Saturday, 3 August 2013

Poland's Baltic Sea

Wednesday (31.07.), Franzi and I started for a long weekend trip towards Poland. The plan was to go till Danzig (Gdansk) via Poland's coast at the Baltic Sea and to return through the old cities of Malbork, Torun and Poznan.
We finished work, packed the car and carried a passenger until Berlin and stopped first in Stettin (Szczecin). The city welcomed us with old suburbs of the Eastern bloc. Most people were found gathered around bus stops... however, the city center was more welcoming :)
 
View over Settin's harbor. Including the typical Polish tv program ;)

 We slandered around the city for about 2 hours and continued towards Kolberg (Kolobrzeg), where we arrived after 11pm... officially it was too late to enter the campsite, but the gatekeeper turned a blind eye on that rule and let us in^^ Before we went to sleep we wanted to see the sea. On our short walk there, we had a quite frightening encounter with a wild boar :o
The next day (01.08.), we went to Kolberg's beach for some sun bathing and swimming... unfortunately, the beach was so packed that we decided to drive further where we might find less crowded beaches. While leaving Kolberg, we saw a funny sign "Military Market" and decided to have a look... plenty armored vehicles, tanks, rocket launchers... also knifes, rifles, old army badges... whatever your military heart desires :P

Wanna go on a ride?

Let's play a game...
We somehow misjudged the time we would need to drive in northern Poland... ~190km in 3.5hours - sux! Thus, we arrived at Slowinskis National Park late (6pm). Still, we walked to see the largest sand dune in the park. It took us 2h to get there, 30min at the stunning scenery and 2h back... it turned dark on our way back and we were kinda surprised when a huge shadow appeared in the woods. I stopped and Franzi's recognized "look there"... something the animal (another wild boar, but as huge as a bear) recognized, grunted aggressively and started running... due to the bad visibility it took me some time to see whether it ran towards or away from us. Luckily it decided for the latter... not sure when I was that frightened the last time :/ However, we were lucky that the parking place was still open - it kinda appeared like they were waiting for us^^

Fun on the way towards the biggest sand dune

The huge sand dune makes it way into the forest and leaves dried out trees behind

Great sunset on the way back

Next, we looked for a place to stay in Leba, the city next to the national park. It appeared like a city festival and we enjoyed some meat from a entire grilled pig :). After they told us that all of the city's rooms were booked, we were lucky and found one^^
The next morning (02.08.) we sought to enjoy some more beach and sun. Well, Leba's beach was even worse than Kolberg's... never seen such a packed beach. Now I know why I usually choose less touristy destinations^^ Still, the Poles have an interesting system of creating some privacy within the crowd of people - they raise a fence and build their own little beach home :P

The worst view of a beach I can imagine...
We enjoyed some fruits from the stores, a little swim and an hour of sun before we continued to the Hel peninsular. There we stopped for another swim and sunbath at the bay side of the peninsular and later another sunbath and walk on the outer side. The latter is the much better choice - superb and lonely beaches. We decided to drive until Sopot, arrived at night and camped there :)
The next day we went to Gdansk...

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