24.06.2012 - 27.09.2012
Derek and I decided to celebrate our 1st year wedding anniversary in Gdansk, Poland. Why Gdansk and not Krakow? After seeing pictures of Gdansk and learning that it was a relatively small, quiet, and charming city, we quickly decided that Gdansk would be the perfect place to spend a romantic weekend together! It’s a quaint and picturesque city situated in a bay on the edge of the Baltic Sea. Historically, Poland and Germany have fought over possession of Gdansk. And interestingly, Gdansk was considered a “free city” in two points in time. For me, this was exciting because I was reading the “Game of Thrones” books and little tidbits such as this was very “Game of Thrones” –like!
After 7 months of backpacking, we decided that staying in a nice hotel was essential. This is the view from our room:
We celebrated with dinner at a delicious seafood restaurant.
After 7 months of backpacking during our first year marriage, I can still say that Derek makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world! Cliché but I don’t care – we’ve been in each other’s faces 24/7 for almost 8 months at this point and I am still not sick of this guy!
We lost track of time as we roamed through streets lined with colourful buildings, hopped from cukiernia (bakery) to cukiernia sampling delicious desserts, and enjoyed Gdansk’s watery edge. For us, it really was the perfect getaway.
We took one day to visit the Europe’s largest Gothic fortress: the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, a short train ride away from Gdansk. The castle was built in 13th century Prussia by the Teutonic Knights. Historically, the Polish and German kingdoms continuously fought over the possession of this castle. Since its destruction during World War II in 1945 it is slowly being rebuilt, restored, and open tourists. I felt like I was walking around scenes from “Game of Thrones”!
Gdansk is most notable as the birthplace of the Solidarity movement against the communist regime in Poland in the 1980s. Led by Lech Walesa, the shipyard workers risked and sacrificed their lives to claim worker’s rights and social change. Eventually, this movement helped bring down the communist regime from power and ultimately Poland eventually rid itself of communism. The example of civil resistance with non-violent methods used by the shipyard workers against the oppressing communist regime is inspiring. Poland is the beautiful, successful, and bourgeoning country it is today because of these historical events in time.