well, reporting back about my polish backpacking odyssey this summer has almost come to a close. but definitely not before i talk about the single place in poland i was most excited about: the beach town of hel, located on a sandbar peninsula of the same name on the northern coast of poland which extends thirty-five km out into the baltic, and varies from only 100m to 3 km wide. i thought it would be something special to behold, for sure. anything this interesting geographically really gets my vote!
we took a ferry ride from gdansk on this boat. i think the name of our boat was a good sign of things to come! funny note: when pulling away from the harbor, i realized i had completely forgotten to look up the address of our accommodation in hel. (gaaaah!) i managed to leech the city’s free wifi just in the nick of time before we pulled away from the dock and further into the harbor away from the internet’s reach. thanks, gdansk, for being awesome.
upon arrival, it was a beautiful day in hel. and saw just what kind of place it was: a polish beach holiday wonderland. a huge chain of hawkers and food stalls lined the tiny road which runs along the beach, and across the street, visitors everywhere were furiously getting their beach on in what might have been the last gasp of summer, as it was august 21st by this point. when the rows of stalls ended, the chain of cute little fish restaurants facing the sea began.
after a quick jaunt up a couple streets to our modest accommodations, we soaked up some beach ourselves. after all, this is what i was waiting for! my poland beach day, and the temperatures were finally sunny and warm. everything lined up!
i wasn’t going to leave hel without eating some fish, so we enjoyed some brewskis and halibut at one of the seafood restaurants which faced the beach. we only had one evening on hel before our long travel day the next morning, so it seemed to me that the best possible activity would be to walk out to the very tip of hel and see what was out there. the the sunset cast a beautiful yellow glow on our walk and the dark clouds from a storm rolling in gave an amazing contrast– incredible.
after awhile, we arrived to the very tip! and literally a minute later, it began POURING. i may have bragged in a certain previous post that i love being prepared for weather like this while traveling, but after the gorgeous weather earlier in the day, i just did not expect it. but what did it matter? we were in hel.
loads of wind and the beginning of the rain, but we were at the very tip of hel!
although hel is small, i could’ve done with another day puttering around, lounging on the beach, and watching the seals (there is a small seal fokarium in the town). but man, i was just glad to have gone at all. hel is wonderful and a great memory from poland.
it’s travel tuesday again! every week the co-hosts spotlight one post from last week (check out their blogs to see who they chose!)
this week i am featuring sara’s post about her fantastic weekend in timisoara, romania, visiting her friend and enjoying excellent hospitality of her friend’s romanian relatives. i knew very little about the country before the post (besides the fact that i’d like to visit someday) and her account of her time was quite eye-opening with fantastic photos of the downtown area.