of time. We ran through the rest of the museum and headed to the train station. We got there with a good 10 minutes to spare.

In the end, it was a good day in Gdansk.


Poland

How to get there:

Phone:

  • 112 – emergency, ambulance, and fire but also
  •  999 for ambulance
  • 998 for fire brigade
  • 997 for police

Downloads:

Website:

Data:

Videos:

Books: 

Notes:

  • Poland is in Europe, but things aren’t expensive.
    • And, they don’t Euros; they use Zloty.

The Museum of Second World War

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • free on Tuesdays
  • 23 zł
  • Audioguide – 5 zł

Hours:

  • 10:00 – 19:00
  • Closed Mondays

Video

Notes:

  • It’s a very good museum.
  • It’s very thorough.
  • Mark and I nearly missed our train because we lost track of time in this place.

Don’t Miss:

 

Map:

Advertisements

Posted in Gdańsk, Poland | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Warsaw

Posted by Heliocentrism on June 30, 2018

November 30, – December 6, 2017

One of the many discount airlines we have used

I liked Poland. I hope to see more of it on this trip. But, we choose our destinations based on what cheap flights we can find. Mark looks online and finds, for example, “a flight to Belgium on Tuesday, one to London on Wednesday, and Oslo on Friday.” From this we pick the one we like the best. Out side of Italy, where the trains are inexpensive, fast, and reliable, this is the most financially friendly way to travel.

At the start of this trip I was hoping to travel around Europe by train. We tried that in the UK. But soon we realized that train travel there is very time consuming unless you are going from one hub to another. Also, everyone starts their parties on the train. People bring ice boxes filled with beers and wine coolers, which is fine since someone is always offering me drinks. But, I don’t like alcohol. Also, since Mark and I are traveling from one tourist heavy spot to another we were hoping the train rides would be quiet and we could nap or listen to pod casts.

But at least in Britain the train tickets aren’t too expensive once you get a railway pass. In Germany the trains are quite pricey. The train rides are very quiet though, but that’s not really any consolation when you’ve been stuck on a train that hasn’t moved for 3 hours. On a 2 hour journey, I would gladly take a noisy British train that’s only 15 minutes late over a quiet German one that arrives 4 hours behind schedule.

Italy is the only country where I have very little memory of the train rides. That’s because nothing eventful happened. The trains departed on time and arrived on time and always from the stated platforms. The rides were smooth, quiet, and peaceful. I cannot ask for anything more.

Lunch: Hot Dog & Hot Wine

But let’s get back to Poland. It was a great country with great food. In Warsaw we tried as much Polish food as we could find. Unfortunately, I kept forgetting to take photos of my food until after I had eaten it all. The great thing about Poland is that things are hardly ever too expensive. It’s like you’re in Europe, but your wallet isn’t.

Of course we visited the palace and several museums. We also saw some quirky things too. One was Warsaw Fotoplastikon. It’s a small exhibit of a really big View-Master. With it you can see photos of Warsaw at the turn of the 19th century. One could look at these photos and try to find the spots now, but Warsaw has changed so much over the past 100 plus years.

Speaking of View-Masters, we found a few of them on the street. They were on the boundary of where the Jewish Ghetto once stood. When you looked through the lens you see what the street looked like when the ghetto’s walls were still up. It’s a reminder of the city’s horrific past.

Since we were in the neighborhood, Mark and I stopped by the Jewish cemetery. This is where we found the grave of L. L. Zamenhof, the inventor of Esperanto. I have a great respect for people who can speak more than one language. Even more for people like, J.R.R. Tolkien who have invented a partial language. But, this guy invented a fully functional language.

It was supposed to be the lingua franca of modern Europe. But, it just never really took off. English is now, what Esperanto was meant to be. It’s nice, because I speak English and I don’t have to learn anything new. But, I’ve always wished that Esperanto were more popular. It would have been nice to learn an artificial language.


Poland

How to get there:

Phone:

  • 112 – emergency, ambulance, and fire but also
  •  999 for ambulance
  • 998 for fire brigade
  • 997 for police

Downloads:

Website:

Data:

Videos:

Books: 

Notes:

  • Poland is in Europe, but things aren’t expensive.
    • And, they don’t Euros; they use Zloty.

Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • Th – Free
  • 25 PLN
  • 10 PLN – Audio guide

Hours:

  • M, Th, F – 10:00 – 18:00
  • W, Sa, Su – 10:00 – 20:00
  • Tu – Closed

Video

Books:

Notes:

  • Honestly the museum is boring at first. But once you pass the room with the red throne, the museum becomes interesting.

Muzeum Czar PRL

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • 8 zł

Hours:

  • Mon – Fri 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Sat – Sun 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Notes:

  • The museum is not very big.
  • It take about 8 minutes to see the whole thing.

Interactive Museum pinball “Pinball Station”

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • 30zł entrance to play all the machines you want until closing time

Hours:

  • Sun 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Mon – Thu 3:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Fri 3:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Sat 1:00 PM – 12:00 AM

Video

Books:


Royal Castle in Warsaw

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • 30,00 zł  Castle Tour
  • Sunday a short version of the Castle Tour is free.

Hours:

  • Tuesday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Sunday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Video

Books:

Notes:

  • Keep an eye out for the gardens. The windows are usually covered by curtains. If you pull them back and pop your head through in the right room you will be pleasantly surprised.

Don’t Miss:

Map:

Posted in Poland, Warsaw | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: