Friday, 29 June 2012

Saying goodbye to Euro 2012 Champs in Poland

I didn’t want to write about Euro 2012 at all. I have already mentioned that I’m not a football fan. Volleyball – yes. Football – no. And I probably wouldn’t have been writing about it, hadn’t it been taking place in Poland and in Gdansk in particular. I must admit that I don’t watch the matches. They finish too late for me and they’re too boring to watch. Sorry, all football fans, that’s just the way it is for me. I’d much rather play football (which I used to do) than watch football.

Yet I have to admit, that I know the scores. I have no idea about the teams, which one is really good, which one is the current world champs or still current Euro champs. No idea about that. However, I know the scores of each single game. Well, I can’t remember all of the scores (probably the majority though, I have pretty good memory), but it’s impossible not to know them. Euro is everywhere! Radio, television, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, conversations at work… It’s impossible to miss.

That is why ever since the quarterfinals I wished that Spain and Italy would play in the final game. And guess what? They will! Why did I want them to play together? Here’s why.

Once again, I have no idea about the teams. Not to mention the names of the players, except for the few most mentioned in mass media. I have no idea why everyone is so fascinated with Ronaldo (I simply can’t stand looking at the guy. What’s the fuss all about? I haven’t seen him play though ;)). I don’t know anything about the statistics. However, I wanted the Italian-Spanish finale just for their fans and for the atmosphere they created in Gdansk after their game.

I mean, fan-wise the best finale would have been Spain vs. Ireland, but we know that’s not going to happen. Irish have the best football fans there probably are! The Irish-Spanish fiesta after their game in Gdansk was amazing! Unfortunately, the Irish don’t have the team that could last longer in the tournament. But the fans didn’t care. They were simply having fun. And once again, the best atmosphere, the best fiesta, the most singing, drinking and partying was after the Spain-Ireland match in Gdansk. I must say that what they created was so worth seeing and remembering. And made me want to visit Ireland as soon as possible. (I have been to Spain already and have spent a semester in Finland once with a bunch of Spanish people so I knew what to expect of them).

Euro 2012 is almost over. It is over in Poland already, after yesterday’s semi-final. We still have the finale in Kiev on Sunday. Will I miss Euro 2012? Yes and no. The atmosphere – definitely yes. The multicultural and colourful crowd – definitely yes. The traffic jams – no. Being bombarded with news about Euro 2012 from everywhere – definitely no. Was it worth it? Yes. I’m really proud that we were hosting the tournament. In my opinion it went pretty well. And I even went to the fan zone once! ;)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Bring me summer!

Do you remember my „bring me spring” incantation? It seemed to have worked. Now it’s probably high time to introduce my “bring me summer” incantation… Summer, where are you? I agree that we had a few warm, sunny days. That was great. More late-spring-like, but pleasant. Now we have autumn already. I don’t know, maybe I was sleeping waaaaay too long. Maybe I simply missed summer altogether. That seems quite right when I look out the window. And then I look at the calendar. No matter what I’m trying to do, it’s still showing June, 26th. So I look out the window again. A total clash.

Plus 13?! Are you freaking kidding me? Grey clouds all over the sky?! Rain pouring down all day long?! I agree, plants need water. And on one hand it’s great that I don’t have to water the plants and they can grow easily. Grass is green and not brown and burnt from the sun. That’s all true. But enough is enough! Plants need sun as well! And when it comes to water, I can water them myself. But when it comes to sun… What am I to do? Get a bulb and sit in the garden providing light for the plants? That’s so not going to work!

That’s why I’m giving you these pictures. They weren’t taken last year but his year. In May! If we want to go to the beach, we usually go to Rewa. It’s much less crowded than city beach in Gdynia and the distance from our home is pretty much the same. Plus it has a great view of the Hel Peninsula. It was May so it was low season. Just a few other people with us. Pale sand and really cold water with warm sun for contrast. A wonderful doing-nothing-just-enjoying-oneself. A perfect Sunday.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

A family walk in Gdansk

I have already mentioned that we weren’t satisfied with what we saw inthe Maritime Cultural Centre. Instead, we treated our trip there as a wonderful walk in Gdansk Old Town. I said that I really like the Old Town but don’t visit it that often. Luckily for me, when we went there for that walk it was still before the high season so there weren’t that many people there. It wasn’t empty, far from it really, but still it was possible to easily get around.

This time we chose a different path than I normally choose when walking from the railway station to Motlawa River, which gave me a chance to see some parts that I’ve seen only from the distance or have never seen at all. Wonderful old buildings, monuments, love bridge. Gave me a chance to satisfy my eyes with the wonderful colours, structures, textures. And to get to know that Gdansk Old Town is really amazing and that we have nothing to be ashamed of! It's colourful, well preserved, taken care of. It's beautiful!

One of the most prominent figures in Gdansk - John Hevelius (Jan Heweliusz)...
...Looking at this sky painting (on the side of the nearby building)

One of the main symbols of Gdansk - the Crane

Mariacka Street - or Amber Street as it is often referred to as you can buy lots of amber there


 The love bridge
 And the view from the love bridge

Friday, 22 June 2012

Last weekend vs this weekend

Last weekend was so busy and full of new experiences.

On Friday we went to a casino. For the first time. It was so much fun! I loved it. Of course, we didn’t go there to play for money. We went there to see what it’s like. But we got a chance to learn to play blackjack for free. So it was pretty cool.

On Saturday me and my mum went to Euro 2012 Gdansk Fan Zone. For the Czech Republic vs Poland game. There were sooo many people there, I couldn’t imagine. But the atmosphere, the cheering, the singing, the shouting – absolutely indescribable. I’m glad I went there, I’m glad I experienced that, I’ll probably never go again. Never say never, I know. But I’m not a football fan, I just wanted to know what it’s like in the Fan Zone during a game like this. Now I know. It was amazing!

And Sunday, day of rest. Or of family gatherings. This time at my husband’s grandparents’ house. Warm, sunny.

Today it’s raining all day. And if there’s a moment of no rain, the sky is still all covered in gray and ugly clouds. Sometimes clouds can be so beautiful, even when you’re about to go out and it’s about to start raining heavily – I can appreciate their beauty, the kind of shape-colour game. This time it’s nothing like that. It’s simply ugly. But we’re going to visit our friends tonight. So I’m hoping for a lot of fun and laughter!

And tomorrow we are to have a bonfire. Afterall, Saint John’s coming! But with this weather? Well, we’ll see.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Getting older

Welcome on my Birthday, everyone! Yup, I’m one year older. I can’t believe it’s already my birthday! And I still haven’t managed to show you my gift that I got from my lil’ brother and his wife for my name’s day (yup, that’s something we celebrate in Poland – every occasion is good for a bit o’celebration).

Something like a week before my name’s day I was browsing the Internet looking for nothing in particular. And I came across a photo gallery of mugs. Strange mugs. And it was brilliant. One of them was particularly interesting for me and I thought it would be sooo perfect to have one of these! Of course, I told no one how much I wanted such a mug. Especially because I thought that it would probably be impossible or really hard to get in Poland.

Much to my surprise I got one of these mugs from my brother and his wife! I love it sooo much! And here it is :)

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Muffin baking!

I’m really proud of myself. Why? That’s simple.  Yesterday afternoon I baked muffins for the second time in my life. The first ones were lemon muffins (baked two weeks ago), these were strawberry. And they’re already gone. But that’s not what made me feel so proud. I’m proud because I managed to bake them before my husband got back from work and with our lil’ boy being at home with me. I thought he’d help me, but this time he said a definite NO! Luckily I managed to do everything and half the muffins were gone yesterday evening and the rest this morning! I’m really shocked and proud at the same time. But I must say they were delicious! I’m really falling in love with muffins. They’re so easy to make, so fast to make and so delicious! Just perfect!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Maritime Culture Centre in Gdansk

While I take my time to get through all the pictures I took during the two trips and choose the ones I want to share with you, I’m going to finally publish a few posts that I’ve been putting aside for quite some time now.
When I wrote my posts about Kniewo and Kaszuby that we visited during the long Mayweekend, I mentioned that we decided to postpone our trip for one day. Why? On Saturday, April 28th, PolishMaritime Museumin Gdansk was opening its new department. Maritime Culture Centre. We decided that it was a good opportunity to go there and see it. Plus we wanted to visit the Old Town in Gdansk, which I like a lot but don’t go there too often. It’s usually way too crowded for me. Although I try to visit it for the Dominican Market (when it gets even more crowded than usually). 

However, we know that getting anywhere near the Old Town by car is not the smartest idea. That is why we took the SKM train (local train) from Gdynia to get there. You get off in Gdansk Glowny and take a walk through the Old Town to get to the tourist spots. It’s a short walk and I’ll describe that another time. This time I’m going to focus on the Museum itself. 

When we got to the Museum, the queue was really long. I expected that. After all,  I wasn’t the only one knowing about the big opening, was I? So we waited patiently to get to know that it was impossible for us to get to the interactive exhibit. I mean, theoretically it was possible. After 4 pm. We were there at noon. We decided it wasn’t worth it. We saw the exhibits that we were allowed to see. And left. Totally disappointed. I get it that it was the opening, so there were many people there. And I get it that the entrance was for free (but that’s not the reason why we went there. The tickets are cheap). And I get it that there can only be up to 50 people in the interactive room at once. What I don’t get, though, is the fact that people were entering the room and leaving after half an hour tops and for the rest of the hour the exhibit was almost empty! That was a total waste for people such us! We couldn’t wait for four hours just to get into that one room. And the rest of the Museum…? How to call it nicely… Totally not worth it. I’ve been to other departments of the Polish Maritime Museum and they are much better than this one. I totally don’t get all the fuss. It’s probably all due to the interactive exhibit. But the situation that we had might as well happen during the high season. The Centre is located right by the Motlawa River, next to one of Gdansk’s most famous symbols – the Crane. So there are so many tourists there. Well, we’ll see how it’s going to function during the high season. 

For us it was a beautiful, sunny day and a wonderful walk around the Old Town. And that’s how we want to remember that day.

 That was probably the best thing in the Museum. If you pushed the button, a specific stinky smell was pushed at you so that you could guess what the stink was (from the things that you can find on old ships)