Gdansk, anyone?

Old May 24th, 2008, 01:56 PM
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Gdansk, anyone?

In just beginning to plan for a 2 week trip to Poland in October, I have devoured every post that I could find on this site remotely referencing this great country. All of the major cities and many, many smaller towns and villages are mentioned but I could not find one thread mentioning the city of Gdansk. Am I missing something like maybe, itís been moved? Forgive my geographical ignorance and please tell me something about this city, as I have not yet received any of my reference materials. Thanks, folks!
cat1203 is offline  
Old May 24th, 2008, 02:15 PM
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Try looking for it under Danzig, Germany, which is what it used to be before WWII. After the war, it became part of Poland. I'm not sure why. This thread has piqued my curiosity, and I'm going to look up more info on it.
Pegontheroad is online now  
Old May 25th, 2008, 07:55 AM
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Postings reflect the number of tourists visiting or wanting to visit a particular venue, Poland reports large numbers of tourists but..many are commercial travellers or day shoppers. Few USA tourists visit Gdansk or the Baltic coast. No problem! Search, 'GDANSK' or reader the new Fodor's Guide, POLAND.
GSteed is offline  
Old May 25th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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Gdansk holds fond memories for me as I was frequently taken to the area by my parents when I lived in Poland.

Gdansk is part of the region called Pomorze and one of the three cities (Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot)

Here are some links which may be helpful.

angelnot1 is offline  
Old May 25th, 2008, 04:25 PM
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All I know about Gdansk is that my Arabian horse's bloodlines come from there!
PeaceOut is offline  
Old May 25th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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Try looking for it under Danzig, Germany, which is what it used to be before WWII. After the war, it became part of Poland. I'm not sure why. This thread has piqued my curiosity, and I'm going to look up more info on it.

The city of Gdansk was established under the first Polish King in 980.

Since, it has gone back and forth between Germans and Poles, but it really never was a German city.

After Poland regained independance after WW1, the city was made a "free city" under the protection of the League of Nations and most of the daily government work was done by the Poles. The reason of the city not becoming fully Polish after WW1 was the fact that Poland was partioned 3 times in about 200 years prior and that part of Poland was occupied by Germany- Prussia and they suceeded to populate the city with Germans. The city itself was never really German.

WW2 first shot was aimed at a small Polish army garrison on Westerplatte (just outside of Gdansk) and also an attack by the Germans on the Polish main post office in Gdansk which resulted in all the defending PO employees being executed by the Nazis. The Westerplatte survivors fared little better. After fighting bravely for 7 days against a dominating German forces, the officer in charge did accept a surrender. The SS officials wanted to execute the remaining soldiers, but a Wermacht top ranking officer made a decision to honor the men for their bravery. He allowed the top ranking Polish officer to keep his sword during the surrender. They were send to a regular POW camp. Not sure what happened to them later. I believe the garrison defending the Hel Peninsula consisted of about 180 men. They were attacked by crack SS units and Wermacht ground troops, German Air Force and German battleship the Schleswig-Holstein. The ship is creditied with firing the first shot of WW2.

Your assumption that the city was German before WW2 is incorrect.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Old May 25th, 2008, 05:35 PM
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P.S. It just occurred to me that fodorites might think I'm deranged, saying my Arabian horse's bloodlines came from Gdansk. But, actually, Polish-bred Arabian bloodlines are prized for their kind attitudes, their athleticism and their soundness. Kind of like my horse! LOL
PeaceOut is offline  
Old May 25th, 2008, 08:07 PM
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When I did the research, I realized that Gdansk has had a very complicated history, too complicated for me to try to explain. So I just left my post uncorrected.

To me, the most important association with Gdansk is that it was the birthplace of the Solidarity Movement. I always associate it with Lech Walesa.
Pegontheroad is online now  
Old May 25th, 2008, 08:43 PM
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Gdansk is wonderful -- we spent a couple of nights there, but it's been a good five or six years ago. Some sort of fair happened to be going on which made it even more interesting, but the city is filled with history and charm.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2008, 08:32 AM
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My daughter and I will be spending 10 days in Poland this August and 3 nights will be in Gdansk; here's a link to the city:

and this has all sorts of fab information. Good luck.
GFarr is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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My family is from Gdansk and it is a great city to visit. The old town is quite charming & as others mentioned Sopot and Gdynia also are interesting. The surroudning countryside is beautiful too.
AngelaS is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2008, 08:36 AM
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I spent 3 weeks in Poland last Sept with 3-4 nights in Gdansk ( the Hotel Hansa was wonderful). Gdansk is a lovely city with many things to offer. The towns of Sopot and Gdynia are nearby if you have a car. Contact the Polish office of tourism and ask for info on the cities you will or plan to visit and they will send all kinds of useful info. If you can, don't miss this enchanting and historic city. I wrote a report in October titled Reflections on Poland which you can check out.
Lolo12 is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2008, 11:26 AM
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We were in Poland for 2 weeks last summer and Gdansk was our first stop. The old town was very beautiful and fun to walk around, but I didn't think it was worth more than 2 days. We also traveled to Sopot for an evening and liked it as well.
czk is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2008, 12:13 PM
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Not to hijack cat1203's thread, but for those of you who have traveled to Poland, how did you travel -- by train or by car? Also, did you have any problem communicating?

My husband is of Polish descent and very interested in traveling there in the next year or two.
bettyk is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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Train, car and airplane.

The roads are improving daily as Poland is trying to meet the EU requirements, but many of the major roads are still just 2 way, 1 lane each way highways. Just have to be careful with farmers vehicles and occasional horse drawn carriages.

Trains are usually on time but some of the major stations are old and many don't have escalators or elevators, so if you are traveling with much luggage, then the train may not be the best option.

Most if not all domestic flights are small turboprop jobs or small jets, but it's reliable and quick service. If you need to do Krakow-Warsaw then either drive or train it, but if you need to do Rzeszow-Gdansk or Sczecin, then fly and then rent a car.

Most of the tourist industry people speak excellent English, so no probloems with hotels, guides, etc.

Many of the better restaurants have English printed menus and the serves do speak different languages.

Road signs are in Polish only so get a good map if traveling between cities and just follow the highway number.

Reporting from beautiful Tobago!

Watching EURO2008.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2008, 12:46 PM
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Thanks, AAFF, appreciate your input. Hope you are having a great trip!
bettyk is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2008, 12:52 PM
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We are also thinking about a trip to Poland within the next year, so this is helpful info.

For those looking, Lolo12's report "Reflections on Poland" can be found at this link:
noe847 is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2008, 10:15 AM
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I had the same experience as the first poster, when I went last year, I couldn't find any relevant postings for Gdansk.

I had a great time, really liked the renovated old town area. I mean renovated as it was bombed out in WWII and the façades have been reconstructed to their former glory, but the interiors are all new flats, so it's like you have the best of both worlds.

Almost all of the tourists there were from cruise ships, and not too many Americans. I had flown in specifically to Gdansk only, forgoing the rest of Poland.

I ventured outside of the main city center and was surprised to see how many of the stores that we are used to are fast coming to Gdansk, namely a Sephora store in this big mall. Also IKEA on the outskirts of town.

Americanski is the name for soft serve ice cream cones, no joke, had to take a picture to docuement. I normally never do city tours, but I called a company for a tour that would take me to a concentration camp that is about 2? hours from the city as I have been to a concentration camp in Austria before.

Somehow they sent someone to give me a city tour, I was disapointed but it actually was a great tour and gave a lot of great history about the statues, towers, and such that I had kept walking past for a few days and never noticed the details. Really cool actually, so I would recommend a city tour.
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