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POLAND - Gdansk

Location - Eastern Europe; Capital - Warsaw; Population - 39 million; Currency - Zloty MORE POLAND

Formalities at the Kaliningrad/Poland border only took an hour to negotiate, then it was a three hour round-the-houses trip by coach to Gdansk - April 2015.


PolandnotePoland belongs to the European Union but it hasn't adopted the Euro. Instead it uses the Zloty.








poland76Locals and tourists alike are drawn to the historic Royal Way - Gdansk


poland78The Royal Way is crammed with bars, cafes and restaurants along with a spattering of museums and boutique shops - Gdansk


poland79The 17th century Neptune's Fountain stands outside the town hall, which houses the Historical Museum of Gdansk - Gdansk












poland71The riverside entrance to the Royal Way is via the 16th century Green Gate - Gdansk













poland73The classy, but quiet, cellar bar beneath Zappio Hostel. I guess in the summer it's chocka - Gdansk


poland87Along Royal Way to Golden Gate with the towering Foregate further back, rising above - Gdansk


poland109The vast St Mary's Church isn't particularly attractive but climb its 400+ steps for great views - Gdansk












poland104The town hall's clocktower rises high above the Royal Way - Gdansk












poland102The Motlawa River can just be made out centre-right. Follow its flow to Gdansk Port and the Baltic Sea on the horizon - Gdansk


poland156Rybackie Pobrzeze is a riverside promenade, busy with tourists indulging at the cafes and restaurants - Gdansk


poland117The wonderfully over-the-top Black Pearl takes passengers on a short cruise to Westerplatte (April to October) - Gdansk












poland126On the far right is the medieval Gdansk Crane, jutting out from Rybackie Pobrzeze - Gdansk














poland120Sailing past the 14th century St Mary's Gate while on board the Black Pearl (Czarna Pearla in Polish) - Gdansk


poland128The Soldek was built in Gdansk shortly after WWII and now forms part of the Maritime Museum - Gdansk


poland140 Westerplatte is a 45min cruise from Gdansk on the coast. It's the site of the German assault on Polish forces on 1 September 1939, marking the beginning of World War II.












poland148The WWII Memorial commemorates the event. For those opting for a cruise, it's possible to disembark here to see the memorial and museum, then catch a later boat - Westerplatte












poland152On the return leg to Gdansk. St Mary's Gate is centre-left on Rybackie Pobrzeze - Gdansk


poland155And back to the Rybackie Pobrzezesible after a 90min cruise. The boat has a bar with live music and in the peak summer months doubles up as a 'tavern' docked on the riverfront - Gdansk


poland162Other sites of huge historical importance is the Monument to the Shipyard Workers, and the European Solidarity Centre behind - Gdansk












poland163The Monument to the Shipyard Workers is dedicated to the shipyard workers who died in the December 1970 riots against price rises imposed by the puppet Soviet regime - Gdansk














poland169At the base of the monument are the footprints of Pope John Paul II. Either the fomer Polish Pope or - reading the signature - those of legendary snooker player John Parrot. Probably the former! Gdansk


poland170Opposite the monument are plaques honouring those who died, with the words: 'They gave their lives so that you can live with dignity' - Gdansk


poland167The gates to the Gdansk Shipyard, formerly the Lenin Shipyard. The shipyard workers created Solidarity in 1980, the first trade union in the Soviet bloc not controlled by the Communist Party - Gdansk












poland168The Polish flag, a picture of Pope John Paul II and Solidarity banners on the shipyard gates - Gdansk













poland173The European Solidarity Centre opened in 2014 and details the fight against Communism, the creation of Solidarity and the road to democracy. This photo displays the 21 demands of MKS hung on the shipyard gates in August 1980, which led to the creation of Solidarity - Gdansk


poland178A sign stating 'Office of Lech Walesa' in the museum. Lech Walesa was the leader of Solidarity and the President of Poland from 1990 to 1995 - Gdansk


poland180A 1980s era milicja (police) car is parked next to the shipyard gates, near the Solidarity Centre - Gdansk












poland69On the way to Gdansk Glowny train station is a small island restaurant on the Radunia Canal - Gdansk















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LINKS - Poland tourist board - Polish rail


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