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For two weeks I travelled Poland, Lithuania and Copenhagen together with Jan (http://jancborchardt.net/). This is what I saw. My name is Insa Wulf and on the following pages I want to show you what I have seen, I want to tell you what I experienced and give you an impression of the atmosphere. Maybe you find some inspiration, maybe you fall in love with some beautiful landscape. Most of all I want to encourage you to travel and explore new places. And until then: feel the different moods in this little book.

This book including layout, photos, sketches and texts is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/


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Wrocław „Wrocław (German: Breslau), situated in Central Europe on the Silesian Lowlands on the river Oder (Polish: Odra), is the largest city in western Poland. Wroclaw is the historical capital of Silesia and Lower Silesia, today Wrocław is also the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship.

At various times it has been part of the Kingdom of Poland, Bohemia, Hungary (1469-1490), the Austrian Empire, Prussia, and Germany; it became part of Poland again in 1945, as a result of the border changes after World War II. Its population in 2013 was 632,067, making it the fourth largest city in Poland. “ source: Wikipedia This journey through countries in the east of Germany I started with Jan in Munich. From there we hitchhiked towards Dresden where we planned to stay the first night. We waited for more than one hour when a friendly young actor took us with him in direction towards Bayreuth. At a gas station on the autobahn, a guy from a town near Leipzig brought us to the Leipzig airport. Controversial discussions about lifestyles, companies, former East Germany, Germany today made the way on the autobahn very entertaining. Though all in all Jan and I felt we were not so lucky with hitchhiking that day so we took the regio train towards Dresden for the last kilometers. Funny thing was Wave gotic treffen (WGT) in Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, very entertaining. Dresden then was great too, we slept in a dorm in a hostel in the Neustadt, the alternative quarter. The next day a friendly woman who often picks up hitchhickers brought us to a gas station near the border to Poland. Luckily a man and his daughter from near Heilbronn picked us up after a short discussion. They were on their way towards Silesia to meet relatives. They taught us a lot about towns we needed to see and much more about: food that we should try during our visit in Poland. At a huge supermarket in the periphery of Wrocław we found a bus to the city center. Days were pretty hot so we strolled through the beautiful city. The faces of the buildings at the several markets looked great. Reminded me a tiny bit of Lubeck, just a little more chic. Right in Wrocław we also started our food journey and tasted typical Polish milk bar food.

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Kraków „Kraków, also Cracow, or Krakow is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on

the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life and is one of Poland‘s most important economic hubs. It was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1569; the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 to 1596; Free City of Kraków from 1815 to 1846; the Grand Duchy of Cracow from 1846 to 1918; and Kraków Voivodeship from the 14th century to 1999. It is now the capital of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. The city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland‘s second most important city. It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and was already being reported as a busy trading centre of Slavonic Europe in 965. With the establishment of new universities and cultural venues at the emergence of the Second Polish Republic in 1918 and throughout the 20th century, Kraków reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic centre. The city has a population of approximately 760,000 whereas about 8 million people live within a 100 kilometres (62 miles) radius of its main square.“ source: Wikipedia For the way out of Wrocław we went back to the supermarkets in the periphery and started our way towards Kraków. Some minutes later a quality engineer picked us up. She wore a toby collar and after a while she explained to us why she had days off from work... because she caused a car accident days ago. Funny moment. In the car. She invited us to join her to visit her mother and gave the advice to visit Wrocław again at a weekend because of the huge night life. The second part of the way a woman from Poland that now lives near the Polish border in Germany helped us to come nearer to Kraków. We got into discussions about envy-problems in rural villages and how it is to immigrate to Germany. For the last part a family father brought us directly into the heart of Kraków. He gave us so much advices what to do (aka alternative quarters away from Wavel) in the city and what to avoid. Very pleasant talks.

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Kraków In Kraków Jan and I were invited by Emi to stay at her place (thanks again!). She and her flatmate Patrycja took us out in the evening and even drank vodka with us although they planned to have detox days and had an important job meeting. So thanks so much again! The days in Kraków were easy to enjoy because of the great weather, the Kazimierz district, the fresh lemonade and because of a relaxed atmosphere.

Enjoying life in Kraków is fun. Houses a little bit rundown in Kazimierz compared to other places. Half of one day we spent in the museum of Schindler‘s factory. The exhibition seemed to be renovated few month ago. It is definitely worth every minute, that you go there. The museum gives you a good understanding of the city itself, the time during WWII, and an understanding of polish mentality. What contributes to a global understanding which might be of more importance than ever these days. But I don‘t want to sound too melancholic, so: Go to Kraków, enjoy the city, enjoy your life!


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Warszawa

„Warsaw (Polish: Warszawa) is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly 260 kilometres from the Baltic Sea and 300 kilometres from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population is estimated at 1.711 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 2.666 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 9th most populous city proper in the European Union. The area of the city covers 516.9 square kilometres, while the city‘s agglomeration covers 6,100.43 square kilometres. Warsaw is an Alpha– global city, a major international tourist destination and an important economic hub in East-Central Europe. It is also known as the „phoenix city“ because it has survived so many wars throughout its history. Most notably, the city had to be painstakingly rebuilt after the extensive damage it suffered in World War II, during which 85% of its buildings were destroyed. On 9 November 1940 the city was awarded Poland‘s highest military decoration for heroism, the Virtuti Militari, during the Siege of Warsaw (1939). Warsaw is known as the city of palaces, royal gardens and grand parks. Many aristocratic residences and mansions are located near the city center.“ source: Wikipedia I am grateful we managed the way to Warszawa with no knowledge of the Polish language. The first woman that took us with her half of the way was very eager to talk to us in English. Soon we realized that it was not much that she spoke. Additionally she told us she was on the way to a funeral in northern Poland so it was kind of weird to talk too much. At a gas station we waited for some time to find the next person who took us direction towards Warszawa. A craftsman let us go with him a very long way until the outskirts of the capital city. We only talked via hand signals, what was very interesting how „good“ you can communicate with that. He showed us pictures of his kid and we explained we were on holidays. From the outskirts we took a bus in the direction to the city center. Weather was bad that days, we hung around A LOT in some great coffee shops and lived in a building made with precast concrete slabs. Just some chilling in the capital.

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Vilnius „Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 539,939 (806,308 together

with Vilnius County) as of 2014. Vilnius is located in the southeast part of Lithuania and is the second biggest city of the Baltic states. Vilnius is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County. The first known written record of Vilnius as the Lithuanian capital is known from Gediminas‘ letters in 1323. Vilnius is classified as a Gamma global city according to GaWC studies, and is known for its Old Town of beautiful architecture, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Its Jewish influence until the 20th century has led to it being described as the „Jerusalem of Lithuania“ and Napoleon named it „the Jerusalem of the North“ as he was passing through in 1812. In the year 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture, together with the Austrian city of Linz.“ source: Wikipedia We made our way to Vilnius by bus, basically to avoid to get lost in the rural countryside of northern Poland. So we arrived in Vilnius very much in time. At this point I want to say a big thank you to Mikael and Simona who let us stay at their place! The same as for Wrocław and Kraków, Vilnius has very different faces of houses. There are some very old ones out of red stones, ones with a very straight front, and also very modern buildings with faces out of glass. If you‘re ever in Lithuania, go to the supermarket, direction yoghurt and dairy-stuff and pick at least a handvoll of the cottage cheese in chocolate-bars! It is so d e l i c i o u s. Yes! Besides that as always I recommend to simply go through the city of Vilnius, some great coffee bars (No Sugar) as well and maybe Užupis! For me this was the alternative quarter of Vilnius. Don‘t know if I missed something more special, plus I have the assumption that these alternative living spaces are never made for tourists. So. Recommended for history-understanding: the museum of genocide victims wich focuses the resistance of Lithuania (documented in the museum mostly in relation to KGB, but also a bit to nazi occupation).

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Klaipeda i „Klaipėda (German: Memel) is a city in Lithuania situated at the mouth of the Danė River where it flows into the Baltic Sea. It is the third largest city in Lithuania and the capital of Klaipėda County.

The city has a complex recorded history, partially due to the combined regional importance of the Port of Klaipėda, a usually ice-free port on the Baltic Sea, and the Akmena – Danė River. It has been controlled by the Teutonic Knights, the Duchy of Prussia, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Entente States immediately after World War I, Lithuania as a result of the 1923 Klaipėda Revolt, and the Third Reich following the 1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania. The city was incorporated into Lithuania during its tenure as a Soviet Socialist Republic and has remained within Lithuania following its re-establishment as an independent state. The population shrank from 207,100 in 1992 to 157,350 in 2014. Popular seaside resorts found close to Klaipėda are Nida to the south on the Curonian Spit, and Palanga to the north.“ source: Wikipedia To Klaipėda we went by train. Every coach of the train has its own conductor, and its own music - plus you get coffee to your seat. No joke. You need to reserve beforehand. It made me feel that it‘s really special to go by train in Lithuania. In Klaipėda we rested in a youth hostel. Weird thing was that we met people there that also live in Munich. They were continuing their trip to Estonia to be there during midsummer. So Jan‘s and my plan was to have two great days by the sea at the Curonian Spit (which looks really weird if you take a look at the map). Unfortunately it was raining exactly when we went to the sea that day. Got a look at the waves but that was it. I can imagine that it is so relaxing up there at the Baltic Sea during „real“ summer.

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Karlshamn „Karlshamn is a locality and the seat of Karlshamn Municipality in Blekinge County, Sweden. It had 19,075 inhabitants in 2010, out of 30,918 in the municipality (2009).

Karlshamn received a Royal Charter and city privileges in 1664, when King Charles X Gustav, in Swedish Karl, realized the strategic location near the Baltic Sea. In 1666 the town was named Karlshamn, meaning Karl‘s Port in honour of the Swedish king.“ source: Wikipedia We crossed the Baltic Sea over night via ferry with a lot of truck drivers. The next morning on the Swedish coast we were picked up by three Lithuanian guys that came for work over to Sweden for some weeks. We found out that we had been on the same boat - luckiliy for us because at the harbour of Karlshamn no one else hung around but the people and truck drivers that had also been on the ferry. The three explained to us that with the European Union it is much easier to go to the other countries for work. As much as I understood some of them had also already been in Great Britain for work and one of them knew to speak a little German. I have great respect that they leave their families for a lot of weeks, everything to find some work. They brought us until Malmö, where two of them worked. Jan and I took the train over the Øresund bridge to København.

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København „Copenhagen (Danish: København) is the capital and most populated city of Denmark, and second largest in Scandinavia, with an urban population of 1,246,611 and a metropolitan population of 1,975,361 (as of 1 April 2014). It is situated on the eastern coast of Zealand, 42 km (26 mi) northwest of Malmö, Sweden and 164 km (102 mi) northeast of Odense. The city stretches across parts of the island of Amager and also contains the enclave of Frederiksberg, a municipality in its own right. Originally a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the early 15th century. During the 17th century, under the reign of Christian IV, it developed into an important regional centre, consolidating its position as capital of Denmark and Norway with its institutions, defences and armed forces. After suffering from the effects of plague and fire in the 18th century, the city underwent a period of redevelopment which included the prestigious district of Frederiksstaden and cultural institutions such as the Royal Theatre and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. After further disasters in the early 19th century when Nelson attacked the Danish fleet and bombarded the city, rebuilding during the Danish Golden Age brought a Neoclassical look to Copenhagen‘s architecture. Later, following the Second World War, the Finger Plan fostered the creation of housing and businesses along the five urban railway routes stretching out from the city centre.“ source: Wikipedia After ten minutes of train ride we arrived in København. I enjoyed the many bicyclists and scandinavian-cool atmosphere. Stylish city and the coffee culture was perfect for me. We hung around in cafe bars and ate a lot there, it was expensive as expected. The Freetown Christiana is worth a visit. Near our apartment was the Assistens cemetery which I found weird because people were taking topless sunbaths there or played volleyball (dressed). I expect the culture to be huge in København with a lot of concert options - but truth is, I did not check that.

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Ansichten nordosten  

In June I hitchhiked from Munich to Vilnius and the way back with Jan. This is what I saw, take a look!