Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk, Poland

A sunny day! We’re having one on, one off here at the mo. Last night I was eating in a lovely restaurant by the river, a short walk from the hostel, and wondered why it had suddenly filled up outside. A proper look showed that it was bucketing down, though they had an additional attraction in that the tout who was trying to pull people in had brought out a guitar and switched his folksy talent into overdrive. What’s the equivalent of “let’s rock!” for folk music? That, anyway.

Last night I had come back to the hostel to find the room full, so met AJ the French girl, and a Hungarian couple. I’ve been thinking of heading to Mongolia to explore the lands of the Khans, and have now hit the trail of menaces to civilisation early, by meeting Attila the Hun(garian). They went out to eat late, but came back for me to join them for a beer. A Monday night in April, and sitting outside drinking after midnight; I think this is exactly how I imagined time off work looking.

Today I hit the Roads to Freedom exhibition and the National Museum. The former covers the solidarity movement, very well done with a mixture of audio, visual and props, though I was tired enough to nearly doze off whilst listening to the audio guide. Parkrunner Adrian had mentioned a video showing a striker being run over by a truck and I duly found that highlight. Otherwise it’s impressive, and one heck of a moment in history, though the commentary is oddly phrased, feeling the need to over egg the repression of communism, as if describing the privations weren’t enough and they must point out that this was all bad, m’kay.

The National Museum is mostly art, with the big highlight being Hans Memling’s Last Judgment tryptich. Lovely though, as Sal would put it, altogether too much god. I liked several of the Gdansk paintings, though I’m confused by the chief of the watch, who seems to have the oddest arms ever. I rationalised it as him wanting his portrait to suggest he had only turned from duty for a moment, though that doesn’t quite fit given everyone would have known that sitting for a painting takes a while.

Tomorrow, Lodz. I wondered how easy picking up a ticket would be, and had the destination and time written out, but just used a machine. The only tricky bit was realising/remembering to choose the L with an accent, not without. Not a problem you have when looking for Surbiton on a ticket machine in Britain.

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