Gdansk - The historical Polish city with charming architecture

Posted by ~Summer~ on September 03, 2010

Our 4th port of call on the Royal Caribbean Baltic Sea cruise was Gdansk, Poland. We could have chosen to stay in Gdynia but we decided to take a cab to visit Gdansk instead. I was somehow glad that we did. There was something quite unique about this city and I definitely thought that its architecture was both striking and distinctive. Gdansk had a historic role as a port city, it was visited and fought over by people from diverse nations. It was said that Gdansk was all rubble and stones after suffering devastating damage during WWII. However, despite being almost entirely rebuilt, it managed to retain its historical outlook and magnificence of its architecture, making it a truly spectacular city today.

This was the famous fountain of Neptune, located in the center of Dlugi Targ (the Long Market) in front Arthur’s Court . The bronze statue of the Roman god of the sea was first erected in 1549, before being pertinently turned into a fountain in 1633. One interesting story was that Neptune was dismantled and hidden during WWII and didn't come out of hiding until 1954 when he was restored to his rightful place in the heart of the city. He symbolized Gdansk's bond with the sea and had become one of the most recognizable symbols of the city today.

We took a walk along the long market and I was charmed by the colourful array - golden, orange, red and green - of buildings and houses that lined both sides of the narrow street. The above was a special gate that had a counter to keep track of how many visitors walked past it. It was probably to celebrate Jarmark Sw. Dominika, a cultural event where over 1000 traders, artists and collectors participate and set up their stands in the center of the Old Town.

This was just for fun. Well, the picture reminded me of Popeye and Olive though.

Here was the picturesque quayside Długie Pobrzeże that reminded me a lot of Clarke Quay in Singapore, just that we didn't had any viking ships.

We saw some courageous souls doing the bungee jump as we walked along the quay. I'm still pondering if I should try it out some day in my life.

When you are travelling with kids, you usually tend to take things at a leisure pace even if you only had a couple of hours left to explore. It feels heavenly to be able to just immerse and enjoy the air in a beautiful, foreign land and not think about anything but appreciate life for what it is. Anyway, we decided to stop over for Polish tea in one of the enchanted cafes and had a nice break before we moved on.

St Mary's church was reputed as the largest brick church in the world, with a length of over 100 meters and a tower reaching 76.6 meters into the sky. Although it was also seriously damaged during WWII and the original frescoes had been whitewashed, it was still a beautiful place to visit.

We also visited the Golden Gate (Złota Brama) and Green Gate (Brama Zielona), which were two of the most notable attractions in Gdansk.

Guess what was the highlight of our Gdansk trip? Nope. Not visiting churches, not doing bungee jumps, not shopping, not sightseeing. What we enjoyed the most was our lunch. And what was it? KFC!!! Crispy, deep-fried, yummylicious, finger-licking good chicken!

Well, you can't really blame us Singaporeans living in Karlskrona for having this fanatic craze over KFC whenever we see it. The fact is, it used to be quite readily available for us back in Singapore with its nationwide outlets, or we could simply call the hotline and yummy, aromatic chicken would be delivered to our doorstep. Come to Karlskrona, we realised that the whole of Sweden had not a single KFC. If we wanted to satisfy our craving, we had to drive 3.5hours to Copenhagen to enjoy a meal of not only freaking expensive, but only original, and not crispy, chicken. Some of us get so desperate sometimes that we buy an enormous bucket of chicken home and deep freeze it just so we could enjoy a drumstick or chicken thigh once in a while. Yesh, that's the extent of our craving.

So, thumbs up to the delicious KFC we had in Gdansk, which was in fact cheaper than Copenhagen. It was definitely worth the long walk and hard time locating the restaurant!

Before we left, I couldn't help it but give in to my temptation of buying that delectable-looking swirling ice cream. To be frank, I had been eyeing it since we arrived. Ice cream never fails to brighten up my day. So rest assured, dear Angel, mummy will definitely treat you to a scoop of ice cream or a popsicle every so often!

Cheers to a wonderful afternoon spent in Gdansk!

Check out more updates from the other ports of call on this cruise: Helsinki (Finland), St Petersburg (Russia), Riga (Lativa)

To see more of the world, visit my Travelogue page here.


Here's a simple video I did that shows the highlights of the entire Baltic cruise. Enjoy viewing!

For a complete list of my videos, click here.


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