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Sunrise in Gdansk, Poland - Christmas Celebration has started!


Sunrise in Gdansk, Poland, admired through an open window from my hotel room in the 14th floor (Sunday 2nd Advent 8th December 2013). Even with cold strong winds in periods, it was a great christmas atmosphere here with snow covering the architectural wonders in the beautiful old town. Gdansk is also the city where the Second World War started (first battle) and where the Solidarity movement arose tearing down the Iron Curtain.

The weather during the weekend from Friday 6th December to Sunday 8th was most of the time terrible. Especially on Friday it was extremely weather conditions, with strong winds and snow falls. Several flights were cancelled. But on Sunday morning the weather cleared up for a while and made the sunrise over Gdansk very beautiful. From almost the top of the hotel, I could observe snow white roofs on the historical buildings illuminated by the sun rays.

As I also could see when I walked around in the old town, the magic of Christmas was very much alive in Gdansk. Streets, houses, bars, restaurants and shops windows were full of Christmas decorations. The most visible evidence of the Christmas celebration in Gdansk was the beautiful decorated and lightened Christmas tree on the Dluga Street, or Long Street. By walking along this street I could also admire several other of the city's main attractions. Dluca Street is the main square in Gdansk where it is the tourist information office, a historical center, monuments, a gathering place, and a wonderful place to take photos. We also experienced the atmosphere in the Christmas Market at the end of the Dluga Street.

Gdansk is located at the Baltic sea, in the northern part of Poland. The city is also known under its German name of Danzig. It is the capital of Pomerania. Gdańsk with nearby Sopot and Gdynia are often referred as Tri-city (pl: Trójmiasto). Gdańsk offers a rich and magnificent architecture, first and foremost in the old town where I stayed. It's Poland's principal seaport and a popular summer destination for many Poles and international tourists, especially for Scandinavians and Germans.

I also visited the Lenin Shipyard. It was here Lech Walesa worked. He was the frontman of the protesters in Gdansk Shipyard and became its first leader. The "Solidarnosc carnival" didn't last too long though, because already in December 1981 the regime introduced martial law in the whole country (called "the State of War"). Solidarnosc was delegalized, its leaders and many other people arrested. The movie about Lech Walesa is coming soon. It`s called "Walesa. Man of Hope" (Polish: Wałęsa. Człowiek z nadziei).

Travel Explorations will in the nearest future published several travel tales and articles based on our recent journey in Gdansk.

Stein Morten Lund, 10th December 2013


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