With an old streetcar we go from the campground to the city center of Danzig – a masterpiece of Polish restoration art. In March 1945 the proud city was destroyed to 90%. Historical paintings and old yellow photos were pulled up for the reconstruction. Of course not everything was documented, so they were dependant also on the memory of eyewitnesses from pre wartimes. At the end the imagination of the master builders was asked. This way an idealistic Danzig has been built.
The city has many fine buildings from the time of the Hanseatic League. Most tourist attractions are located along or near Ulica Długa (Long Street) and Długi Targ (Long Market), a pedestrian thoroughfare surrounded by buildings reconstructed in historical (primarily 17th century) style and flanked at both ends by elaborate city gates. This part of the city is sometimes referred to as the Royal Road as the former path of processions for visiting kings.
We stroll through the lanes, admire the displays in the amber shops and remember the “tin drum” of Günter Grass. Maybe one should read this book again … The church of St. Mary is certainly worth a visit, particularly because of the gigantic astronomical clock of 1470. The technical masterpiece is 12 m high and shows the time of the day, month and year, the phases of the moon, the calendar saints as well as the zodiac signs. Hopefully I didn’t forget anything …
By now it is drizzling and we take a sightseeing boat to the “Westerplatte”. Because of the weather we don’t leave the boat, but the monument which is a reminder of the beginning of WW2 we can see anyway. Here the German warship “Schleswig – Holstein” on the 1st of September, 1939 opened the fire on 182 strong Polish army posts. Today quite incomprehensibly …
After the return of this two hour trip we are quite hungry. And Rainer really finds again the restaurant we visited 20 years ago. “Pod Losiem” (the Salmon) is one of the first adresses in Gdansk. When we enter it looks exactly like 20 years ago – no wonder it has a 400 year old tradition! The famous “Danziger Goldwater” was destilled here, tiny gold leaves are swimming in it. Of course we try it and the food is superb too!
This is the return day of Jochen and we keep going towards east.
When we leave Gdansk – still in the city – we meet a wild boar on the rails of the streetcar!!!
Campground Danzig: N 54°22.203′ E 18°43.780′