There’s nothing worse to a frequent traveller than being forced to sit still for a long period of time. After having not travelled for eight weeks and having endured the painful process of applying for a freelance visa to live and work longer in Germany, I was restless and stressed. To top it off, Easter weekend was coming up and I suddenly had no plans due to a last minute cancellation. Ahh, the sometimes lonely life of a newly transplanted expat …
Perfect time to plan a weekend away all on my own! So true to form, I plotted my escape from Berlin and headed to Gdansk, Poland.
Those eight weeks of non-travel turned me into a bad travel blogger. A very bad travel blogger indeed. I’d forgot to bring the battery charger for my camera! After spending a couple of wasted hours trying to hunt down a new one and a lot of cursing (and I mean a lot), I reluctantly settled on using my iPhone.
My weekend started at the very cute Hotel Artus in Gdansk’s city center where I nabbed a rather sweet and stylish little room. Arriving here late Friday evening after a looooong eight hour train ride from Berlin, I was excited to call this my “home away from home” for a few days.
Best of all, I had a view of St. Mary’s Church and some other classic Polish architecture just outside my window!
After get settled, I headed out and looked for something to eat. Unfortunately, being Easter weekend my options were limited (a lot of restaurants were closed) so I ended up at the rather touristy and overpriced Restauracja Euro where I got my fill of perogies and some snappes.
Back at the hotel, I booked the sauna for an hour and spent the time relaxing in complete and utter bliss.
Tip – if you do ever happen to stay at the Hotel Artus in Gdansk, book the sauna and preferably for later in the evening. Not only is it super cheap, but you’ll have the entire sauna to yourself (no awkward encounters with other naked strangers is always a plus for me).
The next morning, I headed down to the hotel’s cafe Mon Balzac for breakfast. Cute, cozy and relaxing, I ate here rather joyously each and every morning of my stay. It’s actually open all day and plays host to live music some evenings.
I then spent a couple of hours looking for a battery charger to no avail. To add to my frustration, it was pouring rain so I took a quick break to have a soothing tea at Cafe Retro which is by far one of the coolest cafes I’ve visited to date.
Finally, the rain tapered off a bit and I was ready to explore a bit of Gdansk. Excited, I headed straight to the Neptune Fountain. Unfortunately, I found it’d been temporarily removed for restoration purposes …
A little sad, I continued walking along the wet streets admiring the historic building in Gdansk’s Old Town.
Next, I had dinner at another tourist haunt Goldwasser Restauracja which is right next to the crane. I opted for a non-Polish meal and had steak but didn’t miss the chance to try Goldwasser, a herbal snappes infused with gold flakes and produced only in Gdansk.
By the time dinner was over, I was exhausted and headed back to my hotel for an early night. Lame yes, but I was sick with a bad cold.
Monday, I “attempted” to head home to Berlin but sadly didn’t make it, getting stranded for the night in Konin (otherwise known as hell).
Blog posts on my day in Sopot and a travel day gone horribly horribly wrong coming soon …
I did manage to get a couple shots of a more sunny Gdansk before I left. Even nabbed some shots of street art and graffiti!
Overall, it was a good weekend and increased my ever growing love for Poland and Eastern Europe. Yet somehow, I feel I barely skimmed the surface of Gdansk and didn’t get to know the city properly.
Gdansk, I will come back to see you (someday Bratislava too)! And when I do, I’ll remember to bring my camera’s battery charger.