It’s that time of the year again. Our annual anniversary trip. And without the kids! Woooooooo!
Just like last year, we had managed to get really cheap flights and accommodation in Poland. Flying direct from our home city. But this years trip almost didn’t happen. Having massively overspent on our last trip we were thinking of staying home for this anniversary. Or perhaps just having a night away.
So we sat in a coffee shop in the city centre and tried to work out costs. Even if we just had 1 or 2 nights in the UK, the prices would add up to close to what we were expecting Poland to cost. Still, Poland would stretch us, but would staying here have the same wow factor – especially when you’ve got your heart set on something different.
For those that know me, you will know that I am a Star Wars nerd. I’ve had a large collection of figures for some years now. Recently I had moved them from their display room (think corridor / second toilet) into a box in the loft. It was time to grow up.
On the way home I decided to sell them on ebay that night. On six figures alone I raised enough to fund the majority of the trip to Poland. It was on.
So now was the morning where we set off to the airport and hop the short flight to Wroclaw.
Some background on Wroclaw –
- It’s pronounced ‘Vrots Swav’
- It’s a thousand years old and at various times, it has been part of the Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburg Monarchy, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire, Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany
- In 1945 it became part of Poland
- It’s a large city with a very pretty market square
More on it’s history later.
The plane was packed. Almost every seat was full. That’s a good sign, right?
We had arranged for a taxi to pick us up at the airport – and just as planned our driver was waiting for us with our name on a little sign at the airport doors. It was about 25 minutes to our accommodation.
On the drive into the city we didn’t really pass anything significant. It had very much the same feel as some of the outlying areas to Gdansk (which we had visited the year before). Then about 5 minutes from our destination the driver pointed out a steam train statue that was coming out of the ground and pointing up to the sky. This gave us a hint that there was going to be a few cool things to look forward to.
Soon we were at our apartment. A block of flats, typical of the area, on a main pedestrian street.
We had arrived too early for us to get in properly, but the owner had arranged for us to drop our bags off. The keys had to be collected from a local restaurant (what a great idea!) which was handy as it was lunch time. Now here begins our food story. For breakfast I had a giant crumpet. At the airport, it would have been rude to not have a sausage sandwich.
I wasn’t quite ready to eat, but the place where we had to pick the keys up served freshly cooked Thai food – that looked and smelled amazing.
I ordered a sweet and sour, Wendy had something like coconut soup. Both were amazing. For 2 meals and drinks it was £8. Yes, £8.
Now to get our bearings. Straight down from our apartment is the main market square, complete with massive Christmas market. There is a real buzz about the place. Everything is lit up and it smells very festive. Literally, 5 minutes after having eaten Thai food, Wendy spots a place on the street that people are queuing up for – selling donuts. How could you not? 50p each.
We wander the main square for a while. By now the sun is starting to go down so we are getting that lovely dusky sky combined with the lights. We can get in the apartment now, so pop back to check it out, get some shopping in and unpack.
Straight back out again now. We decide to go up the top of one of the buildings to get an overview of the place and hopefully get some nice twilight pictures.
First, I’ve got to drag Wendy past the waffle stand. Unsuccessfully. More food. Past shops and stalls. I’m so full at this point, they could be giving food away for free and I wouldn’t accept it.
There is a bell tower attached to a Church in the corner of the Market Place. It is the tallest building in the old town. For £1 you can climb the 300 swirling steps up the spiral staircase. With no stopping points! Deep breaths.
“Don’t bring back up the waffle” “Don’t bring back up the waffle” I keep mumbling to myself.
Finally! We reach the top. There is no one else up here and the view is great.
We try and stay up here for the sun to set completely and it to go fully dark, but it is so cold and windy we give in and head back down.
Our energy today is very much just spent in this little area – checking out all of the stalls and shops. Peering in all the restaurants. Working out the things that we want to do over the next few days. After an hour or so, we decide to get some traditional Polish dumplings and a beer.
A place on the market square catches our eye. It has an unusual decor and sells exactly what we want. I order a selection of Pierogi, Wendy gets a pear and goats cheese salad (boring!). She opts for a mulled beer though. And it blows her away. This is her take away drink from the holiday.
My Pierogi are beautiful – like little pasties. But heavy on the stomach. Do you sometimes imagine that when you eat, you are filling up a pipe inside you and you are so full the food feels like it has reached your throat? No, just me?
We roll out of the place and continue shopping. I am trying to get an HDMI cable to connect my laptop to the TV in the apartment. Wendy wants a new coat. There is a stereotype there somewhere.
Wendy finds a coat that she likes in the first shop. Tries it on and then we leave. About 10 minutes later she decides she wants it so we head back and get it. At least this walking is burning off some food. And I’ve got my HDMI lead.
Now back to the apartment for a movie and some Vodka. First impressions, a lovely place but it’s dominated by the Christmas market. Tomorrow we will try and get underneath it all and get some history.