Today we toured Gdansk, yet another city whose history includes invasions and rule by Teutonic Knights, the Hanseatic League, Germans, Russians, etc. Prior to WWII, the old town consisted of buildings from the 13th & 14th centuries. Then Germany decided to invade Poland to start WWII and their first move was to bomb Gdansk. Photos show there wasn’t much left when the war ended, but the local citizens found pre-war photos and drawings of the old town and started rebuilding an exact replica. Actually, they just rebuilt the facades to the original design, the interiors are modern. Today, it is a beautiful place, but has a slight Disney-esc feel as everything is a little too clean and touristy.
The eastern and southern edges of the Baltic Sea contains a large percentage of the world’s amber. Apparently the glaciers of the last ice-age ploughed it all up and deposited it here. At least half the stores in old town were amber jewelry stores.
We toured the local archeological museum with an excellent guide, then decided it was time for a beer. As we were scouting the sidewalk cafes, a group of Cowboys appeared with one Squaw. The Squaw was the prospective groom and they were out for a day-long bachelor party.
We joined others from our ship and had very good .5 l. glasses of the local brew. Our bill for four beers and a diet coke was $12 — compared to $10 a glass in Stockholm. Make a note for future trips…