Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gdansk, Poland with the Hollars

I made it through security and found my bags in Berlin pretty easily after landing at the airport.  I was exhausted, though, and had a few hours to kill in the airport before Mike landed.  I found a spot and camped out there for a while. Around lunch time, Mike's plane landed and it wasn't long before I saw his smiling face amid all of the Turks.  Well, actually, if you know Mike and traveling with Turks, it was a little bit of a look of frustration.  Anyways, we were definitely happy to see each other.  It's nice knowing that we won't have to be separated for an extended period of time, at least for a while. 

After the reunion, we were both starving, so we grabbed lunch and headed into town for our hotel.  Originally, our plan was to spend the week house hunting in Berlin before Mike went back to Izmir for the move out.  We figured if we could look at places, we might be able to move in sometime in late August or early September.  Our household goods (HHG) are not going to arrive in Berlin until mid-September, so we wanted to cut down on the amount of time we spent sitting in lawn chairs in our empty apartment.  I still cringe thinking about our first couple of weeks in our Izmir apartment.   We quickly realized that apartments were turning over pretty quickly and if we found one, we'd have to sign a lease and be ready to sign a lease for the near future.  Not wanting to spend an extra second in those beach chairs, we nixed our original plan and decided to travel instead! Are you surprised?

I didn't want to travel too far and wanted to do something pretty low key that didn't involve hours and hours of sight seeing (I was tired, y'all).  The Hollars, another Olmsted family are in Gdansk, Poland and were willing to host my jet-lagged self and Mike for a couple of nights, so we jumped on the opportunity with the thought that we would stop in some other Polish towns as well.  Plus, seeing friends and traveling would be a good distraction to keep the homesickness at bay.  

Poland had never been on our must-see list, primarily because of it's distance from Turkey, but also because neither of us really knew much about it.  Sean Hollars gave us the tour of Gdansk with the forewarning that you can see it all in a few hours, which is true.  While there isn't a ton to see there, it's Old Town is picturesque and the beach is within walking distance of their apartment.
  




















We climbed up to the top of a church tower to get a view of the city from above.  Luckily, the view made the 400 step hike worth it.

Czesc from Poland!
 We went to the history museum, which was really interesting for all of us.  Sean enjoyed it because he knew a ton about Polish history.  Mike and I enjoyed it because we knew nothing.



We always laugh because whenever we stay with people who have kids, they jump on the opportunity to get a babysitter and have an adult night.  We definitely don't mind hanging with the little ones, but I think the parents are eager to get a few hours of adult conversation in.   The Hollars have three little boys under the age of seven who are all-boy all the time. The second night we were with the Hollars, the babysitter came and the adults hit the town.  I don't know who was more excited about the babysitter, the parents or the kids! 

Downtown Sopot is a cool area with lots of restaurants and things to do, including the world's longest pier!  We wandered around for a little while downtown before heading to dinner.




We went to a brewery in Gdansk where the food was good and the drinks even better!


Our night ended at some VERY POPULAR (wait 20 minutes for a drink popular) bar where they make custom drinks for you.  You tell them what kind of drinks you like and they concoct a drink just for you!

Look at those drinks!!
The next day was the Hollars' anniversary so we made our way to the next Polish town so they could celebrate on their own.  They were celebrating by taking a Polish cooking class!! How fun! Happy anniversary guys and thanks for being such great hosts!