Friday, 17 June 2016

Not really lost... but found...?

Have you ever experienced a situation when you take out of a closet something you haven't worn for a while and you find long forgotten money in the pocket? That feeling of happiness, excitement, astonishment... I think you get what I mean.

Well, maybe not exactly.

Now imagine this.

Long time ago, as compared to his age of 7, my son got a camera. A simple digital camera for him to take pictures during his trips. Or during family events. Or in every situation he might like to take pictures. Anyhow, he got a camera. He has not been using it much. But there were occassions when he was taking pictures. Most of them are either blurred or shaken. You know, a kid too impatient to wait for the flash starts moving his hands before the picture is taken. Or something.

We were celebrating our daughter's  birthday on the weekend. And Artur wanted to take pictures of everyone and everything. He brought his camera that he hasn't used for a while. And started taking pictures.

On Sunday evening I decided to download the pictures from his camera. Much to my astonishment, I found pictures from our trip to Paris two years ago! And then from Rome (where he went with my parents almost two years ago) and Pisa (where he went with us right after Rome). Oh my, such a surprise! I know have pictures with my husband from Italy ;) Ok, we had a few from Cinque Terre, but none from Pisa (I think...).

Oh, and among many pictures, I also found a picture of me in Berlin. The ONLY picture of me in Berlin. When we got back from Germany and I browsed through my pictures, I even told my husband that he could have taken at least one picture of me in Berlin. And now I have one. A horrible (!) one, so I won't publish it, but still.

Unfortunately, most of the pictures are either blurred or shaken in any other way. But there were a few that I'm definitely saving.

And seeing our big girl (as she now calls herself) all tiny again... And not as reminding myself of pictures I took long ago. I saw her as a baby and these images were totally new to me. That was... refreshing ;)

Seeing those places from Artur's perspective was like seeing them all over again. The picture of Paris bridges is the best one we have. Cause you can see five (?) bridges in the picture if you look really closely. He was taking pictures of things he found interesting. From the perspective that suited him best. Perspective that I don't have. His Paris is different than mine. The focus is shifted to things that got him interested (at least at times when he had his camera ready for shooting, which wasn't too often anyway).

Many moons ago ;) when digital cameras weren't here yet (or when they weren't that popular), we were waiting for pictures from our trips as if it was gold. Walking around impatiently while that big machine that was printing them, was moving waay too slowly for us. And if there was a line, it was even worse. When we finally got the pictures all printed out, we were reliving the events pictured. Sharing our thoughts with others, laughing, commenting. Now, we see the pictures right away, so we have little to wait for.

The discovery of these pictures reminded me of that waiting. Of that reliving. Of the comments and laughters, cause that's exactly what we did when we were browsing through these pictures. We sat all together in front of the screen and we were commenting, laughing... We were reliving the trips.

The same trips. But like a new one. 

Paris, April 2014
 Rome, September 2014
 Pisa, October 2014
 Berlin, June 2015
And, as a bonus, that's us with the Birthday Girl on her actual birthday.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

A visit to Gdansk

With the upcoming summer months, we all think of new travels and new adventures. Seaside resorts are already full of people (I can't believe that in less than a month they will be so much more crowded), people spend every possible moment outside, in the sun. We all can't wait for the weekends to spend them somewhere possibly outside the big cities, even if that's only a few hours' getaway.

But big cities can be worth a visit, too.

And today I'll try to convince you to visit one of the Baltic pearls. Over a thousand years old Gdansk.

I have already written a post or two or three, showing you the beauty of the city. Its narrow streets, maritime museum, the famous crane, the colourful old town.

What else is there to do in Gdansk?

If you are a fan of museums, you can surely visit the European Solidarity Centre. Gdansk is the city where the Solidarity Movement was born. Gdansk is the city where Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Lech Walesa, was working in the shipyard and was fighting for freedom. If you want to learn about that revolution, European Solidarity Centre is the place to visit. Do not get discouraged by the outter looks of the building. It is "on purpose", which I don't get, but someone had an idea, a vision... The insides are much better than that.

If you like visiting churches, there's plenty to choose from in and around Gdansk Old Town, but not only.

The Cathedral in Gdansk Oliwa is famous for its great organ. It's really worth it to sit and listen to a concert there. There's plenty to choose from, especially during summertime.

Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (or St. Mary's Church) is one of the most famous churches in Gdansk. Home to Memling's Last Judgement (now in National Museum of Gdansk), it's famous also for the following decorations:
  • High Altar, 1511-1517, Michael of Augsburg,
  • Ten Commandments, approx. 1485,
  • Gravestone of Simon and Judith Bahr, 1614-1620, Abraham van den Blocke,
  • Pieta, approx. 1420,
  • Holy Mother of God sculpture, approx. 1420,
  • Gdansk astronomical clock, 1464-1470, Hans Dueringer of Torun, reconstructed after 1945,
  • organ set, partially transferred from St. John's Church,
and many more. Besides, you can always climb the church's tower for the panoramic view of Gdansk. If the weather is good, you'll be able to see the Amber Arena (a football stadium, currently known as Energa Arena) and the sea. But it is almost 500 steps to climb, so it's not for faint hearted. Mind you, there's no lift ;)

St. Bridget's Church was the church of the Solidarity Movement. It is famous for an attempt to build an altar made purely of amber. Go and check the progress of works.

And many more to add to the list.

If you are looking for social/commercial events, do not miss St. Dominic's Fair. It's one of the oldest fair's in Poland, taking place each year at the beginning of August. This year it will start July 30th and end August 21st. With stands and booths in all the narrow streets of the Old Town, it attract those looking for unique, hand-made things as well as those searching for antiques. Unfortunately, there's a lot of cheap "made in China" junk as well. But you can find some gems, eat local food and have a lot of great time. There are concerts, plays and other cultural events during the fair as well. I love the event. There were years when I simply couldn't miss spending at least one day at the event. Last time we went to St. Dominic's was four years ago and we're going to miss this year's edition also (we'll be on our Eurotrip, so actually no regrets).

Gdańsk is often uderrated. Skipped by those visiting other Polish cities, mainly Cracow and Warsaw. Not to mention those visiting other European cities. And Gdansk has so much to offer - history, museums, churches, but also social and cultural events, beautiful architecture and its right on the coast. So sunny beach days - feel free to spend the days on beautiful white sandy beaches. Water might be a bit cold, but it's like that in the whole northern coast of Europe, right?

If you ever plan to visit Poland, don't skip Gdansk. I mean, Cracow is beautiful and all, but Gdansk also has a lot to offer. If not more. Get on the train (ok, the train ride takes "a few" hours) or hop on the plane and come see Gdansk! And Gdansk is a prt of Tricity, so Gdynia and Sopot come as a bonus, too :)

Any other big cities with history that are also seside resorts perfect for summer days 
you could recommend?
Any festivals, fairs?