Finally got this post up! Part 1 of many about my Summer 2014 Europe Trip! So horribly overdue that it’s already close to Summer 2015 though….Click the link above to read an overview of my entire 2 week long trip in Europe.
Maria and I decided to take a day trip to Szczecin in Poland based on her mom’s recommendation and the relatively close proximity to Berlin. Also because it’s not expensive and has a lot of pretty buildings and things to check out. So off we go….!!
Transport cost: Berlin → Poland via Train, ~15€ two-way. Includes local transport in Szczecin.
Total spent: 20€ (approx. 80 kl)
It’s 2.5 to 3 hours to Szczecin by train, so we got up bright and early and took the train over. We had to change once on the way there, but the seats were comfy enough for me and I was asleep for most of the way there.
HELLO SZCZECIN! HELLO POLAND!
…but where do we go? We hopped on a tram and let it take us wherever, hopping off when we found an interesting looking building.
Anchor statue/monument…with no water???
Polish Post Office!
Even the water pump was extremely disappointing because NO ACTUAL WATER CAME OUT. Maria gave it a little kick at the end because all her hard work amounted to nothing.
…and the smell of baking chocolate brownies didn’t help abate our hunger. Ravenous, we continued walking until we saw a sign for a cafe and all but dashed over and happily plonked ourselves down to enjoy. Turned out we’d actually chosen a rather pricey upscale place to eat at.
Braised Beef Cheeks (this photo doesn’t do it justice)
BUT IT WAS THE BEST MEAL WE’D HAD. Like, ever. The beef was so, so, so soft and tender and the mushrooms divine. The sauce, of which there was aplenty, was rich and paired amazingly with the bread (which I used to clean it off the plate). Everything on the plate was amazing and Maria and I couldn’t stop singing praises of it for the rest of the trip and I still think of how amazing it was.
With our bellies filled, we had the energy to explore more!
First stop: The Pomeranian Duke’s Castle!
“Chillin’ with bae”
“Off with her head!!”
The castle was very near Solidarity Square which we thought was a skate park. There were people on skate boards there…! And there was the huge Angel of Freedom statue.
There was also this amazing church nearby (St Peter and Paul’s Church; you can see it in the background!). We couldn’t take photos of the interior but it had a very rustic, old school feel to it. The furniture and fixtures were old, but the decor was still very well maintained!
A lot of the churches we saw that day had these red brick exteriors. Actually, not only the churches but the buildings too, and the architecture style was all pretty similar! You could tell I was so sua ku and it was my first time in Europe because I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing at every little thing.
Like finding random apple trees next to a tram stop that was littering apples all over the floor.
“Oh yeah, apples grow on trees!” said the 21 year old who had never seen an actual apple tree in her entire life.
The harbour was really pretty! We sat on a bench, got out some snacks and ate them while basking in the sun and watching people pass by.
Deciding we needed some civilization, we took a stop at shopping mall Galleria Kaskada, which is right next to the start of the Golden Road attractions. We got a rest, bought some Polish food and beer, then got started walking and exploring some more!
I think this was a university’s faculty housing quarters. “I want to live in a place like this one day!!” enthused Maria, and even though we had no clue if the interior was as quaint as the exterior, it did look nice.
Maria: They lied!! The back isn’t painted green too!
Pope John Paul II
Then we found this grassy, forested area which I said would look great for silly wizard duels. Which resulted in these shots:
I AM MAGICAL!!!!! (Also because I’m wearing my new Hogwarts sweater from Primark)
On the way back, we stopped for some good ice cream, spending our last few zloty. Mmmmmm.
We had a silly fangirl moment before getting on the tram back to the station because we spotted a Stormtrooper!! It was actually a group of four people in cosplay handing out fliers but the Stormtrooper was the only one we were interested in. We “chased” them around for a bit (following them from each traffic light they walked to) before mustering the courage to ask for a photo.
They were happy to pose with us and when it was my turn, the Stormtrooper spotted my sweater he exclaimed “Harry Potter! Harry Potter!” then went “Expecto Patronas!” and did a silly pose. Ah, that was fun. Maria and I had a good laugh about it and we love the photos.
There was enough time to grab some postcards at the station before it was on the train back to Berlin! We had a direct train back this time round, which was nice, so we chatted about silly things on the way back….
Then it was time for Polish dinner!
Pierogi (Polish dumplings, not pictured), Goulash and Rosot (Chicken Broth) flavoured instant noodles, potatoes and Polish beer! The goulash flavoured one was spicy and really good. The beer of course, was good too. (Technically the Somersby isn’t Polish but it was Blackcurrant flavor which I’d never seen before and wanted to try. Produced in Poland, though!) I really like European beer. It’s just so much better than Japanese beer that I actually like it. I don’t like beer, but I like European beer, ahaha.
All in all, Szczecin is a quaint city to visit if you’re into monuments, visiting churches and historical stuff. They have trams that cover most of the areas but a lot of the sightseeing spots are only accessible on foot. They have shopping malls too but that’s probably not what you’re there for. It’s a nice place for a short day trip, and very cheap too!