Tuesday, 2 August 2016
“Like a mini-state all to itself, Gdańsk has a unique feel that sets it apart from the other cities in Poland. Centuries of maritime ebb and flow as a port city; streets of distinctively un-Polish architecture influenced by a united nations of wealthy merchants who shaped the city’s past; the to-ing and fro-ing of Danzig/Gdańsk between Teutonic Prussia and Slavic Poland; and the destruction of WWII have all bequeathed this grand old dame a special atmosphere that millions of tourists now come to enjoy….” Gdansk~Lonely Planet 2016
After three days of dripping humidity, pulling into the city of Gdansk was a breath of fresh salty air. Actually, our bus driver literally pulled into the port of Gdansk by managing to place our rather large bus directly in front of our hotel which happened to be right on the water. And if you’re wondering how to pronounce Gdansk, our guide Marta pronounced it just like an Aussie would say G’day Mate! G’day. Gdansk. G’day. Gdansk. It all sounds the same….
Being rather weary from our long walk through the Castle Malbork, I was also delighted when I opened the door to my room. It had a porthole as a window! Absolutely charming!!!
And I was on the top floor with four skylight windows. And when I looked out my porthole, this is what I saw:
A ship so large, I couldn’t even fit it into the frame. It was the SS Sołdek, a Polish coal and ore freighter. She was the first ship built in Poland after World War II and the first seagoing ship completed in Poland. She was the first of 29 ships built between 1949 and 1954 in Stocznia Gdańska, the Gdańsk Shipyard. And as I learned later, she is currently preserved as a museum ship right outside my poop deck… Heaven!