Gdańsk, Poland

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Yesterday we missed Bornholm because of rough sea conditions. Whilst a disappointment, in other ways it was a slight blessing in disguise. We had a relaxing, much needed day at sea doing absolutely nothing but reading and observing the restaurants’ schedules.

Another slightly more disappointing moment came about a day or two ago when our planned excursion to visit the Elblag canal (which has a unique method of moving between elevations) was cancelled. The barges are transported, out of the water, by rail. We think the cancellation was because the tour company cancelled, not Viking.

Another small blessing, however. It gave us time to look around Gdansk.

A complimentary shuttle bus service took us on the 20 minute transfer from the port to the edge of the city. What a surprise! Around every corner, every turn, there’s another incredibly beautiful building or church (there’s dozens of those!). The waterway is lined with cafés. It seems Poles love to stroll around, stopping for cakes and coffee. The place, even on a Catholic Sunday, was alive and vibrant.

The local “shuttle” guide told me that by the time the Soviets had finished with it at the end of WW2, it looked as Mariupol must look today. It took 30 years to rebuild. Didn’t they make a good job of it!

We’ve visited other Polish cities, Warsaw, Krakow and Zakopane. Each has impressed us in different ways. It seems Poland is, perhaps, an surprising country for a successful vacation.

We have another day at sea tomorrow, en route to the Åland Islands.