We arrived in Gdansk Airport and collected my bag from the luggage carriers. We then booked an Uber to take us into Gdansk centre to meet up with 2 of Alfie’s friends. The Uber taxi met us outside the arrivals area and only cost £6 equivalent between us for a 25 minute journey which was cheap compared to Uber in the UK! Alfie’s friends had told us they were sat at a café on ‘Long Street’ in Gdansk centre. We soon found them and joined for a drink before going to check in to our apartment.
We all had our bags with us, and walked the long distance to the address we had been given for the apartment. We had agreed with the owner to have a 1pm check in (due to some great ‘Genius’ bonuses on Alfie’s Booking.com account), however when we arrived at the given address it was already 1:15pm and no one was around. We went into what we thought was the building, and found it to be slightly derelict so hoped it wasn’t there! We called and realised that the owner had forgotten, and thought we were checking in at 3pm. Within 15 minutes, someone came over with the keys and led us to the correct entrance and building next door. This one had a security code on the main door to the flats, making us feel a lot safer! When we entered the apartment, it was big in size and was beautiful. It was made up of 4 rooms: an entrance hall/kitchen (with sofa bed), the bathroom, a lounge area with sofa beds, and a double bedroom.
They decided to put the TV on for a bit, and as Alfie and I hadn’t slept properly in nearly 48 hours, I fell asleep sat on one of the sofas, for quite a long time! When I woke up, they told me that we were going back into the main city to get some food, as we hadn’t eaten for nearly 24 hours either. We ended up eating pizzas in a restaurant called ‘Long Street 52’ which was really nice and so much cheaper than what we’d got used to in Scandinavia and Malta!
We then went and found a bar along the canal side, which had a live DJ (who looked so happy to be doing his job…)! I ordered a ‘strawberry woo woo’, which unexpectedly came in a margarita glass, whilst the 3 lads ordered a beer each!
After a drink, we headed back to the apartment, only stopping along the way to buy some coffee, milk and cereal for the apartment from a store, as well as stopping by a pharmacy for me to buy some antihistamine tablets. When we got back, the lads watched the TV and went to buy beer, crisps and Tetley tea whilst I ended up falling asleep on the double bed (which Alfie and I had claimed), not even waking up when Alfie’s other friend arrived at the apartment!
When I woke up, we decided to head into Gdansk to a couple of bars whilst we waited for my friend’s delayed plain to arrive. We started off in a bar with heaters and blankets; however, the waitress told us we only had time for one drink, as they were due to be closing. We then headed to an underground bar which specialised in ales. After a couple of drinks each (or none in my case), we then headed back to the apartment, especially as I was starting to fall asleep again.
We sat watching the TV waiting for my friend to arrive…However, her RyanAir flight from Birmingham Airport was delayed by nearly 3 hours. This meant staying awake until after 2am, although it was really great to see her when she finally arrived, although she was very tired like the rest of us! We all decided to call it a night!
The next day, we all had a slight lie in, however, we wanted to go and explore. We decided to head out for a late breakfast (AKA brunch). We found a restaurant with an extensive menu of breakfasts and pastas. Two of Alfie’s friends ate a dish called “Good morning Gdansk” whilst the rest of us opted for their pasta dishes. We finished there just in time for the Gdansk Free Walking Tour.
The walking tour guide (who we all found to be a great woman) focussed on the history of Gdansk, including a tour of the old town, as well as visiting St.Mary’s church (which is the largest brick church in the world) and the largest medieval crane in Europe, along with the war events in Gdansk and the events during the communist time, ending at the Old Post Office (the location of one of the first acts in World War II).
We then went back to the apartment, and headed out on an adventure to find a hill. On the way, we weren’t entirely sure where we were going, however a kind man stopped and gave us directions which was helpful! The hill had a statue on it, and opened up some good views over Gdansk (depending on which way you looked – look the wrong way and all you see is cranes). The view was made better due to a rainbow lighting up the sky!
After a short while exploring, we all decided we were getting hungry, so we headed back into Gdansk to find somewhere for dinner. We ended up in a restaurant called ‘Kos’. I ordered the most beautiful Pork tenderloin which came with baked potatoes (or what we call roast potatoes), whilst some of the others had a Polish traditional dish of pierogi (Polish dumplings).
After our food, we ended up in an unusual cocktail bar/microbrewery called Cooltura. I ordered a ‘sex on the beach’ cocktail, and everyone else had a beer. We then decided to head back to the apartment, drink canned beers and play Scattergories (if you’ve never played, I highly recommend), before calling it a day!
On Tuesday, we woke up early with the aim of going to the World War Two museum, as on a Tuesday the museum has free entry. However, when we got to the museum, the queue weaved around the museum and up the stairs, and someone informed us that once the maximum capacity is fulfilled, it works as a “one in one out” system, meaning we could be stood there for up to 4 hours in the queue. Thus, we decided to not bother, otherwise we would be using up 4 hours of our day just stood in a queue. Instead, we went back to the apartment to grab some things, before ordering Uber’s to take us to the beach.
When we arrived at the beach it started to rain which was not ideal at all. When it cleared we walked over the sand to the water (the Baltic Sea), where one of Alfie’s friends decided he would go for a very cold swim, whilst the rest of us just decided to watch. For lunch, we sat in a bar (inside a large gazebo) and ordered various food items. Alfie and I shared a rather disgusting, ketchup dominated pizza…all I can say is I’m glad it was only cheap. We decided to leave the beach and order taxis back to the apartment.
In the afternoon, we went to the Amber Museum (which was linked with a torture museum/prison tower) and then went to the Golden Wasser restaurant/café. I had a baileys hot chocolate and wow it was good.
From there we walked 405 steps up the tower in St Mary’s Church; however, the lads walked so fast that when we reached the top, my friend and I felt like we’d run a marathon! Despite this, the views from the top were pretty amazing…until it started absolutely bucketing it down with rain!
After this, one of Alfie’s friends led us to a cocktail bar, which advertised on the window that it had board games. I ordered a cosmopolitan cocktail, and one of Alfie’s friends requested the pack of UNO cards. We all enjoyed a couple of cocktails and a few games of UNO I think! We decided though, it was definitely time for dinner!
We went to another restaurant, where once again I had an amazing meal…however, all of our chosen dishes were covered in cress. Their chef clearly has a thing for a bit of cress! Once we’d all finished eating, I called my mum…or at least I tried. Unfortunately, at the end of Malta I gained a sore throat, so by Tuesday in Gdansk, I had no voice at all. For the people stuck with me in Gdansk, this was probably a blessing; however, my mum definitely struggled to hear what I was saying!
After dinner, we headed back to the same cocktail bar again…but this time we played Scrabble instead. However, the game they had was Polish scrabble, so we had to use slight artistic licence on English words and Polish letters…it was a very interesting but fun game! We then headed back to the apartment, watched TV and the others drank beers, before we all headed to bed.
On Wednesday morning, we all woke up reasonably early, in order to pack, tidy and clean ready to depart the apartment before check-out time. Once again, we went out for breakfast/brunch, this time back at ‘Long Street 52’ where a few of us had eaten previously. They had a good range of breakfast choices, but in the end we all chose the same meal which was: 2 fried eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 white sausages, 2 pieces of toast, a pot of beans, and slices of cheese and ham (I asked for it without the beans…). However, what made the dish even better value for money, was that the price included a choice of either coffee, beer or a shot of vodka!
After eating breakfast, we decided to go on the big wheel. We must have gone around it about 4 times before they stopped the wheel! There were some amazing views over Gdansk in some directions, however in other directions all that could be seen were cranes and building work!
We then headed for more drinks at the Golden Wasser café again. This time I opted for a plain hot chocolate, but it was still as good as the time before. The only thing that ruined the experience this time round, was the waitress: she was extremely rude to everyone she was serving. I understand we all have bad days, but there’s no need to take it out on polite customers!
After a short while hanging around in Gdansk, we all walked one of Alfie’s friends to the bus station ready for his bus to Krakow! When we said goodbye to him, we booked Uber’s to take the rest of us to the airport. When we arrived at the airport we were too early for check-in, so we found some chairs for a couple of hours. Usually check-in is supposed to open 2-3 hours before your flight, however ours was the last flight out for that day and they didn’t open our check in until nearly 90 minutes before departure time. Myself and my friend checked in my bag and then we swiftly worked through security before finding a shop to buy some food for the plane.
Once on the plane, we all found our chairs (mine in the middle of the plane compared to everyone else’s at the front…thank you RyanAir)! However, I was not on my own for long…The window seat next to me was supposed to be occupied by a woman with her baby, however children are not allowed in the emergency exit chairs. Luckily, the flight attendant swapped her with Alfie so I had some good company! Eventually, we arrived at Stanstead Airport, thus indicating the end of our travels.
I am very sad to be home and back in the real world doing University work and realising my bank hates me. I also walk around now in England expecting to hear lots of languages; it’s disappointing only getting to hear mainly the English language when I’d got so used to a good variety! However, I have had the most amazing Summer travelling with Alfie, seeing new places, meeting new people, and exploring Poland with some amazing friends. Alfie and I were both in agreement that Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen were 3 of our favourite places in Scandinavia, each having so many different things to see but also being pretty at the same time! I would also definitely go back to Malta and Poland, and would recommend anyone to give them a visit if they get the chance!
I want to thank the friends who joined us in Poland and ended our travels in the best way possible, making some amazing memories! Another thank you goes to my parents for supporting our travels, but also for helping me fund them…! And my final thank you: I can’t thank Alfie enough for putting up with me, looking after me and being amazing company during our time away. It definitely would not have been the same without him!
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” – Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
This is not goodbye…it’s see you later!
Alfie’s YouTube (New videos will appear soon):