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Thank you for Gdansk

I don't remember which of you recommended adding Gdansk to my plan for Warsaw/Krakow but I am so glad you did. This is my first stop in Poland and my first time in the country, so I have nothing to compare it with. It's colorful, charming, and not expensive. I'm not a fan of Polish food and I'm mostly vegetarian (some fish). Yesterday I had great Thai/Laotian food and today I ate at a Mexican restaurant with food (and margaritas) as good as any in northern California. 3.5 days here have flown by. The best sight was the Solidarity Museum - so well done, it's one of the best museums I've ever visited (and I love museums). Many of the displays are extremely imaginative in their design and presentation. The most emotional moment for me was discovering the sculpture/memorial of the Kindertransport in front of the train station. One of my friends is the son of two children saved by the Kindertransport - both lost all of their family but managed to build a wonderful life together.

Tomorrow morning I leave for Warsaw and more adventures. Again, THANK YOU FOR GDANSK.

Posted by
6178 posts

I'm sure everyone who has been to Gdansk has recommended it on this forum :-) Not much not to like. Warsaw will not feel like this but hopefully you'll find some gems there as well.

I don't know if the Happy Cow link below will help as far as vegetarian/vegan options (someone shared it on this forum and I took note of it). I find that in places that are very "meaty" (like Poland), the vegetarian food could be barely edible, but there are certainly more options than I've ever seen in my life now. You're brave for trying Mexican - no way would I touch that in Poland with a ten foot pole after living in Southern CA for 20 + years (where do they even get fresh avocados, and how would they know how to make a fresh tortilla or mole?). How do you feel about pierogies? Or borscht or mushroom soup? I eat vegetarian too and have no trouble in Poland (not anymore, thank goodness!) Definitely try some dessert you've never heard of - I bet you won't regret it.

Happy travels in Warsaw! Good to hear that you're having fun.

PS. Did you make it to Malbork?

Posted by
13967 posts

Agnes, last first. I decided on Saturday that I'd rather see the museums in Gdansk at leisure than rush through them so I could see the castle. I much prefer museums to castles, so . . . . It worked out well, since it drizzled for most of yesterday so it was good to spend a lot of hours indoors, and today was gloriously sunny and lovely just to be outside. My one blip was not seeing that the WWII museum is closed on Mondays, so I missed it, but I had the time to enjoy a ride on the giant Wheel, a leisurely lunch . . . 2 margaritas (they were really good), and just relaxing. I don't know where Pueblo gets its ingredients - some bottled sauces are imported from Mexico. I've seen fresh avocados and mangoes in the market and shops and the guacamole and the mango salsa, and the salsa fresca were all very good. Honestly, I passed the restaurant on my first day and thought - like you - noway (8.5 years in the SF Bay Area). But then I saw both In Your Pocket and RS gave it high praise. And so do I. I didn't try the tortillas and I don't think there was mole on the menu. There weren't a huge number of options (veggie or not), but for one meal, one main is all you need :-). I wavered between the salmon (I do eat kosher fish) and the cheese enchiladas, decided on the one with fewer calories (especially after the cheese nachos :-).

I've never liked Jewish Polish food and from what Ive read about Polish food, the main difference is that the Poles add pork. I have a feeling I will end up spending 2 weeks in Poland and never eating any Polish food. But after all I've eaten in Gdansk, a couple of days of salads in Warsaw may be the best plan. I'm staying in an apt. there, so eating light and veggie won't be a problem. In Krakow, I made a list of restaurants that sounded good and I may not manage to eat at all of them for lack of days there.

Posted by
6178 posts

My favorite is actually dumplings filled with fruit (like blueberries), but they are very seasonal (summer). I think I also had some delicious dumplings in a Georgian restaurant in Krakow. Even though I grew up with it, I eat hardly any traditional Polish food except for pierogi and dumplings and some other items (sans meat).

You'll have no problem finding all sorts of non-Polish food in Warsaw. My Mom raved about some Vietnamese place she went to last time, and I remember an Asian fusion place that was delicious (I was really pleasantly surprised).

Keep posting your reports! So glad you liked Gdansk.

Posted by
2092 posts

I know I raved about Gdansk, but that I was definitely not the only one! Glad you loved the Solidarity museum, it also stands out for me as one of the best museums I've ever visited--I found the whole area leading up to it and the gates and monument to fallen workers fascinating as well.

Posted by
199 posts

So glad that you enjoyed Gdansk! We spent most of a day at the Solidarity Museum on our trip last summer and thought it was great. We didn't know to look for the Kindertransport Memorial, and I don't believe the WWII Museum was open yet. Maybe we'll have a chance to go back!

Posted by
1457 posts

Chani, so happy to read about your experience in Gdansk. We just booked out hotel for next summer. Can't wait for your next report. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

Posted by
2075 posts

I don't remember if I was one of the people who urged you to go to Gdansk, but I absolutely loved it. I never did warm up to Polish food, but it was the only thing I didn't like about Poland. My husband, on the other hand, loved the food. Great country and so interesting. Have fun!

Posted by
309 posts

Thank you for sharing this experience. My son is in Stockholm this semester doing a semester abroad in college, and he and some friends are flying to Gdansk for the weekend. I've never been so of course I had to read up on it, and now I want to go. :) I remember the Solidarity protests in the 1980s pretty vividly. I think my son is just interested in anything boats, so that was the draw for him. :)

Posted by
4637 posts

I think I was one of those raving about Gdansk. For me Gdansk is number one, then Krakow and number 3 Warsaw. I was very pleasantly surprised by beauty of Gdansk and by Old Town Warsaw and if you don't know you would not recognize that it was completely rebuilt (unlike center of Munich which feels overdone and little artificial). But Warsaw at all is very interesting and exciting city. I am not raving much about Krakow because unlike with Gdansk or Warsaw I expected beauty.