Christmas 2014. I step into the plane and start blasting at the idea that I actually will redeem 2014 for 2015 traveling, a year that hopefully will explode just as beautiful as the other one did. Our train journey through Poland begins in the far North, in the port town of Gdańsk. This city is not yet as well known as the other Polish cities and that ensures an authentic touch, being not too crowded and it is even cheaper than the rest of Poland. It is beautiful over here. After a morning walk I realize that this is more than I had expected of this city, much more. What was I thinking? Gdańsk turns out to be (OK, after the winter village Zakopane) my favorite city in Poland. It has a special atmosphere that I did not always feel in the other cities, especially not in Warsaw. Here, history is literally everywhere in the streets and although this is an old city, with historical scars, it is buzzing with positive energy.
Walking through the lovely neighbourhoods I amaze myself about the pretty facades and the bright colours of the buildings. It freezes and every fifteen minutes we dive into one of the hipster cafés for a hot chocolate. Or a mulled wine. Or mulled beer. With a straw. Here, everything is served hot when the cold presents itself and straws are not averse to Poland either. I start feeling my fingers again and I brave the cold, walking towards the river. The river view is fantastic and accidentally I walk through a gate and see a phenomenal pretty square. Gdańsk continues to surprise me and I am completly surrounded by frenzied buildings. We encounter a restaurant and eat a delicious meal and the next morning when I wake up, that delicious baked camembert is the first thing I think of. We bombarded this restaurant to our local pub: Tekstylia. Definitely a tip.
We decide to look for fresh sea air and step in the train to Sopot, a coastal village on the edge of Gdańsk. The Baltic Sea is beautiful and the beach seems endless. It feels good here. It’s good to take a breath of fresh air and good to let the wind take the the latest concerns of 2014. Full of inspiration we travel back to our now beloved Gdańsk for the last baked camembert and mulled wine. The next morning I feel more relaxed than I ever felt the past months. A wonderful trip lies ahead of us and after this warm welcome, it will probably bring nothing but beauty.
Yes, Gdańsk has character. I glance back once more and step into the train to Warsaw, while the first snowflakes fall down like little clouds and silently, they wish us an unforgettable train trip.