Poznan and Torun
My seventh visit to Poland to date my second most visited country after Korea was to meet Natalia as at least 4 of my 7 trips to Poland were. I chose the city of Poznan with direct flights from the UK there however the trip was organised by Natalia who also choose the beautiful city of Torun as an additional destination
Poznan is an old city in fact from the 10th century and it is an important religious site at least historically.
For it is here Poland was Christianised. The baptism of Mieszko I was believed to be here in 966 (almost a hundred years before the Great Schism)and Poland’s oldest cathedral – Poznan cathedral which still stands (although not in its earliest form, its current form is from the 1960s). Poznan has a pretty old town. The Stary Rynek has the beautiful town hall where at noon the rams’ ‘fight’. Unfortunately I was unable to witness this having arrived in the centre a little after this event.
In addition the weather was at times horrible but this could not fully detract from the pretty centre and also it was Natalia’s birthday and we enjoyed a meal at one of the Italian restaurants.
We walked to Citadel Park park which has some modern art structures like the headless figures, officially titled “unrecognised” and various monuments. I get the impression Poznan is a place to spend with friends and other important people.
On the last day in Poznan Sunday, we walked to Cathedral Island. It reminded me a little of Wroclaw (which also has a cathedral island) where Arch cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul (Poznan cathedral) stands and has since 9568
From Cathedral Island we walked to ‘Malta;. Close your eyes and on a hot day you could really be in Malta 😛
Well its connection to Malta is the Knights Hospitaller, who once held Malta. Here festivals can take place. A tourist or children’s train runs and there are nice places to walk. Just avoid a rainy day.
Natalia was returning to Katowice while I was flying back the next day. However Polish train stations are often poorly organised, arranged or labelled and Natalia narrowly missed her train and so we spent a few hours near the train station in a park. After she caught her train I went to my host and friend for the last night Anfi. Anfi who was very welcoming, kind and cheerful and I was also thankful that I did not miss my early morning (4.30 am taxi and therefore flight) because she woke me up when I had overslept. The nearest I had ever come to missing my flight.
Natalia and I visited Torun which is between 2-3 hours from Poznan depending on your mode of transport and time.
Torun is the birthplace of the great Nicolaus Copernicus, and has a bigger and more impressive old town as Poznan but during our visit it shared the sometimes miserable weather. Poznan does however have more sights away from the centre or so it seemed. In Torun there are plenty of opportunities to but a traditional biscuit / cake. There are tours in Polish and English. There is also the chance (included in the ticket price) to make gingerbread although only at the end do they mention it is not edible and after the souvenir shop has closed, this aside the interactive tour / chance to make gingerbread is interesting fun.
We also visited a travel museum as well as another more general museum, saw a ruined castle, and enjoyed walking in the Unesco World Heritage Site Old Town.
If you are using any connection do take care to check your train times. We were stuck for a few hours in Inowrocław before arriving back in Poznan in the early morning. This might not be so bad if the station was actually open. There was a small canteen in the ground open until 1am.