48 Hours in Gdansk: Above the Clouds of the Baltic Sea City


Editor Clemens Glade spent a weekend in Gdansk – read more about what he saw and experienced in the capital of Pomerania

As a godfather, you certainly have your duties. One of which is my personal favourite: you can spoil your godchild rotten. And so I treated 12-year-old Jonas to a weekend in Gdansk. I admit that this was not entirely selfless, as I wanted to visit the Pomeranian capital someday myself. We land early and drop our things off in the hotel. For today, I promised Jonas the heavens. First we visit St. Mary's Church, only very briefly of course – children and art history only partially get along. The sheer size of the building impresses him, in particular the puppet show on the astronomical clock captivates him. We marvel at the Apostles, Death, at Adam and Eve, who chime the clock every 15 minutes. Mystical symbols leave us puzzled and we invent comical explanations for them. Jonas wants to climb the church tower – it is 80 metres high, with 409 steps separating us from a gorgeous view over the Gdansk rooftops. Once won't hurt, Jonas thinks. The next tower is not far away, the Town Hall is right at the Long Market (Dlugi Targ). The observation point is only 50 metres high, but from here we can also see into the distance, hear the seagulls squawk and feel a strong breeze that tastes like the Baltic Sea.
At the bottom of the market, we sit in one of the cafés and feast on Gofry, fresh waffles, Szarlotka, apple strudel with vanilla ice cream and cream. Freshly invigorated, we visit the National Maritime Museum with the Crane, one of the largest medieval harbour cranes in Europe. Right next door is the Soldek, a historical coal and ore freighter which today is moored on the shores of Lead Island as a museum ship. Jonas would love to enlist, but then we visit the engine room, the officer and sailor cabins, and the Captain's bridge, and he sees how hard life was above and below deck.

The next day we start early and visit the zoo. Spanning 136 hectares, lions, giraffes, bison and penguins call it home, as well as bongo antelopes, Arabian oryx, cute dwarf hippopotamuses and scavenging Andean condors. There are several beaches in Gdansk, so we take the tram to Brzezno and for the rest of the day we relax on the sandy beach and keep at least our toes in the still chilly Baltic Sea. Later we take a brief flying visit to the Westerplatte. On this former military station, a large stone monument commemorates the site of the first battle of World War II – a sombre chapter of the city's history and which I delicately teach Jonas about.
The next day is the time to say goodbye. To finish, we enjoy the city from above once more. However, this time we don't climb any steps, instead we float 50 metres in the air in a cabin on the AmberSky Ferris wheel – a dizzying finale!

Fly non-stop to Gdansk from Berlin-Tegel with easyJet three times a week. 

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