“What’s in Poland?” was the first question we were asked when we announced our trip through Europe. Our response, “Not sure actually, but we will tell you when we get there!.” Well this blog on “What’s in Poland?” Poznań, and the next blog on Wroclaw will let you know the answer to that very question!
We took the train from Berlin, Germany to Pozńan, Poland. Again we purchased our tickets the day of travel, which was almost a direct 3 hour train ride from one central station to the next central station. We had noticed that these trains did have more then just 1 or 2 languages, but 4! French, and an additional language on those trains, very interesting and bilingual.
Travel Tip for Poland! Currency – Poland currently is not on the euro currency system, and you must use their currency called the złoty. You can find a ATM at the train station if that’s your method of travel, to withdrawal some currency as well exchange the euros if desired. The exchange rate is also different, so check in advance. Language – They don’t speak much english, but they do try very hard to help you with your request, and often have english menus at the restaurant. Ask your server polity, and sometimes you have to read the fine print for english.
Our place for the 3 days in Poznań was located just 1.5 blocks from Old Town Square, very convenient we thought, local shops, restaurants, and the local life. Not overly loud or busy at any points of the day, also included a court yard if we so desired to use it, and a top load washer machine. How happy we were, to use our google translate to figure out the language between hot and cold! But we got it going and some clothing cleaned, so mission accomplished. Our placed was on the 3rd floor with some uniquely designed stairwell to get us there, and no A/C – just a fan. It was very warm that high up, and sleeping felt like a challenge.
Old Town Square: The Square offered a very relaxed atmosphere, and easy going (Compared to most we have seen), with a variety of locations to get a good bite to eat that won’t damage the pocket book either. With the warm temperature the city has placed some firehoses spraying cold water into the air for children and adults to keep cool in while the heat wave pass through. At noon the clock tower in the Old Town Square rings 12 times, and 2 goats knock their heads together. Not something all clock towers do, but at least it’s something different!
Maltanka Lake: Family friendly for everyone of all ages, big and small! We took the Maltanka Park Railway from the one end to the New Zoo end which is a 3.8km long track, with 2 different location in the middle to get off at. The best part engines are old vintage steam locomotive engines from the mid 1920’s, that chugs down and back. The cost was a few złotys, and ran every hour on workdays, and 1/2 hour on weekends during the tourist season. Convenient way to get down one way, and walk the other side back if you so desire.
From the train you can see the fountain which is the largest in Poznań shooting different styles and lengths all day. Across the lake is a mini Theme Park with zip-lining, summer toboggan runs, year round ski slope, swimming, beaches, and many more activities to do. Also has a bicycle path around the lake with a couple of restaurants and parks as you go.
We jump on the train ride down to the end of the lake, taste tested some ice cream to cool down from the heat. Walked around the other side of the lake to find the more entertainment. So we did climb the biggest of the 3 zip lines and tackled the Advance Level of technical climbing, and what an absolute blast! A big thanks to our extremely helpful and easy going instructor to give us a crash course on what we will be doing and all the safety precautions that we needed to know for the climb and tips. We also caught a ride on the bob sled/toboggan as the evening sun started to set, offering a beautiful view over the lake. Afterwards we finished our walk home on the walking path back towards the Old Town Square. A nice way to enjoy the afternoon.
Armament Museum in Poznań: Interested in history? We came across a cool museum which was half indoor and outdoors. Which included many items from the previous World War battles. It is located in the remains of the old Fort Winiary, just outside of the downtown area. The ticket into the museum is only a couple of złoty, but gains access to the large museum on top, and the smaller museum on the lower end. The museum information wasn’t in much english, but it was very cool to see the display cases, uniforms, military rifles, and gear used. Then outside was a display of trucks, tanks, boats, planes, helicopters, and large weapons of cannons. Most of the items at this location was supplied or donated by the Polish people and Army.
The economy in Poland was much different then the previous countries we had traveled through. The biggest influence is the currency, from the euro or pound depending on where you are. We had just adapted to the euro, and the average exchange rate back to the Canadian loonie, then we changed the currency. The cost of purchasing a few items was cheaper then most places that we had traveled too, so we did purchase a few extra t-shirts while there, and small shopping. From northern Poland, we took the train down to Wroclaw, all while enjoying in the heat of a warm summer.
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