Monday, July 08, 2024

2024 Viking Homelands - Day #16 - Gdańsk, Poland

City of Gdańsk On Foot

Enjoy a Tour of the Sites and Squares of Gdańsk

Explore this remarkably restored Polish city and learn about its rich history on this enlightening excursion.

One of the wealthiest cities in the Hanseatic League, Gdańsk was extensively damaged during World War II, but its restoration has been phoenix-like. You will visit Long Market, one of the city’s most attractive streets, and pass beneath Green Gate, a former royal residence. View the 15th-century Artus Court, a merchant’s palace, and the fascinating Gdańsk treadwheel crane, a 14th-century human-powered device that helped the medieval port load and unload cargo. En route back to your ship, pass Solidarity Square and see the famous Gate No. 2 of the Gdańsk Lenin Shipyard, where protesting shipyard workers were shot by the Communist regime in 1970. A monument here commemorates their sacrifice.
Evening with Frédéric Chopin

A Performance of a Master Composer’s Work

Attend an intimate performance of Chopin compositions in a cultural venue.

Born in 1810 in Warsaw, Frédéric Chopin is one of history’s great composers. He demonstrated true originality at the piano and became a beloved figure in Polish culture. His unique blend of romantic imagination, classical perfection and true Polish spirit still captivates music lovers around the world. Join your guide for a short drive to the neo-Gothic red-brick Polish Baltic Philharmonic. Upon arrival, take your seat in the Chamber Music Hall and settle in for an intimate concert of arias, classical music and other famed Chopin melodies, as well as other great masters that followed in his footsteps. Get caught up in the rousing performances by a renowned Polish pianist and the accompanying violin virtuoso. After the concert, you will return to your ship.
Struggling with a slight head cold, I had a fitful night's sleep. Sharon and I ended up sleeping until almost 7:00 am. We had a quck breakfast of waffles at Mamsen's.

We met our 9:15 am excursion in the Atrium. The excursion for the day was a walking tour of Gdańsk. I was surprised how far out of the old town the ship was docked; it wasn't possible to walk into town. The bus ride was about twenty minutes.

Both Sharon and I were surprised by Gdańsk. It is a beautiful city. The walking tour lasted about 1 1/2 hours. The walking tour gave everyone an hour of free time and then was going to meet up again to head back to the boat. We decided to explore the city on our own.

We walked through the church, shopped for amber jewelry and then found a traditional Polish restaurant for lunch. We had lunch at Restauracja KOS. We had fish soup and Russian and Duck pierogis.

We caught the 3:00 pm shuttle bus back to the ship. Getting cleaned up, we joined our evening excursion at 4;15 pm. It was an evening Chopin Concert at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic. It is housed in an old converted power plant. The concert was just for Viking (two buses) and lasted just over an hour. I wish I had a program, but I don't. Sharon talked about playing some Chopin music after we get home.

We had dinner at The Restaurant by ourselves. We had a nice table along the windows. I had the DESTINATION MENU, including: Cheese Pierogi [polish cheese dumpling, sautéed in butter]; Kolety Schabowe [mushroom-stuffed pork cutlet], and; Milk Chocolate Rocher [hazelnut dacquoise, milk chocolate, praline cream[. Sharon had an asparagus salad, veal and a bite of my dessert.

We got a surprise in the afternoon. As we move towards our next stop, we are crossing a time zone; we lose an hour tonight. We had to manually adjust the time on our phones to Helsinki time...
We finished the night watching part of the second half of the lecture about Chopin. We crashed about 10:40 pm.

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