My Day In The Charming City Of Gdynia In Poland
August 2, 2012 12:57 PM


Mini Cruise Karlskrona - Gdynia, Expectations
This Sunday I went on a mini cruise with the ship Stena Line Vision from Karskrona here in Sweden to Gdynia in Poland. The trip was two nights on the ship and one day in Gdynia. Though I had been in Gdynia a few times before, it was many years since my last visit. So I was quite curious to see if the city still looked as I remembered it? Which it both did and did not.

1300 Photos - Two Posts
Now because I got a bit crazy with my camera, I took about 1300! photos on this mini cruise, I have had to select some photos out of all those to represent my trip. But I simply could not edit them into one single post, so I will do two. And in this first post I will write about my day in Gdynia with photos of some of the most memorable sights and places I visited there. In my second Gdynia post I will include photos from inside the ship Stena Line Vision as well as photos from the picturesque Gdynia harbour with all its cranes, containers and ships. In both posts I will also share a bit of history and facts about Gdynia.

But before I even got to Gdynia in Poland, I had to of course board Stena Line Vision here in Karlskrona in Sweden. Which is where I will begin the story.

Stena Line Vision Karlskrona - Gdynia
So this was the ship that took us to Gdynia in Poland this Sunday evening. We, my sister and I, boarded it at Verkö Ferry Terminal in Sweden.

Stena Line Vision Karlskrona - Gdynia
Because we were leaving a rather rainy and cold Sweden behind, we were of course hoping to arrive in a sunny Gdynia in the morning.

Short Recap Of Gdynia History
Just in case there is anyone out there (like me) who is not very familiar with
the history of the Polish City of Gdynia, I have put together a short recap of it here:

The first time the name "Gdynia" was mentioned was in 1253, when it was referred to as a Kashubian fishing village in the Duchy Pomerania. But it was not until after the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 that Gdynia, along with other cities of the former Polish Pomerania, became a part of the new Republic of Poland. Today the city of Gdynia is a port city located in northern Poland by the Baltic Sea. By itself Gdynia has about 250 000 inhabitants. However, Gdynia is a part of a conurbation with the city of Sopot, the city of Gdansk and suburban areas. Together they make a metropolitan area called Trójmiasto, or Tricity, and have a population of over one million people.

Photos From Gdynia
Now on to the photos from My Day In The Charming City Of Gdynia In Poland.

Gdynia Train Station
Though the weather was a bit cloudy at first in the morning when we arrived in Gdynia, it did clear up a bit in the afternoon. Yay! To get to Gdynia City Centre from the Ferry Terminal we took the Stena Line Bus to Gdynia Train Station (in the photo). A ride which took about 7-8 minutes.

Covered Market Gdynia
From the Train Station we went to this lovely Covered Market nearby, which is one of the places in Gdynia I always stop by when I visit.

Covered Market Gdynia
Actually this Covered Market was in built in 1935-38 and is one of the old buildings in Gdynia which is still being used for the same purpose as it was originally built for, an indoor market.

Covered Market Gdynia
And I rather enjoyed to walk around there with the locals and soak up the Polish every day atmosphere.

Covered Market Gdynia
Bread please!

Covered Market GdyniaCovered Market Gdynia
Covered Market GdyniaCovered Market Gdynia
Also for sale here were: Polish sweets, sauerkraut, cloths, shoes and much, much more.

Covered Market Gdynia
After a stroll at the Covered Market, here seen from outside, we continued on to Gdynia City Centre.

Statue Gdynia
Where we ran into this guy, Antoni Abraham (1869 - 1923), who was a poet, a Kashubian activist and an advocate of the idea of Pomerania being a part of Poland. In fact, he was the Kashubian representative to the Treaty of Versailles.

Statue Gdynia
Today this statue of him is placed at Kaszubski Square in Gdynia as a memorial of kashubian culture.

Statue Gdynia
Another kashubian memorial sculpture also located at Kaszubski Square is this super adorable one.

Statue Gdynia
It is called "The Kashubians' Bench" and celebrates the romantic legend of the love between the married couple Jacob and Elizabeth Scheibe. Jacob, who was a fisherman, built a big house for his family here at Kaszubski Square. And the legend says that his wife used to stand on the balcony he built ontop of the house to keep a lookout for her husband's return from fishing. Aww. :-)

Sign Gdynia
After all this sculpture/statue watching it was hard to decide where to go next, hm..?

Gdynia Marina
In the end we decided to go to Kościuszko Square and the beautiful, artificially made, South Pier.

Gdynia Marina
Where there were lots of impressive big ships. For instance, the ship in the photo, ORP Błyskawica, was originally a Grom-class destroyer that served in the Polish Navy during World War II. The ORP Błyskawica is actually the oldest preserved destroyer in the world today. It is also the only ship of the Polish Navy awarded with the Virtuti Militari medal. Today the ORP Błyskawica spends her days as a museum ship along the South Pier.

Gdynia Marina
The most magnificent ship though, I thought, was this one - The Dar Pomorza. Originally this ship was a Polish sailing frigate built in 1909. The Dar Pomorza has served as a sail training ship in Germany, France, and Poland. Today she, just like her neighbour - The ORP Blyskawica, also serve as museum ship along the South Pier in Gdynia.

Gdynia Marina
A busy South Pier I might add.

Gdynia Marina
Also along the South Pier were lots souvenir shops . (By the way, the grey skyscraper in the background is the Sea Towers. It was finished in 2006 and is the tallest residential building in Poland today.)

Gdynia SouvenirsGdynia Ice Cream
I, of course, had to buy a magnet here for my souvenir magnet collection at home. :-) But, although those BIG ice creams in the right photo looked very unusual and enticing, I did not buy one of those...

Gdynia Bubble Tea
Another stand that caught my attention along the South Pier was this one, Bubble Tea? I had never heard of that before?

Gdynia Bubble Tea
But it looked quite intriguing, so naturally I had to look it up when I got home. Hehe.

Bubble Tea Origin
Turns out that Bubble Tea was originally a Taiwanese tea drink that originated from tea shops in Taichung, Taiwan, during the 1980s. Most Bubble Teas contain a tea base mixed with fruit (or fruit syrup) and/or milk. Bubble Tea also contains small chewy tapioca balls, also known as "pearls".

Surprised And Curious
Huh!? I was convinced it would have had bubbles, as in sparkling water, in it at least. Lol! Now I did not try any Bubble Tea this time, but I certainly will the next time I see some! Because I am definitely very curious about how it tastes now after learning all this about the drink.

Gdynia Fresh Fish Dinner
Something I did eat however was this fresh fried fish with fries and Polish salad. I bought it from one of the many fish stands/restaurants along the South Pier. Very yummy indeed! And not that expensive either, 21 Zlotys - about $6.30, with a 50 centiliter Coca Cola.

Gdynia Marina Statues
Finally we made it to the end of the South Pier and the Kościuszko Square with its two sculptures.

Gdynia Marina Statues
This sculpture was built in honor of all the Polish sailors who lost their lives during World War Two.

Gdynia Marina Statues
And this sculpture is a momument dedicated to the famed Polish author Joseph Conrad.

Gdynia City Beach
Who definitely seemed to be looking towards the City Beach in Gdynia to me, also our next stop.

Gdynia Marina WiFiGdynia Marina WiFi
But on our way to the City Beach we got a bit side tracked, because we found free WiFi - YAY! Awesome Gdynia!!

Gdynia City Beach
However, after some surfing (on the phone) we did make it to the gorgeous City Beach in Gdynia.

Gdynia City Beach Temp
Where it was a bit too cold for a swim though, at least for me. Hehe.

Gdynia City Beach
These swans seemed to enjoy themselves in the water though.

Gdynia City Beach
Now while I was trying to strike a cool pose for the camera... I could not help but notice the film crew behind me which was in full swing of filming a lesson in actual surfing in water.

Gdynia City Beach
Well, that is what it looked like he was trying to teach them anyway... But whatever the guy on the board was doing, I cannot believe how he could be in that water with just those shorts - BRR I say!!

Gdynia Shopping Batory
Our last stop before heading back to the Ferry Terminal was the Shopping Mall Batory.

Gdynia Shopping Batory
Which was nice and cozy, but not enough stores for me. Lol! So we moved on from there pretty quickly.

Gdynia Local Bus To Stena Line
But instead of waiting for the Ferry Bus we decided to take the local bus to the Ferry Terminal.

Which Local Bus To Take?
Although it took some asking around to find out which bus number to take, the locals were very nice and helpful so it was not that hard. It turns out that the local bus which stops at the Ferry Terminal in Gdynia, where Stena Line departs from, is bus number 150. We took this bus from the second bus stop behind the Covered Market, near the Train Station. And the bus stop to jump off at is called Terminal Promowy in Polish. Just in case anyone ever needs to know this, because I had a hard time finding this information online in English.

Will Retrun
Anyway, I definitely had a very lovely day in Gdynia, with better weather conditions than what we left behind in Sweden too. So a major plus just there. But I must also say that I was pleasantly surprised by how modern Gdynia has become, in comparison to when I first visited the city many years ago. So my newly refreshed impressions of Gdynia are that it is a very charming, up to date and tourist friendly European city. One I am sure I will stop by many times in the future. :-)

Post Number Two
Like I said in the beginning, I will be back with photos from inside the ship Stena Line Vision and Gdynia Harbour next time. So I hope ya'll will join me then. :-)

Some Final Polish Words
Do Widzenia for now (Good Bye in Polish). :p

Sources: Gdynia, Bubble Tea

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