A brilliant start to the holiday – having fallen into bed around 7pm ( 4am Sunday Adelaide time) I woke around 6:30am, to clear blue skies and once outside, a bracing, biting breeze. I wandered around the waterfront of the “old town”- fascinated by seagulls that appeared to be ”walking on water”or at least standing on water in the sunlight of a new day. With that introduction, the more astute of you will realise that the birds were walking on ice!
So I explored the waterfront till about 7:30 then returned to the Q Hotel for a worthwhile breakfast, before warming my hands to venture back and explore the “old town “.
The lone seagull is standing on ice. Look carefully
The home of the Gdansk Philharmonia concert hall
A few pictures of the old town….
The Polish people also sent children, mainly Jewish, away to foster homes in Britain just before the invasion and this is a tribute outside the main Gdansk railway station. The more observant will note the faded ex KFC logo on the original old railway administration offices.it is still. KFC outlet – I positioned the camera to block out the yellow M!
The Gdansk railway station
The Amber Museum in one of the medieval towers of the town wall
In the afternoon I spent the part of 6 hours in the Museum of the Second World War. It was opened in 2015 and is one of the most compelling, confronting exhibitions, housed in an architecturally stunning building all coming together in a technological multimedia experience. There are 20 rooms that start with the seeds of war – the direct consequences ultimately of the loss of WW1, by the Germans. Thence the rooms follow a logical sequence based on the time line as well as the many theatres of the conflict. The use of modern interactive technology is awesome. To give one example, the audio devices automatically sense when you pass the entrance to each of the 20 rooms, activate the introduction, lead to the various displays then end by saying something like
“feel free to take your time and wander around the exhibits and when you have finished leave by the door on the left above which is a huge picture of Hitler and I will be waiting for you in the main corridor.”
Then the audio guide detects that you have entered the main hallway and asks you to turn left or right as the case may be into Room X. In fact so intuitive is the system it detected I had entered the women’s toilet and gently questioned whether I had made a mistake. As to whether it’s query related to the fact that either the female toilet was not part of the exhibits, or rather cleverly that I was in fact, male, is a moot point.
Put Gdansk and this museum on your bucket list.
It is 4am and I am disturbed from a restful sleep by noisy laughing people in room 103. They are not speaking a recognised European language and to minimise the risk of accusation of racial prejudice, I say for a fact that room service has just delivered breakfast of steaming hot fried rice and soup. I think it only fair now that I am wide awake , I should do some Recorder practice.
Today I head by train to Poznan.
The main hallway of the museum with the rooms on each side