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Day Five – Gdansk to Niechorze via Leba Dunes

Hare Krishnas and the Festival of India

View Andy's Trip to Eastern Europe on Andy_in_Europe's travel map.

I wake up in Gdansk in my Airbnb, a communist-era apartment, and stand outside on the balcony. It’s surreal being here. I sat on my deck in Hepburn Springs, Australia, a few moments ago, and here I am in a place I recognise on Google Maps. Despite the local forecast for rain, it’s sunny with blue skies. It’s less oppressive with sunshine. I can see treetops from the nearby parkland but cannot see the ocean. It’s something I must do before I leave here. The bathroom has a shower over the bath and doesn’t feel very clean, so I decide to put deodorant on instead of risking it.

Navigating a foreign city will always have its challenges, but I felt here in Gdansk, they don’t make visiting the water and the ocean easy. It’s Poland’s largest port. I wanted a photo of it, so I put all the logical destinations into the GPS and discovered it was impossible. Every dead-end road it led me down seemed below water level and surrounded by trees. I am right next to the ocean. The dot flashing indicates my location is in the water! But I can see or find any. It’s wild. I drove around for about an hour before I decided that God had decided I don’t get to see the ocean here today. I load up my location for the next stop, Leba Dunes.

I arrive at the popular tourist destination in the middle of European Summer. I find a park and wander the promenade, which doesn’t have an ocean view. There’s a small bridge over a canal like you’d see in Amsterdam, but no surf or beach like I thought. There are many restaurants and tourist souvenir shops, which I understand are necessary but tend to hate. The mixed aromas are of waffles, ice cream, and smoked fish, which are extremely popular here in Poland. I venture down one of the canals to find smaller versions of wooden galleons anchored with gangplanks for tourists to walk on and off. I stop for supplies and think about Niechorze and my next accommodation in Wrzosowo.

Traffic is heavy and slow, and Google has me hours away. I’m catching up with a friend whom I haven’t seen for many years and who used to work with at Unisys circa 2010-11, Alexei. He’s Russian, but I would call him a citizen of the world, to which he has travelled sizeable chunks with the Hare Krishna group he belongs to. He’s an excellent photographer, and I shot a wedding with him another good friend, Katre Tattar, on the Gold Coast. He’s moved on to everything to do with the “Festiwal Indii” (Indian Festival), which perfectly coincided with my planned holiday to Northern Poland. It was synchronicity when I realised we would be in the same town and at the same time without intending it. I stopped off at a supermarket called DINO on the way to Wrzosowo for supplies, and by the time I reached my accommodation, it was dusk. I called Alexei to let him know I had arrived and was tired from travelling, so we decided to catch up the following day.

End of Day Five.

Posted by Andy_in_Europe 06:40 Archived in Poland

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