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True to our restless nature, we left Warsaw this morning for an early train to Gdansk. We've read Polish with little success, though we recognize all of the letters. The Poles don't bother with superfluous vowels as demonstrated by words like drzwi or przy. If Scrabble was an Olympic event, the Poles would win gold each year. The letter 'z,' much neglected in English, enjoys a renaissance in the Polish language; we see many words that have a 'z' thrown in for good measure. English should copy this aspect since 'z' is such a fun letter. How about 'Engliz,' it saves a letter and looks better. Leaving this pointless diversion behind, we explored Gdansk, a jewel on the Baltic sea. Gdansk is large enough to provide visitors with comfort and any amenity, yet it retains an old cultural atmosphere with picturesque streets, squares, and waterfront. Gdansk has a strong history too, lately being the centerpoint of Polish politics and protest when twenty-one years ago Lech Walesa and his fellow workers at the Gdansk shipyards created the first official trade union in the communist world.
This statue of a man standing on a severed head is situated next to the door of a grocery store. Apparently the check out line is fierce.
We slept in an old fortification, now a hotel that offers complete apartments, even satellite TV, for $50 per night. The windows are arrow slits, useful in case the hotel falls under attack.
Streets of Gdansk