As a foreigner, common things seem extraordinary to you. After living in Poland for 4 years, my family and I decided to check the well-known “Polish Summer“ in the Baltic sea and visit three cities in one (Trojmiasto).
I heard so many opinions from my friends and colleagues about the region and I pictured it in my head. Crowded, no space, cold weather, rain, wind and collecting amber, etc.
The beach in Poland
To me, holidays on the beach mean warm weather, eating seafood all day long, swimming and watching the stars at night, diving between corals and eating on the local market.
I went to Gdansk by train and as soon as I got out I felt something is missing. I didn’t feel the air pressure, the heat of humidity that characterizes the sea. I was cold and had to put my jacket on.
The next day the weather still wasn’t the best. There were clouds and cold air. The forecast predicted a sunny day with little clouds and 28ºC. I didn’t see it at all… A couple of hours later the sky started to shine and the sun was finally present. It was the right moment to go to the beach. I jumped into the water and the temperature of water made me lose my breath. I had to swim fast. I stopped for a second and I took a deep breath. The water wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be and its color wasn’t as dark as people say. There weren’t many people on the sand. Only people looking down to find some amber stones and picking up shells. The air was getting warmer finally.
For dinner I decided to visit a restaurant near the beach. I ate a nice piece of salmon with smoked potatoes and a delicious spicy fish soup. Along with a beer. Tyskie.
It was a calm and warm night but it didn’t last long. Again a cloudy day and I was on my way to Gdynia and one more time the place felt unfamiliar. There was a big street in front of my hotel, it ended in the sea. I walked down and I found a huge avenue finishing on the beach. The only piece of sand and it looked minuscule compared with the +20 km in Gdansk.
The beach was taken by families and the playground by kids while parents were resting on the beach sunbathing. The sky was covered with fast moving clouds heading towards Gdansk. While walking I accidentally smashed a jellyfish with my feet. If you do it in Mexico, you can die… Luckily, I didn’t.
When I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures I realized how different the Baltic Sea is. During winter snow falls covering the streets. The weather isn’t always hot and the cold air is often annoying. The shells on the sand make it impossible to walk without pain in your feet.
I walked down the port and I was surprised by not seeing big, loaded ships or heavy machinery around. There weren’t many seagulls or pigeons looking for food. Instead there were people walking home, exhibition war ships. Stores were about to close. The sunset colors weren’t golden tones. They were purple mixed with whites and blues making them more visible on the water and over the clouds. The sea was calm and almost static. It made me feel tranquility and peace. Something I haven’t felt for a long time.
My definition of “holidays on the beach” changed over time. Even more now, having experienced the “Polish Summer”. I had a great time exploring the Three Cities and there is only one thing I am sure about.
The Baltic Sea has its own magic and I will be happy to come back anytime.
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