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2-week vacation in Poland - it was awesome! Culture shock interesting.


Qacer 38 | 125  
11 Aug 2007 /  #1
I just came back from my two weeks vacation in Poland. I had such a blast that I want to go back soon. I stayed in Zakopane and near the tri-city area (Gdansk, Gydnia, Sopot).

A few things I learned:

- You have to pay to use the toilet.
- Meals are structured differently than the US (light sandwich or fresh veggies for breakfast, huge supper (late-lunch), and a light dinner).
- Polish people are CRAZY drivers especially the young ones.
- It gets chilly (21 degrees C) at the beach (Baltic) especially towards the afternoon during summer season.
- Not all Internet cafes are safe. I got a virus in my USB drive when I visited one of the cafes.
- It is tricky to find a power transfomer (US standards to European) especially in smaller towns.

A few things I really like:
- Grossly obese people are in lower numbers compared to the US.
- The FOOD! Flaczki (sp?), Blood sausage, Peirogies, warm beer, spread made of 100% fat, and all the rest!
- The awesome views! Castles, beaches, farm lands, mountains, etc.
- Overall friendly attitude.
- The beer and drinks selection!

I'm sure I left out a few other stuff, but the bottom line is that I really enjoyed my vacation. I did have trouble communicating with the older crowd because my Polish is very limited, but regardless of the barrier I got away with using primitive sign language.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
11 Aug 2007 /  #2
I know the feeling. I've been to Poland twice, and dreaded returning to the UK afterwards. The UK is getting more and more repressive with CCTV all over the place and people telling you not to smoke within 15 metres of the building. Obese people walking past my house. Obese dogs. Obese cats.

In Poland, of course it's not perfect, but the food, the beer, the people (the ones I met, anyway), the buildings, the food (worth mentioning more than once). I can't wait for another opportunity to go back.
Tolstoy 2 | 4  
11 Aug 2007 /  #3
I'm going to Gdansk from Scotland in September with my partner and 6 year old daughter. Does anyone know what the cultural situation is like with children in pubs/bars. In the UK, children are generally only allowed in bars when we are all having a meal. Is it the same in Poland or is it more relaxed like in Spain where you can take kids with you almost anywhere?

Thanks in advance.
slwkk 2 | 228  
11 Aug 2007 /  #4
Is it the same in Poland or is it more relaxed like in Spain where you can take kids with you almost anywhere?

no kids in pubs, sorry (at least I haven't seen).
southern 75 | 7,096  
11 Aug 2007 /  #5
Obese people walking past my house. Obese dogs. Obese cats.

Obese people have human rights.This is the western world.
bookratt 6 | 85  
13 Aug 2007 /  #6
In Krakow, when we were in the hotel bar having drinks before dinner, no one looked twice at us when my son was with us. The woman (in the couple we dined with) was born in Poland and has lived most of her life there and she never said a word to us about it not being ok to have him with us.

Her husband ( he is French ) works with mine; I am pretty sure she would have said something to him or to us if it was wrong, or that he would have said something to my husand quietly later on, if so.

Now, we were simply meeting for a quick drink before dinner, which was to be in the same hotel; we were not there to get drunk and it was pretty early (8 pm).

Maybe only in hotels, this is ok?
Angela 777  
21 Aug 2007 /  #7
I'd rather see obese people than a bunch of obnoxious drunks wavering all over the place and slurring or yelling. I see a lot of that in Poland. Also, there are quite a few obese people: just look in back yards. They're sloped in chairs swilling beer or vodka. Yes, even in bike friendly Rostocze where you have the forest calling you to move.
Ranj 21 | 948  
21 Aug 2007 /  #8
Qacer

I also just got back from 2 weeks in Sopot and had a wonderful time.

- You have to pay to use the toilet

I never had to pay to use any toilet, nor did I see anyplace that actually charged for the use of the toilet.

- Meals are structured differently than the US

I don't have a "normal" schedule or rule for meals, so I can't comment except to say I did eat a lot of bread while I was there.....bread and cheese and sprinkles of "Slap Ya Momma".....mmmmm.

- Polish people are CRAZY drivers especially the young ones

Don't know if they were young or old, but I will say I have never quite seen such creativity with driving.....it's as if there are no rules of the road and people do whatever they like.....you are correct; it's definitely CRAZY!!!!

- It gets chilly (21 degrees C) at the beach (Baltic) especially towards the afternoon during summer season

True, although I get cold easily anyway.....I did think it would be a lot warmer than what it was, but I actually found the weather to be perfect.....while I was in Poland, the temps at home were over 90 degrees F (what's that? Mid 30s Celcius?) daily with lots of humidity (one of the few things I dislike about my home in the summer).

Not all Internet cafes are safe. I got a virus in my USB drive when I visited one of the cafes.

I did log onto skype at the Net Cave off Monte Casino and could've sworn I logged out, yet somehow I was still logged on later that evening......

It is tricky to find a power transfomer

Brought the right adaptor with me, but could've used the transformer, as I blew up a curling iron my first day there....fortunately my US hairdryer was made to handle European voltage.
ogorek - | 165  
21 Aug 2007 /  #9
Does anyone know what the cultural situation is like with children in pubs/bars.

Just came back from Gdynia - Sopot - Gdansk. Depends. At the beach, on the high street in the day I saw many kids in bars. In the beach bars they were sitting at the bar sipping juice. No problem. Felt very normal. No kids in trendy bars at any time. Later in eve no kids - of course. Weather - hot - humid. Average 35C. Night 20C. You can hear crickets at night. Sounds like tropical place. Beaches are fantastic. Fine white sand and trees up to the sand - and on the beach sometimes. In Gdynia lots of play grounds for kids on the beach. 10/10
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
21 Aug 2007 /  #10
when discussing which is better, krakow or warsaw, the answer is the tri city - wins hands down
ogorek - | 165  
21 Aug 2007 /  #11
Near Sopot



ogorek - | 165  
21 Aug 2007 /  #12
But then Zakopane takes over in winter.



ogorek - | 165  
21 Aug 2007 /  #13
Actually Warsaw still does it for me all year round.



ogorek - | 165  
21 Aug 2007 /  #14
But then Sopot is great in winter too



Ranj 21 | 948  
21 Aug 2007 /  #15
Hey, that's by the church at the top of Monte Casino, isn't it?
ogorek - | 165  
21 Aug 2007 /  #16
Yes That was 2 years ago in January when it was -28C.
This guy here is standing on the frozen sea in Sopot.



OP Qacer 38 | 125  
21 Aug 2007 /  #17
Awesome pictures!

I really want to schedule my next vacation to Poland during the winter. I hear New Year's at Krakow is awesome. If I do this, then I can head down south to Zakopane afterwards and ski for a few days. Then, I'll take the road back to the Tri-City area and visit some friends.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
21 Aug 2007 /  #18
Those are amazing pics!!! I'm going to have to organise my trip to be sooner rather than later!!! :))
OP Qacer 38 | 125  
21 Aug 2007 /  #19
Brought the right adaptor with me, but could've used the transformer, as I blew up a curling iron my first day there....fortunately my US hairdryer was made to handle European voltage.

Actually, regarding devices with high current consumption (i.e. hair dryer or hot iron) you have to watch out for the current rating of a transformer. Some transformers may only be rated for 1 Ampere, which may not be able to handle the higher current consumption of the former devices. Just a tip.

I did log onto skype at the Net Cave off Monte Casino and could've sworn I logged out, yet somehow I was still logged on later that evening......

That's why next time I'm going to get a pre-paid SIM card with an Internet plan.

I never had to pay to use any toilet, nor did I see anyplace that actually charged for the use of the toilet.

Really? You're lucky. I know sometimes establishments give free toilet access to foreigners. However, most of the toilets that I've used, including the one in Gydnia's pier, were charging 1.5 zloty.
ogorek - | 165  
21 Aug 2007 /  #20
New Year's Eve in Krakow is awesome but up in Zakopane is where the party is hard core. My God! As you probably know if you find the right local you can hire this ride yourself but at night with flaming torches and a bottle of wodka. There is no "Health & Safety" in Poland :)
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
21 Aug 2007 /  #21
There is no "Health & Safety" in Poland :)

lol
ogorek - | 165  
21 Aug 2007 /  #22
Forgot to metion New Year's Eve in Zak is fully booked now. You can book for 08/09 now - unless you want to pick up a room renting mounty Mama from the bus station who tells you off for oversleeping and coming back late drunk:)
osiol 55 | 3,922  
21 Aug 2007 /  #23
I never had to pay to use any toilet, nor did I see anyplace that actually charged for the use of the toilet.

Not everyone will want to read this. It is, however, worth it for a laugh at my expense.

I did find a toilet where you could get a ticket from the nearby bar in the town square, so you didn't have to pay.

I had been drinking and couldn't hold on for a toilet in a pub, so I asked for my ticket, and to the toilet I went.

I gave the lady my ticket and proceeded to the urinal.
It took a few moments for me to realise how many plumbers have left Poland since joining the EU.
There was a urinal. There was a downpipe. The was another pipe almost parallel to the floor that disppeared through the wall.
However, not all of these pipes were joined together, with the result that my brand new pair of shoes received an unexpected christening.
As soon as I realised, I couldn't help bursting into laughter.
A mate of mine in the cubicle didn't know at that moment why I was laughing, but laughter can be infectious.
By the time we left, the only one not laughing was the lady at the way in who took my ticket.
She should have been happy I was laughing, rather than shouting at her.

All other toilets I have experienced in Poland I have found to be at least satisfactory.
OP Qacer 38 | 125  
21 Aug 2007 /  #24
Forgot to metion New Year's Eve in Zak is fully booked now.

I think there are alternative places nearby. There are some in Bukowina Tatrzanska that are close to nice ski slopes. Zakopane is only a few minutes drive if you do not take into account the traffic.
roger44 - | 3  
13 Sep 2007 /  #25
the seaside and baltic are great in the summer time. laid back. friendly people. good times.
rainbow - | 10  
1 Oct 2007 /  #26
when discussing which is better, krakow or warsaw, the answer is the tri city - wins hands down

so very true! :)
proesik  
6 Oct 2007 /  #27
I don't like Egypt anymore :(
Was there a year before. In Poland, a few months before the holidays, I got some vital vaccination.
The first day in Egypt I got some terrible stomachache, diarrhoea... and this stuff...
The doc said it's because of the water an European organism is not used to...
Later some terrible flu.. OMG I will never go there again ^^
My organism is too weak for such a huge change, I'm afraid.

Conclusion ?
Visit Wroclaw instead of Cairo! :D
osiol 55 | 3,922  
6 Oct 2007 /  #28
Visit Wroclaw instead of Cairo!

I don't know of any pyramids in Wroclaw.
Donkeys are better than camels anyway.
Camels have bad breath.
proesik  
6 Oct 2007 /  #29
yea, and are spitting all the time :P
Havent you seen pyramid in Wroclaw ?
Me etiher... nevermind :D

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