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Monday, August 18, 2014

Torun: Copernicus, Gingerbread & Mustangs

Figured we'd seen all we wanted to in Gdansk so decided to take a chance and try and get the 9am bus to Torun rather than hang around for our noon bus even though I’d been told by 2 Polski Bus reps that we couldn’t switch the reservation.  Luck was on our side however when the bus driver kindly allowed us to take 2 of the only 4 seats remaining.

We were only staying for a night in Torun, a lovely Gothic town about halfway between Gdansk and Warsaw. Steven was even thrilled we made the stopover after we discovered how beautiful it was AND also how easy it was to walk to the hostel from the bus station – phew, what a relief!

She only moved, and only then in the most
dramatic and graceful fashion,when people
 dropped coins in the basket by her feet.

As with every other town so far we've seen
in Poland, Torun has a lovely Town Hall;
this was its interior ccourtyard.

Loved seeing tiny figures like this in
the Town Hall.

Really hard to get lost in touristy areas
 of Poland when you have a decent map
and signs, with pictures even, and in English too!

Copernicus statue: He’s the town
mascot and also the namesake of the
local university; no doubt he was born 
in Torun but when he was born in 1473, 
Torun was under Germanic rule 
so was he Polish or German?

2nd time we've seen a gorgeous
 tower of flowers just like this. 
This one was just by Copernicus' statue.
Imagine seeing a museum devoted
exclusively to gingerbread!

Torun’s 2nd claim to fame after being the birthplace of Copernicus is it’s home
to a dizzying variety of gingerbread treats, piernicka. We had seen Piernicka stores on every block practically all over 
Poznan and Gdansk but had thught that was simply the Polish word for bakery. The scent of gingerbread was strong in the air as there were so many gingerbread stores.  Gingerbread varieties galore - dipped in a wide array of chocolate flavors or topped with different kinds of jams or glazes. Wish I could have bought some to bring back as gifts for family and friends but alas they wouldn’t travel well.

Leaning Tower: I know you've all heard of the
 Leaning Tower of Pisa but have you heard of
Torun's Leaning Tower?! According to the legend,
 the medieval fortified tower was built by a Torun
 Teutonic knight 
as a penance for committed sins;
 it has a vertical deviation of 1.5 m.

City walls and gates: Torun was for centuries
surrounded by a vast system of fortifications:
 walls, gates and towers. 


Bridge Gate
Photos of St. John’s Cathedral: 
Constructionof the stunning cathedral began in the
mid 13th C. and continued for over 200 years.

Copernicus was baptised here.

Don't normally see an Academic church;
I loved the clouds in the background!

Mustang Race in Torun: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mustang; it
 only took place the night we happened to be in town, lucky us. Crowds of people followed behind the cars, many of them dating back to the 60’s as they drove single file with their engines roaring – I enjoyed it almost as much as the locals did, I think.

Mustang Race in Torun: 
To celebrate the 50th anniversary
 of the Mustang it only took place
 the night we happened to be in town,
 lucky us. Crowds of people followed 
cars, many of them dating back to the 60’s as they 
drove single file with their engines roaring;
 I enjoyed it almost as much as the locals did, I think!

All the cars (with Polish license plates so not brought
over from the US for the race),were initially lined up
 in the Old Market Square for people to admire.

Happened on them a while later going
through town with engines roaring followed
by throngs of people taking photos people,
sort of like the Pide Piper of Hamelin.