The main reason I wanted to go to Gdansk was to dip my feet in the Baltic Sea. Originally I’d wanted to go swimming but the weather was bad (cold and raining) and the water was freezing so I settled for just getting my feet wet.
The first morning there I went on a free walking tour with the same company that I’d been with in Warsaw. The history of Gdansk was very similar to that of Warsaw in some ways, and very different in others. Being so far west it used to be a German city and it was in fact destroyed by the Communists during the Second World War as a statement to Germany, rather than as part of the Nazi regime. In fact, when the war was over and Gdansk was part of occupied, communist Poland, Communists didn’t want to rebuild it, they wanted to leave Gdansk in rubble to continue the statement. They did eventually rebuild it, and used the façades of certain buildings to incorporate communist propaganda into the art of the city.
After the walking tour I jumped on a tram to go to the beach. I took my ukulele and after dipping my feet in the sea I found a nice spot to sit and practise. There were a lot more people on the beach than I expected to see, considering the weather, but I guess it was a Friday afternoon. After about two hours I realised I was so cold that my strumming hand was frozen in position and my fingers had turned white and blue. I shivered my way back to the tram and made it to the hostel to defrost. Eventually I warmed up enough to go and find food with Jill, my Swedish roommate in the hostel. We ended up at a pizza and burger place that was delicious and more than satisfied my cravings for crispy chicken.
The next morning we had both planned to go to Sopot, a neighbouring beach town that was supposed to be a lot nicer than the beach area of Gdansk. On the train on the way to Sopot I was reading out things to do in Sopot and Gdansk from the tourist map and the most exciting thing was Jump City, a trampoline centre. This kind of became the aim for the day.
Once in Sopot we went to check out the Gaudí-esque house and ended up having coffee at the café there. Then it was beach time. We wanted to walk down the pier but you had to pay to enter the pier, which we thought was weird and unnecessary so we just walked along the beach for a while and then found a spot to sit and people watch. We found so many things to talk about, and I pulled out the ukulele for a little jam session, which was great fun but we did both have Riptide stuck in our heads for the rest of the day.
After a while we walked back along the beach. I got an ice cream and we both tried some interesting smoked cheese and then went to walk in the park on the other side of the pier. This is when it started to rain, quite a lot, and we ended up hiding in a sushi restaurant for a late lunch while waiting for the rain to go away.
When we left we only took the train halfway back to Gdansk, because we decided we needed to go to Jump City. Both Jill and I had never been to a trampoline centre, and it certainly made both of our trips to Gdansk very memorable. We even got souvenirs out of it because you had to have these special grip socks. I was a little bit afraid that I would end up doing something stupid like Chris (breaking his leg in the first 5 minutes of his trip to Bounce in Melbourne) but I guess no one is quite as special as Chris! Jumping is actually very tiring, it was the most intense workout I’ve had in a while, but I managed to keep all my bones in one piece and have an absolutely awesome time.
After our hour of bouncing we took the train back to Gdansk, grabbed some excellent kebabs for dinner, and then we had to say our goodbyes as I was getting the overnight bus to Wrocław. Gdansk was great, and spending the time with Jill made it extra awesome, I’ll definitely visit her in Sweden sometime!