Good morning from Gdansk! First time we woke up at six when Mika decided that we have slept enough and he wants to go out for his business (I’m sure every parent knows this), so we get dressed and out we go. After this interlude in cold weather we go back to bed and sleep a few more hours (or try to, as Mika has also decided that we should wake up already).
Last night when we arrived, and looked out from the window of the flat where we are staying, the sight was beautiful. Now, looking at the same view in broad daylight, is like having two completely different views, and if one of the views is over the rooftops of the Old Town, well… I could just sit on the windowsill and keep staring at it, hour after hour! And as the day seems to be partially sunny, it doesn’t make the whole sitting and soaking in the view any worse!
Daytime or nighttime, you choose. (C) Two Queens Travel Blog 2017
After finally giving up to Mika’s wishes and getting up from the cozy bed, we have something to eat (there’s no coffee provided in the flat, disastah!!), make ourselves presentable to public, and head out to check out a local shopping centre (mainly for a coffee shop) to see what the place has to offer before heading out to the Christmas Market that we saw yesterday evening when coming to our flat.
The shopping centre seems to be fairly small, at least from the outside, but as we enter, it has many floors and the shops are definitely more Central European than what we are used to seeing in Finland. Even Tallinn doesn’t have all the European brands that have made their mark here – and it is surprisingly refreshing. We ponder about getting a suit (or two), and also a pair of new shoes are on the agenda (as I started the new job). All these things we talk about whilst having the coffee.
The Christmas Market
In Finland we don’t really have a tradition of proper Christmas Markets. We have had, for about a decade, a sort-of Christmas Market in Helsinki but it mostly concentrates on selling over-priced handicrafts that are not even local, and am not exactly sure if they are handicrafts or factory made.
So, for me, as a Finn, the Christmas Market in Gdansk, is a fairly decent sized one. And, as in the German Christmas Markets, I love seeing the good atmosphere, lots of people, and lots of smells of good food, and so on.
And whilst we stand by a small table, a party of Norwegians come, and we all start chatting (after Mika gets their attention first). According to them, the Christmas Market in Warsaw is bigger and better, so luckily we are heading there tomorrow so we can experience that with our own eyes and other senses.
Even if the Christmas Market here in Gdansk isn’t as big as that in Warsaw, it is ok. Size isn’t everything. There are nice things, such as handmade soaps, gloves, handicrafts, lots of foods, and mulled wine but strangely, we really didn’t see that much of Christmassy things! After our previous road trip to Germany and Austria, where Christmas decorations were sold in every other stall, this reminds me more of the markets in Helsinki where the main attraction is the handicrafts.
The Long Market
It turns out that Długi targ, the long market, is only ten minute walk away from our apartment (or 15 minutes when you are walking with a little dog who needs to sniff and mark every possible place on the way), and almost next to the Christmas Market, so of course we have to take a walk there as well, soaking in the atmosphere of the Old Town.
Długi targ, the Long Market (C)Two Queens Travel Blog, 2017
The evening was bitterly cold, even though there wasn’t any snow on the ground. Perhaps the coldness was due to the open sea, as Gdansk is a seaside city after all. We decided to cut the walk short and head back to our apartment – of course via a detour. Our detour included walking up a bit further down the market before turning back (there was a picture frame and after that a huge Ferris wheel, we just needed to see it!)
(C)Two Queens Travel Blog, 2017