Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gdynia (Gdansk)

Crown Princess Deck Log
Tallinn to Gdynia - 404.4 Nautical Miles
Average Speed - 20.6 Knots
Noon Position: Alongside in Gdynia
Sky: Cloudy
Temperature: 63 F
Our Welcome to Gdynia!

Part of the Polish Navy:The Port of Gdynia:

Slow bus ride from Gdynia to Gdansk which would have been OK except the tour guide, Alexander, was 100 years old and spoke very bad English with a heavy accent on a really staticky sound system. It was a relief when he stopped talking. He also didn't know how to handle a microphone, so there were a lot of loud fumbling sounds when he picked it up and put it down. Here's the proof - can you understand what he's saying?? Alexander:

Nevertheless... Gdansk has a very charming Old Town section. Gdansk (Danzig) was totally destroyed during WWII. There were only scattered remnants of walls and rubble when the war was over. Originally, the Poles had decided to leave it that way as a memorial to the effects of war. But in 1948, they decided to rebuild the town as it had been in the Middle Ages. The result is spectacular. The architecture is fascinating - with statuary on the roofs and above the windows of many of the buildings. Some buildings have rustic scenes painted between the windows in Medieval style - you really can't take it all in.

The construction is still not completed - they're still working on it. But in the main, it's delightful and so pleasant.
Street Scenes in Gdansk:

We saw Gdanskians of all ages. There were school groups from first graders to high schoolers on field trips to the Museums. Some of the groups were wearing identical ball caps, some had identical scarves, and they were all orderly and seemed to be enjoying themselves.
There were many babes in strollers and buggies - it seems that all countries use suckies these days! There were lots of older people, some with canes and walkers - oh wait - those were the passengers on our ship! (Just kidding).

The Old Town area is full of many, many shops and eating places - Jan and I paid $8 for two cokes, which was fine until the Canadians at the next table were charged $7.50 for three Pepsis! Our handsome young waiter didn't have a clue about the exchange rates - but he was friendly and attentive, so who cares?

On the bus ride back to the ship we stopped by the Gdansk Shipyard to see the Solidarnosc Memorial. I never dreamed I would be here!

The comedian after dinner was so funny describing tour guides, bus rides and tours in general. He cracked us up talking about the sometimes urgent need for a "pisseria"! On this whole tour of the Baltic cities, WC (water closet) is the preferred term for restroom.