Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Poland diaries : Discovering the town of Sopot


Just next to Gdynia, where we were staying last week, is the town of Sopot, a small tourist and health resort.


It is smaller than Gdynia but is home to the bigger and more luxurious hotels, including the Sheraton, which is where our minibus driver dropped us off.


In terms of architecture, it's a very rich and interesting town with many different styles of buildings.


We started off at the tourist information centre because, on the top floor, there is a fountain where you can sample the springwater that the town is famous for. It's supposed to cure all ills, particularly of the respiratory kind, according to our guide, but I'd read the info and saw it described as "brine" and "bromide water" so I wasn't overly keen ! You can drink the water for free but if you want to take some home with you, you need to buy a bottle.


The water fountain is upstairs so we got a great view of the old lighthouse.


We could also see the other thing that Sopot is famous for.


It boasts the longest wooden pier in Europe, 450 metres from the edge of the shore, but 650m in total because it's L-shaped.


I prefer Brighton or Eastbourne pier though because there's nothing much to look at on it !


There are swans in the sea here too (which makes sense, as it's on the same bay as Gdynia).


Down at the end of the pier is a fabulous mock pirate ship.


There are also lots of padlocks inscribed with various lovers' names attached to the railings.


We decided to move away from the beach and the pier and explore further inland.


Even on the modern buildings, there are interesting design features to look at. A huge mural here ...


A gargoyle there ...


There is one main street of shops which is quite narrow and full of tourists.


This leads up to a big church, called St George's Church.


I bought a few trinkets and handmade souvenirs in these little shops.


It's quite strange to see the big international chains here - they seem quite out of place.


Then, quite by accident, we stumbled across "The Crooked House" - I'd noticed this on a postcard at the tourist information centre but thought it was a normal house that had been photoshopped !


It seems wrong that the crooked houses are inhabited by bland, multinational coffee shops though (Costa and So! Coffee). They should be made into museums or opened to the public in their own right.Wikipedia shows a photo of the inside though and it just looks normal, which is a shame.


We still had half an hour left to visit so, with one of my more intrepid colleagues, we headed away from the commerical and touristy area into the residential streets beyond. There are some lovely leafy streets with beautiful houses.


Even the more rundown and dilapidated ones manage to retain their charm.

Dragons and Fairy Dust

#TravelTales

9 comments:

  1. Sopot used to be very popular with the Russians as a tourist destination. Looks like a lovely place to visit

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    1. I must admit, I'd never heard of it !

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  2. Lovely photos. Would love to visit. The residential streets look spotless!

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    1. It was very Wisteria Lane ! The cleanliness is something we mentioned in Gdynia too - no dog poo, litter or drunks anywhere. There were teenagers drinking on the beach but they were happy and dancing, not at all aggressive or loudmouthed. It made a nice change !!

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  3. I've never been to Poland. This looks a lovely town to explore #outandabout

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  4. Never heard of Sopot, though I suppose hardly surprising as I've never really done anywhere eastern european, hehe.

    That crooked house though, I can't stop looking at it, it's oddly fascinating knowing that it really looks like that and isn't, like you mentioned, just a gimmick in photoshop.

    It looks a lovely place to visit, though agree, kinda weird seeing Subway and KFC there!

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  5. Poland is somewhere I would have never considered before but it looks really interesting. Love the crooked house. Thanks for linking to #traveltales

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  6. Wow that Crooked House looks so fun, you're right it would be much nicer for them to be museums. When I visited Prague and saw The Dancing House they were the same, just office buildings and other boring things D:

    www.northeastnerd.co.uk

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