So This One Time in Malta… I went to Poland for a long weekend!
It had been a while since I had left the island, so I booked a last minute trip to Wroclaw! At that point, I had four weeks until my trip to home to Canada, so I wanted to break up the time and treat myself to weekend abroad by myself. Thanks to RyanAir flights, yet again, I snagged a cheap 80 euro return trip and found a cheap hostel in Wroclaw – boom, easy peasy.
Wroclaw is located in the area of Poland known as Lower Silesia, which borders Germany and Czech Republic and is the largest city in western Poland. Wroclaw was selected as the European Capital of Culture in 2016 (and Valletta will be 2018!). This city is known as the “meeting place” as people have been said to find their true loves while visiting the city….all while drinking plenty of Polish vodka I’m assuming!
My first day in Wroclaw started off with a free walking tour of the city discussing WW11 and Jewish Synagogues. There were at least 4-5 different free walking tours each day… it’s the perfect way to get your bearings in a new area and meet some fellow travellers. I met a guy from California who had been in Wroclaw for a few days already, so we went out for a beer after the tour. The one beer turned into two, which turned into pierogies and beer, then later: vodka. My goodness the Polish love to drink! We tried plum, cherry, lemon and the regular vodka… all delicious… and dangerous. One shot of vodka has a standard price of 4 złoty, which is less than 1 euro. I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaw off the floor…..
The next morning, I went on another walking tour about the street art in Wroclaw. This was one of the highlights for me! We had a small group, which included a Maltese couple funny enough… I can never seem to fully escape that tiny island. Wroclaw has a long tradition of graphic art and the art can be seen all over the city with most of the bigger pieces outside the city center. After the long walking tour, I went to the local market for a snack and then to a cafe to cozy up with my book.
That evening I met up with some couchsurfers in the Market Square at Spiz for a couple of beers. Here they will serve you a lard sandwich with each beer… odd concept at first but after a few beers I can understand why. The next day I went for a 8 km run along the canal just north of the city and then met up with one of the couchsurfers to visit the Japanese Botanic Gardens and to try some more Polish food. It was the perfect weekend away by myself, much needed… and met some really nice, genuine people along the way!
Some quick highlights!
View Point / Sights: Church of the Garrison, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Botanic Gardens, the old train station for WWII, gnomes of Wroclaw (anti-communist icon), local market (Hala Targowa)
Beers: Spiz, Przedwojenna (mostly vodka)
Polish Food: Przedwojenna (Tartare), Stara Pączkarnia (Polish Donuts), Pierogarnia Stary Młyn (Pierogies)
Cafe: Vinyl Cafe
Vegan Food*: Vega (best in town), Urban Vegan (kombucha and snacks), Mo (Burgers), Think Love Juices and Vegan Food (Breakfast), Nice Cream Factory (ice cream)
*Veganism is very popular in Wroclaw… and in my opinion, this is where I had the best food!
Next stop: Canada!!!!