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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

On the Road to Gdańsk

It maybe Cinco de Mayo in the USA and Mexico, but when I mentioned it this morning to my travel mates, I don’t think they heard of this celebration (why would they, right?). They did hear of the celebratory drink -called a margarita, though.

By 10:00 am, we were rolling down the highways and byways to Gdańsk, Poland, on the Baltic Sea. The “miracle” of Google Translate helped my very limited Polish with Anna and Zbyszek’s even more limited English for the 4 hour drive from Ostrow Maz.

We had two stops along our journey, a potty break and lunch. I didn’t care where they picked for lunch, yet I kept hearing that we would stop in Marbrok. I thought there must have been a favorite place to dine.

As we entered this robust small town, I noticed in the distance what looked like a large red bricked church in the distance. Thankfully, we found parking easily. The cutting wind and chill in the air had us bundled up as we entered a pizza place. It was pizza & piwo (pronounced pee-vo, which is beer).

And then the surprise…

Anna and Zbyszek turned right out of the restaurant, and began heading toward the “red church.”

This church instead happens to be a castle! It is not only a castle, but one rich with Polish history as a Teutonic Castle from the 13th century! It is now designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and I can understand why.

I was gobsmacked with this outstanding fortress called Malbork. The red brick and tall turrets can be seen from miles away, and I was excited to enter its lair - complete with audio recordings to get the best possible information about what I was seeing.

Malbork Castle is the largest castle in the world measured by land and area. It never could disappoint and was never overtaken by anyone - the German/French/Dutch Knights fortified it beyond anyone’s capabilities.

Malbork Castle Museum

So, maybe it’s okay I didn’t understand where we were going at first, because I’m tickled about this delightful surprise for today.

An hour later we reached our destination in Gdańsk, a beautiful apartment in the city while we visit with Zbyszek’s sister-in-law, Gabriella, and one of her adult children, Marek.

A magical day in Polska!



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