Sunday, October 5, 2008

To Infinity and Beyond

Day 208
I think I might be getting the hang of this night bus thing. At first I had two seats and the four. I would manage to sleep for an hour or so at a time, until some appendage became too uncomfortable and I would have to move. This was my longest ride yet, coming in just under 12 hours.

The hostel was much more difficult to find than I had thought. The directions said that it was the brick building by the train station, only there were about 20 brick buildings to choose from. After dropping off my things and eating breakfast I headed out to explore Gdansk, my first city in Poland. Gdansk had been heavily bombed during WWII and is still being rebuilt.

I walked around and took pictures of the restored buildings. For some reason there were a lot of oddly painted lion statues. When I got to the river one side was fully restored, while the other was in ruins.

It wasn’t until I had popped into the St. Mary Cathedral that I realized it was a Sunday. I guess that I will check out that one later. Instead I went to the city history museum in the restored city hall. As destructive as WWII’s bombs were, they did uncover some previously unknown 15th century frescos. It’s really hard to see much of anything of them now, but restoration work is going on and soon they will be just like new.

One of the rooms concentrated on the bombing and had before and after pictures. I hadn’t realized the extent of the damage until I had seen these. Ninety percent of the old town and sixty percent of the suburbs were lost due to axis and allied bombing.

Apparently the first people to live in this area were the Kashubians. I had never heard of them before. There were several rooms dedicated to famous 20th and 21st century Kashubian writers and painters. It was all rather boring.

Upstairs was far more interesting. There were examples of shops and homes from the 1930's. There section on drinking mentioned where all the old bad-reputation bars used to be. The locations are still bars and it made sure to mention that they all have good reputations now.

I must not have slept as much as I thought on the bus. By lunch time I was hungry and my feet were dragging. Fridays called my name and I answered. Even though people were already 50% nicer than in Lithuania I was still craving an American meal that didn't come from McDonald’s.

At the hostel I took a rather long nap. When I woke up it was time for dinner. I had hoped that I would meet some people to go out with, but this didn't happen. There was only a group of German high school students at the hostel. After taking a wander around to check out the city in the night I read for a bit and then went to sleep quite early.

I had thought that was it for the day, but around 2 more people came into the room and the guy who worked at the hostel actually turned on the lights. How rude!

1 comment:

Totukuul said...

yes, I know that's rude ;)

take care,