In case you were beginning to think we’d been eaten by Polish bears, fear not! Basically, our lives have just been really boring the past 2 weeks, and I didn’t think you’d be particularly interested in hearing about it!
As much as we loved being in the van full time, always being on the go, we have to admit that the luxury of having an actual residence, with a kitchen, bathroom(!), sofa, hot water etc has gotten to us a bit the past few weeks, and we really have just spent most of our time chilling! Starting this week though, we have a flurry of visitors, up until the end of December, so we knew we should get our R&R in while we could!
Our first visitors, 2 of my friends, arrived on Saturday, around lunchtime, and we wanted to waste no time in getting started on what was essentially to be a 4-day-long Polish eating tour.
In his new role as ‘house husband’, Konrad has taken to trying to perfect his favourite Polish soup, called Zurek. And I must say, he has done very well! As strange as it may sound, Zurek is essentially a ‘vinegar soup’, and, in true Polish fashion, it’s usually served with sausage, and, sounds weird, but mashed potato! The soup itself is very thin, so having a dollop of mash in your bowl actually works really well to thicken it up a little! A couple of bowls of soup and shots of vodka later, and we were on our way out to our next food stop – pierogi, of course!
A lot of Gdansk is quite densely wooded, and what is nice for us is that a pleasant 2 hour stroll through the woods will lead you to our favourite dumpling restaurant!
This place has probably 30+ choices of dumpling fillings – from traditional cheese and potato or rich wild boar to ones inspired by their ‘guest chefs’ from all around the world! Still at a price that’s very light on the pocket, of course! Since I was finally there with people who had a sweet tooth as well, this was my first time trying one of the sweet options too – chocolate dumplings filled with raspberry and white chocolate! After a meal like that, you really are glad you took a long walk to get there!
As with visiting any cities, you have to have a day in the city centre don’t you – and of course, eat a lot while you’re there! Throughout the few days we enjoyed golabki (stuffed cabbage), goulash (beef stew), sernik (Polish cheesecake), the best gelato in town, and more than one doughnut … Doughnuts are a BIG thing for me, and I would say that Poland should be proud of its doughnuts! There are quite a lot of curb-side or food truck style bakeries, packed full of a lot of incredible looking products, and I can never look past a doughnut. They never disappoint!
Another thing we wanted to do with visitors is to take them along the coast to ‘the 3 cities’ from Gdnask, through Sopot and ending in Gdynia. As you approach Gdynia, there is a route through the woods that takes you past 4 pieces of WW2 artillery that have been left there! If you’ve never sat atop a canon/ machine gun thing (it’s not really my area of expertise!) whilst being spun around until you feel sick, you’re really missing out!
Speaking of feeling sick, I feel we have to blame that, in part, on the hot chocolate. Polish hot chocolate is basically like drinking chocolate pudding! It’s deliciously thick and creamy, and with the addition of some liqueur-soaked cherries in the bottom, it’s quite the warming afternoon treat! If I had to recommend one in particular, it would be the E Wedel’s shop along the river in main Gdansk. Wedel’s seems to be Poland’s equivalent of Cadbury’s, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if they told me that the hot chocolate they served was literally just melted chocolate bars – very rich but incredibly delicious. With also a choice of white, milk or dark as well as any flavour you can think of to add, it’s a sweet tooth’s dream!
The big excitement of the visit was when, led by my rebel of a husband, we went exploring an abandoned building, only for 5 minutes later, an alarm to start blaring and saying something scary in Polish! As we scrambled to get out, I of course, fell over, but we did make it out alive and without any criminal records!
More friends are flying in tonight, so I’m looking forward to a weekend of doing it all again (except maybe the criminal activity!)
Oh, and another cute little bit of Polish before I go – they call shoe horns ‘shoe spoons’!
Check out more of our travels here!