Poland joined EU in 2004 but still it is very different from other European countries. People are having more strong family emotions and very high religious devotion. I tried to discover Poland from its heart and my own personal routes. I started my journey from Warsaw, then I moved in the north to Gdansk and Hel, then I walked to my own personal route to Gorzow Wlkp. and end my journey in historical city of Krakow followed by Katowice.
Warsaw the capital city of Poland is just like other capitals. Life is fast and a bit expensive here, you can find lot of youth hostel here but I decided to spend this evening with one of my friend in Warsaw Ewa and tried to look inside the Polish family. It was a very warm welcome at her house, her beautiful and loving mum and grand mum fed me the very first polish food. After a long discussion on Poland economy and future strategies, I decided to leave her home and head to Gdansk. Polish Railway service PKP and PKP-ICC(Inter City) is very good and on time. PKP-ICC is bit expensive and there is no discount on this services but its much faster than other express services. I bought express PKP ticket and head to Gdansk.
Gdansk is pretty much like a mixture of commercial and historical city. Its most cleanest city of Poland. Unemployment is less here and people are more friendly and visible than Warsaw. A youth hostel would charge you around 50 PLN with breakfast and the best way to see this city is on bicycle. After viewing most of places like Madison, Railway Station Gdansk Glowny, Cinemas and modern lifestyle I decided to go to historic center of Gdansk. I was on time this year there was a big 3 week fair in the center of Gdansk. Resturent serves really great food, don’t miss Fish and Zapeikanke in these shops.
After a relaxing time in Gdansk it was time to head to Hel. Hel is a small town in Batalic sea and gulf of Gdansk. From Gdynia you can ride on ship to Hel which usually takes 1 hr and 50 PLN (Including return journey) by train it takes 2 hrs due to the fact you have to travel 200 Kms by train. Hel was much better than my expectation. You can play in beach, eat crispy fishes, visit authentic museums and walk in exotic nature garden. I spent almost a day over there and unfortunately I had to leave to Gorzow next morning.
There is no direct train to Gorzow and I decided to visit Szceccin before Gorzow. Its a developed city like Gdansk, you can find automatic cash machines everywhere in city. Berlin is just another 120 miles from this city. Up next was Gorzow, small towns with big shopping malls and public apartments and surrounded by beautiful villages Gorzow is a bit slower than other cities. I was looking for an occasion for doing some adventurous stuff in Gorzow as it is quite and decent city, no real traffic on roads peoples are polite and some of them speak very good English, I took bicycle and went to feel Gorzow. After some daring stunts on bicycle I went inside village, I took Dinner in a village with a family it was polish famous food “Pierogi” (Russian Dumplins) it was some regal food for me. I talked to people in villages they were happy to see me and they remember some incidents about India, this really surprised me. Next was to visit Katowice and Chorzow followed by small town called Wroclow.
I was really running short of time, so I decided to scrap Wroclow but it was a mistake. I had to spend sometime with my Aunt and Uncle in Katowice. Katowice looks like yet another commercialized city of Poland. Long apartments, beautiful parks and shopping malls everywhere makes Katowice a comfort city. In morning my Uncle and Aunt took me to a big park in Katowice-Chorzow its really a must place if you visit Katowice, perhaps for me it was really important my uncle and aunt married in the same park. if you get tired by walking in the park you can visit “Fish Village” its a nice resturent out there which serves some delicious fishes with beer. In evening i went to center of Katowice and did some shopping for Krakow.
Early morning I left to Krakow. It takes 2 hr and 17 PLN by PKP train which can consider as cheap but the cheapest way is to visit by bus which takes 3 hrs in 12 PLN. I booked “ARS Hostel” in Krakow and a taxi would easily take you to ARS in 20 PLN from railway station. Unlike many other hostels ARS was in old city of Krakow. There are many ways on which you can see Krakow and each way portrait on different Krakow, for example if you follow University way then you’ll see various universities and modern living in Krakow but i decided to take historical way its what i was there for. I put my bag in hostel and headed to Wawel Royal castle, people are living on Wawel Hill from 50,000 years and its best place to find traces of history of Poland. Its surrounded by beautiful gardens and Viswa river. Krakow is the place which was near to Pop John Paul-II, personally I was attached with him and decided to go to that window in Krakow where the used to speak. Kanonicza street mostly preserved its exquisite Renaissance and shape, which appeal so strongly to everyone. I end my journey by visit Collegium Maius and had a wonderful coffee on the street.
Poland was much better than my expectation this time I couldn’t visit some of famous places in Poland but if you are coming to Poland then in addition to above don’t forget to visit Ausszwitz, Jasna Gora, Wroclow and Zakopane(Tatry). I hope I’ll return to Poland very soon.