Malbork Castle

Trip Start Jun 17, 2009
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11
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Trip End Jul 18, 2009


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Where I stayed
Scandic Hotel

Flag of Poland  , Baltic Coast,
Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 25, 2009 – Gdansk, Poland



It is late Saturday night, though it just got dark about 30 minutes ago. We arrived in Gdansk today around 5 pm (again, we are 6 hours ahead of East Coast time). The bus left Warsaw around 7:30 a.m. this morning and we headed north to our first stop at Malbork Castle, home of the Polish kings. It was a magnificent place, and we were told, the largest brick castle in all of Europe. It was impressive, to say the least. We had a local tour guide, some young guy named Wojtek, but he was very informative.

If you are unfamiliar with Gdansk, it is a seaside city on the Baltic Sea where, for lack of a better term, the beginning of the end of communism started here in the 1980's with Solidarity and Lech Walesa in the shipyards are Gdansk. See the map on this travel blog for its location. Malbork is about an hour ride to the south of Gdansk. From Warsaw to Malbork took about 5 hours due to the mostly two-lane highway and lots of traffic.

Link for Malbork Castle location:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=Malbork+Castle,+Gda%C5%84sk,+Gdansk,+Pomerania,+Poland&sll=37.579413,-95.712891&sspn=30.821223,65.390625&ie=UTF8&cd=1&geocode=FWScOAMd1GwiAQ&split=0&ll=52.415823,19.182129&spn=5.964697,16.347656&z=6&iwloc=A

The castle is the home of Polish kings over the centuries and was destroyed during World War II. It was completely rebuilt and is the most visited castle in Europe according to our guide, but I have no way of verifying this information. We spent about 2 hours there touring the castle. I was thinking of the 6th grade teachers who teach about medieval history, so I took a bunch of photos and will see what we can do with them when I return. Also picked up a book outside the castle on Malbork and perhaps our teachers can use it. There were quite a few student groups going through the castle tour, and many German groups were visiting as well. We had lunch in the restaurant next to the castle after the tour and then took off for Gdansk.

After we checked into the hotel, I had about an hour before we met for dinner, so I went for a run along the edge of the Gdansk shipyards. It was pretty old and dilapidated. In fact, it looked really run down, but we will get a look at it later this weekend before we head back to Warsaw.

Went to dinner again with the entire Fulbright group at a nice place in the old town part of Gdansk. This town has more character than Warsaw, as it was not entirely rebuilt after World War II, it remained relatively unscathed. Walked back to the hotel and went online and had video chat with my family. It is pretty cool to sit here in my hotel room and be able to sit in on my kitchen and dinner with my family. Wish this technology had existed years ago with all of the overseas deployments.

Headed to bed, after midnight here, will post again soon.
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Comments

cacevedo
cacevedo on

Great stuff for our teachers and students!
Hi Partner,

Your photos look great, and I think you're right that our 6th grade will really enjoy the pictures and the information. I'm also not surprised to see photos of tanks, but you're slipping - where's our 'pointing' picture? You know our students will expect one. :)

Hope you have a great day tomorrow.

Chris

rdthorpe
rdthorpe on

Pictures
Pete,
WOW! Those pictures are amazing. I can't imagine what those places looked like in person.

Darren

pdchapla
pdchapla on

Re: Pictures
Darren:

I am in Gdansk again today (Sunday) and went to the Solidarity museum next to the Gdansk shipyard (literally two blocks from the hotel). It is where Lech Walesa got the shipyard workers started on nationwide strikes, ultimately led to downfall of communism here in Poland and elsewhere in Soviet bloc. Will post some more photos of old Gdansk (you may know it by its German name - Danzig). Still trying to upload videos, not successful yet.

Pete

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