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Sunday, August 17, 2014

To Hel and back on 8/12

Day Trip 2: Gdansk to Hel 

Who can say they've been to Hel and back?  We sure can!  Took a day trip on a ferry tram – seemed like a regular boat ride to us, so no idea as to what constitutes a ‘ferry tram’ – to Hel located on a peninsula in the Baltic Sea, 2 hours due north of Gdansk; Hel's a pleasant little town with a lovely beach; only 3 crossings a day in each direction so it meant that once we arrived at 10:30, it was a full 5 hours there with very little to do before taking the return ferry.
Gdansk's picture perfect harbor at 8am.

A bit disconcerting when we saw this inflatable police
boat with about a half dozen soldiers roar up, come
within a few inches of our boat and then just veer off.
Saw it later in Hel by the pier - don't know what it
was doing, possibly exercises ?

Charming little harbor of Hel.
We took this same 'ferry tram' to and from Gdansk.

We were very surprised to see posters of the annual week long D Day anniversary celebration starting the day we were there; obviously sponsored by Coca Cola judging by the proliferation of Coke advertising everywhere we looked. We saw what I would think was an US army jeep manned by soldiers (reenactors?) on the main street; young kids loved having their pictures taken with them.

Loved sharing the very tall and oh so skinny 
chocolate ice cream cone we've seen throughout Poland; I’ll have you know Steven INSISTED I buy the large one for 6 zl (2 bucks) but, I guess I didn’t complain too much! If I/we keep going like this, we sure won’t each come back 10 pounds lighter as we did on last year’s trip. P.S. Mindy, I love the skorts from Sam's - so glad you showed them to me, thanks.
Hel's main street, again a pedestrian only
 one. Chockerblock full of cafes, small clohing
and tacky sovenir shops lining both sides.

Hel Maritime Museum
Beach area was far nicer here than Sopot's reputed to be
although we didn't know that in advance. No grand hotels
 or big boulevards to stroll on in Hel; just a pleasant place
 to be in for an hour or so, but definitely not 5 hours though.

Had never seen these private beach enclosures before;
 when done for the day, people would simply roll up
the fabric and poles into a small lightweight bundle;
certainly far less cumbersome to carry than beach
 umbrellas although nosun protection of course. We read
 our kindles (thanks again, kids!) for an hour or so
 in between intermittent sprinkles.
Going and coming, we passed by Westerplatte,
site of the first battle in WW II when 
Germany invaded Poland.