Gdansk, Zubrowka and Solidarnosc.
The trip to Gdansk was not really planned. Father O'Malley rang me one Satruday evening about six weeks ago and stated that he had book three seats on a flight for himself, Jock Pop and me to Gdansk in Northern Poland, total price £1.56. Now that is cheap! I booked some hotel rooms at £21 a night and it was on.
We left home at 4:00 on Wednesday morning and arrived at Gatwick for our flight out. Upon arrival a taxi dropped us at our hotel for us to dump our bags and we headed into town. Gdansk is one of the three towns dubbed the 'Tri-City' in Northern Poland along with Gdynia and Sopot (twinned with my home town of Southend).
Gdansk is probably most famous for Solidarnosc (Solidarity) the trade union movement that defied the Communist regime in 1980. It was a revolution that captured the attention of the world and catapulted Lech Walesa the leader of Solidarnosc to iconic status. He eventually became the President of Poland following the fall of Communism and was awarded the Nobel Peace prize. The 'Roads To Freedom' Centre on Waly Piatowskie is well worth a visit therefore. It costs just over a quid to get in and is moving, frightening and a great tribute to the human spirit.
The one thing that you will notice if you live in the UK is just how cheap Poland is. Taxi's are a fraction of the cost of the equivalent fare in Britain. The 10 minute ride into the town centre from our hotel was about 3 quid, the journey back from the station to my flat today cost £10!!
Food is hearty and also very cheap. You can have a massive meal for under a fiver. if you fancy a booze up then you will fall over before you run out of money. The local brew Zybiec is a pound a pint and vodka (which comes in double measures) is about the same. My favourite Zubrowska (Bison Grass Vodka) is a gorgeous drink. I had had it on a couple of occasions before but at a 6 zloty a go I had quite a bit more of it. It probably didn't mix well with my pain killers (i.e. it stopped them working) but hey, it's not often I have a booze up these days and I didn't go mad. Not as mad as my companions who were really suffering this morning on the flight back after drinking copious amounts and not getting back to the hotel until 2am. How I laughed.
Gdansk is a great place. Friendly people, good food, fantastic drink and as cheap as chips. If you get the chance give it a go. I'm looking forward to going back.