A day of varied delights

Warning: This is a very long post. I thought of breaking it up into discrete bits, but I decided that would destroy a sense of the diversity of the day. You have three options: get a cup of coffee and settle down with the lot; serialise it; or decide your time’s better spent somewhere else!

It’s my last morning in Gdańsk and I’m determined on a ferry trip to Westerplatte where the first bullets of WW2 were fired and where I may actually glimpse the Baltic.

Overture

The crowds aren’t out yet, so I ramble up ul Długa without the people-surfeit of my first day, through a nondescript arch with a charming ceiling painting, towards Neptune’s fountain and the flying figure at the entrance to Artus Court, which I plan to visit later today. By the time I head back at 9.30 to catch the ferry, past a very grand door, tour groups are appearing, looking far less enthusiastic than I feel.






Industrial Gdańsk

The ferry glides along the Motława into a very different world. Why is it that a skyline of cranes and ship hulls has my camera clicking madly? For at least 30 minutes we chug along past shipyards and see something of the Gdańsk that was the setting for Solidarity’s action.




Westerplatte

From the ferry, I see a 16th century tower and a massive monument to the Westerplatte garrison of 180 men who held out for seven days before surrendering to the invading Germans. I’m tempted by bushland, but my train leaves in five hours. If I go back to Gdańsk I will feel more secure, and there’s plenty still to see there. 

As the ferry turns just before two lighthouses I catch a glimpse of what is surely the Baltic, but turns out to be merely the Gulf of Gdańsk.


Working boats exhibition

Back in Gdańsk, I enter the Museum of the Sea, which is hosting an exhibition that intrigues me, partly to cater to J’s lifelong love affair with all things boat. The museum has a few venues: the one I visit is modern glass and brick, with boats hanging over a couple of floors. Photographing was difficult because the boats were big and in a confined space, and I knew J would want to see how sails are constructed and how the hull is fitted out.


Interlude with gargoyles

Fumbling my way back to Artus Court on tired legs, I find a street that seems rather nondescript, until I realise that it’s home to another collection of gargoyles.



Artus court

The interior of this building couldn’t be more different from the industrial foreshores of the Motława or the beautiful utility of working boats. It’s lavishly decorated with lacquering, paintings and furniture, including a huge tiled furnace. One thing I noticed about Gdańsk was the proliferation of signs in Braille: here there were also raised outlines of some of the paintings to accompany verbal descriptions.

 



Outside in a courtyard there is a different kind of grandeur: a scuffed door,  a time-pocked doorway and a collection of late Gothic slabs.

By now its close to 2, so I recover my bag from the hotel and retrace my rainy day steps towards the station, sad to be leaving Gdańsk and its amazing array of pleasures.

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About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
This entry was posted in beyond Warsaw, Gdańsk, photos and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to A day of varied delights

  1. findingnyc says:

    This wasn’t so long as you made it out to be, and the photos were absolutely gorgeous! You managed to do quite a bit even with a shorter day. I’m always intrigued by the architectural details from the places you visit. Thank you for introducing me to another beautiful Polish city! I’m sure your family is happy to see you again after your trip.

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    • I forgot to leave hotel and train details, so yes. J was glad to see me! My next plan is for an Iron Age archeological site, but not till September. Summer break, swimming lessons for twins, family holidays (maybe England – or maybe not after brexit), and two lots of visitors, an Australian daughter and an Australian friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. restlessjo says:

    Spectacular beauties on so many different fronts, Meg 🙂 I’m probably too tired to take in all the details because I was up very early (maybe not by your standards 🙂 ) but I’m hanging on watching the Referendum votes come in for a while. The fountain and the laddie on the onion dome in the first section caught my eye. Contrast cranes! I don’t think I’ve posted a crane shot since my very earliest days of blogging but I do have a few. Love the boat section 🙂 And I’m a huge fan of ceramic heaters.
    How was your day with the ladies? 🙂 I haven’t checked Vivi’s blog but she’s usually pretty swift. More hugs for tomorrow!

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    • How do you feel about the rare dumb (referendum – predictive text may well be onto something!!!) results? I know at least one person who will be adversely affected. That ceramic heater is apparently a giant amongst ceramic heaters. Special time with Sue and Viveka – a morning of dilapidation today – Praga’s, and ours, because it was so hot. Cranes have become my new bark!!!

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      • restlessjo says:

        Bit of a shock that it’s become reality, Meg, but as I just said to Pauline, it’s a well-deserved kick in the teeth and vote of no confidence in the establishment. Mick was pro-leave from the outset, but our 2 youngsters were vehemently against it and pro-Europe. I fell somewhere in the middle, but now it’s just a matter of pick up the pieces and try to move forward. That’s the nearest thing to a political statement you’ll ever hear from me.
        Hugs, darlin 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Heyjude says:

    Time for bed so I shall return to this post, but on a quick scan the photos look delightful 🙂

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  4. Suzanne says:

    Some wonderful photos of what must have been an extremely stimulating and inspiring day. Your photographic work continues to develop. The third one of the ship yard stands out for, plus I love the very first one of the deer. All those statues, gargoyles and decorated walls are so different from anything we see in Australia. A visual feast. (You aren’t missing much weather wise over here – icy wintery blasts with snow down to 700m in the south today!).

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    • 30+ here today – icy wintery blasts sound quite attractive! Thanks for your appreciation of photos: I almost think you could be right, when I look back at photos of earlier visits. Mind you, I’m post-processing more too. Modernity has its attractions, but I too love the decorativeness in older / rebuilt-as-older European cities.

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  5. Becky B says:

    oh my how could you leave, it is wonderful.

    Your post was shorter than I was expecting too, haven’t finished my tea which is great as it means I can go back and enjoy your fabulous photos all over again.

    Like

  6. Heyjude says:

    In no particular order: the ceiling, Hermes (would make a good companion for Jo’s nymph), gargoyles, tiled stove, door, bell (in fact the whole of that Artus Court building). You must have been very tired by the time you finished. Train home? Sleep…

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    • Surprisingly not all that tired. I’ve learnt how to pace myself with beer breaks and ice cream breaks and lunch breaks, not necessarily but possibly in that order! We should introduce nymph and Hermes and see what happens. It was the tiled stove that marked Artus Court on my itinerising brain, but by the time I got there it came as a surprise. “Aha. That’s what I wanted to see!” Train home was a photo sort alternating with a mini-battle over blindupblinddown with the woman in the seat in front so I could at least see a bit of the countryside. Not much in the way of parkland where I was – I missed that.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Anabel Marsh says:

    Definitely convinced that Gdansk is worth a visit (or several!)

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  8. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Gargoyles rule, they look huge in your photos and very cute. At first I thought Artus Court was a church, but no? Was that pretty ceiling under the arch in the photo below, well spotted Meg it pays to look up doesn’t it? The museum with all the old boats looks good, I like the decorated end thingy. Can’t say I’m that keen on cranes, but that would change if I ever get to go up in one!

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    • I’m more than happy to admire cranes from a distance, thank you. The river in Gdańsk was dominated by one of those wretched eyes, and I was not at all tempted. The archaeology museum was as up as I needed to go. I think the ceiling may have been under that arch – good question: I’m not sure. I knew there were gargoyles in town – hundreds of them apparently – but I liked the serendipity of just stumbling across my two lots, and felt extra blessed by the rain and their dribblings and spoutings. Artus Court’s history goes back to the 14th century: in the 15th century it became a kind of club for the merchant elite.

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  9. Madhu says:

    An array of pleasures indeed! Good job of capturing that gorgeous painted stag on the ceiling. The gargoyles are wonderful, but my favourites are the weathered gothic slabs alongside that scuffed doorway. Beautiful post Meg. Not long at all.

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  10. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I heard that word ENGLAND and I’d already heard a rumour before! bounce bounce!

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  11. Pingback: Ferry on the Yarra | snippetsandsnaps

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