Today we went for a wander round the town we’ve been staying in for the last five days Pruszcz (Proo-sh-ch) and to the village his Mum & Grandmother used to live in Cieplewo (Ch-ple-voh). Zombie hasn’t been back here in 20 years but much is still the same, they’ve just multiplied almost infinitely. The route to the train station being the main thing he wanted to see and the plot where their houses used to stand, it’s a road now.
We walked from his Uncle’s block (flats were, and are still, the main abode of the Poles) down the route over the river to Pruszcz Railway Station and from there a winding 3K route mostly along the railway line to Cieplewo. We stopped a few times to take photos of this and that and we had been in the village for quite a while before they mentioned that we were in “Stare Cieplewo” the old part of the village. Just a couple of houses later and the road narrowed before letting out again to the plot where Zombie’s Mum’s and Gran’s houses were. The “cottage” was three houses stuck together, the end two only being one level each. Here’s a before and after photo from the same spot as best we could do.
After some reminiscing we continued up the street and going to “drop in” on some friends. The Polish way is you just turn up somewhere and you’ll be greeted warmly and presented with coffee almost before you’ve sat down. It’s really nice and not something that ever happens in England, you turn up un-announced you’d be lucky to get an invite in let alone hospitality.
Anyway, we ended up staying for a few hours during which I took more photos (flowers, kittens, grape vines, butterflies), we picked walnuts & apples and we had Polish sausage barbecued for lunch.
Whilst I may only have command of 80-100 words of Polish I have begun to understand a lot more of what people are saying in the context of a conversation so even though three of the four people spoke exclusively Polish it was a wonderful time. I’m glad that boything’s family friends & uncle like me so much, makes me know I’m doing something right by learning Polish and coming to this wonderful country, though apparently my name means “small crying girl” in Polish! We got a lift home round 2 and since then we’ve just been packing and reading.
Flight tomorrow is at 10.15 local time so this will be posted when we have Internet, hopefully before the flight.
Thank you, Poland, for a very wonderful holiday and don’t forget to be awesome.
The Hel Peninsula is the bit that sticks out the top of Poland in the Baltic Sea, we had planned on getting a train there as at some points it’s a single track that’s you can throw a stone across the width of the land but turns out that would take far too much time. So we took a ferry, or “sea tram” as the translation would be, taking just under two hours to cross. There was a slow departure along the river through the well known Gdansk Shipyard and then we were in the Baltic Sea! Well enough that it got choppy and horrible half way across but we were technically never in open sea as we didn’t leave the peninsular.
Arriving there we decided on finding the first beach spot we could and parked up, unfortunately whilst it was lovely when the sun was out it was far too cloudy to be much good. Zombie got his attempt at swimming in the sea and I braved a short paddle but it was far too cold.
They did have wifi on the beach though! Europe seems to have a great love of contactless bank cards and free wifi, it was in every air port and lots of other places too get back to England and you’re lucky to find wifi you have to pay for in the airport let alone free stuff. But I digress, we gave it about half an hour and decided to go for a walk and find sme brunch, we had had breakfast as like every morning Zombie’s uncle kindly made us eggs & cold meat on bread (v yummy) but it seemed like quite a while ago. We bought some souvenirs and found a little waffle/ice cream place. We had seen signs for “Gofry” in quite a few places but didn’t know what it was, turns out the most awesome waffles ever. Cream and your choice of about 10 different fresh fruits. Boything had raspberries and strawberries and I had ice cream (lody) which was amazing and neon colours.
As the peninsula is pretty easily walkable we followed a sign post for Plaza which is beach in Polish and what did we find but another amazing beach and strangely this one was warmer and sunnier! So Zombie went for his proper swim in the sea and I read my book enjoying the sun and heat, making sure every so often he hadn’t disappeared or drowned.
After a lovely few hours we went to find some lunch, we had fish and chips of course! Can’t not at the sea side, even if you are 800 miles from home. We had to make the 3:30 boat back as we’d booked on to it so we hoofed it and got there in plenty of time, this crossing was much nicer as the sea had calmed a lot.
We wandered back through old Gdansk and caught the bus back home. There will be lots of photos to post once I’ve had a go through all of them but here’s one of me and Neptune.