A day in Gdansk


(I was banned from having G’day in Gdansk as the title for today’s blog. Is that fair? Is that just?)

So, last things first, we had an excellent dinner experience this evening. Rosalie went out on a flaneurism expedition this afternoon while I did lip slurs in our hotel room (don’t worry it’s a trumpet thing). She found an unassuming restaurant called Kresowa on the intersection of two side roads off the main King’s Walk in old Gdansk. One name on an awning and a few linen-clothed tables under a linden tree was all Kresowa had on display but it was a fine un-touristic experience. The salmon blinis with caviar were excellent. We did agree that Rosalie’s Lithuanian Zeppelins (dumplings) were a little stodgy but had it been winter or had we’d ridden 100km we wouldn’t have complained. The world needs more Kresowas.

We spent a grim morning at the Gdansk World War 2 Museum. Having grown up with the Western Allies’ perspective it is interesting to learn from those that lived at the heart of successive disasters.

With a weight of justification, the museum portrays Poland as a main victim of the war and 20th century politics. A close reading reveals a few veiled acknowledgments of local complicity with the Holocaust – a hot political topic in Poland these days. The Catholic Church seems to get off scot free with no mention of its cosy wartime arrangements with Nazi Germany. The unrelenting internal decor of slate grey, cast concrete and subdued lighting combined with the confronting content to make a memorable impact.

After the museum we went on to the Memorial to the Fallen Shipyard Workers of 1970 (remember Lech Wałęsa & Solidarity?). While WW2 finished for us in 1945, in many ways the Solidarity movement marked the next page in Polish history after the German/Russian then Soviet domination of the preceding decades.

An early morning foray onto the desrted and freshly washed, cobbled streets was worth the sacrificed lie-in as the highly ornamented buildings looked fine.

Gdansk is an impressive city that is managing the touristic load pretty well.

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