Oliwa Gardens (Gdansk; Poland)
Hello fellow travellers and blogaholics, this time we're trying our hand at sampling the delights of the Tri-City, which is essentially a conurbation formed of the three separate cities of Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia, all located along the northern coast of Poland in the region of Pomerania. Inspired yet? Well, to break you in, a little history probably won't go amiss, so it is worth noting that Gdansk, the most prominent of the three cities, is famous as the location of the break-out of the second world war, plus, on a more positive note, the origin of Lech Walesa and his solidarity movement which led him to become one of the most famous Poles in Polish history.
Dlugi Targ street (Gdansk; Poland)
Back then, the shipyards were probably the backbone of the region's economy, and although they still exist today, albeit in a reduced workforce format, they are part of this coastal city's status as a port city rather than a seaside town. Gdansk's main tourist thoroughfare is the pedestrianized street known as Dlugi Targ, and an absolute must-visit on any tourist itinerary. Roughly halfway down this street is the symbolic statue known as Neptune's fountain, and the variety of coloured tall pencil-like buildings which line this street are a joy to behold, hinting at the kind of architectural style found elsewhere in Northern Europe, the Netherlands and Germany being two examples thereof. Another landmark known as 'the Crane' is located along the banks of the river, in close proximity to perhaps Gdansk's most modern landmark, the ferris wheel, or the Amber Sky, to give it its proper name.
Modern architecture (Gdynia; Poland)
The charms of Mariacka street, with its eateries, bars, stalls and quaint atmosphere, runs parallel to Dlugi Targ, and if it is shopping options which you seek, then look no further than the city's malls and the indoor market to allow your material desires to unfold in a context where a reasonable cost of living prevails. Outside of central Gdansk, be sure to check out the outlying district of Oliwa, with its splendid cathedral and surrounding gardens, all in all, an abode of peace in a quieter area of a city which ranks low on the urban chaos scale even at its busiest. The westernmost city of the Tri-City region is an industrial zone known as Gdynia, with a few modern and commendable features to boot, namely the Aquarium, the Sea Tower and the long commercial street known as Swietojanska Street.
Crooked House (Sopot; Poland)
At the far southern end of this street is Centrum Riviera, the region's largest shopping mall, and worth a look in for the multitude of options it can offer, both in terms of shopping and dining, not to mention the cineplex. Travelling further along the route Gdansk-wards, the third and final city of the region is the resort town of Sopot, which stands out as being stylistically the most unique of the three without possessing too many features which make it feel like just another suburb of either of its neighbours. From the station, the obvious route is to head down Monte Cassino street and revel in the small-town buzz which the activity along this street generates, and the obvious photo opportunity will be the 'Crooked House' about halfway down, a building which has been built to give the appearance that it is wilting in the heat and in the process of melting down. A sizeable plaza flanks Sopot's beach, and, since this is the very place where wealthy Poles tend to look to purchase second homes, the variety of spa resorts, upscale restaurants and points of interest have rendered Sopot a family destination for young and old alike, where a casual stroll can easily give way to a penchant for trying out watersports and seeking out a wholly different side to the versatile resort town than possibly meets the eye. Of course, there are far more features to the Tri-City region than I have been able to cover, but a snapshot of northern Poland can be experienced in the Tri-City area alone, and with a convenient transportation network connecting one point of interest with another, there is a lot of evidence here to suggest that the inhabitants of this region have firmly got all vital bases covered.