Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…done with auld Scotland

One thing I like to do while I travel is go to football matches. Standing outside Lechia Gdansk’s highly impressive stadium (which I got to courtesy of the free train), a local man came up to me and started speaking gibberish. 

gdansk-stadium

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…done with Malbork

One thing you probably noticed I missed on my trip to Cardiff was jumping on a train and going to nearby Caerphilly. Not only is it home to a popular cheese, it’s also the location of Britain’s second largest castle (behind Windsor, the world’s largest inhabited castle, which I’ve already seen).
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…done with Oliwa

When I discovered there was an area between Gdansk and Sopot that was pronounced pretty much like my name, it seemed obvious I should go there.
gdansk-oliwa-sign

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… Sopot, sokettle, soblack

A little up the coast from Gdansk and 1614km from Southend-on-Sea, and easily accessible by train, is the town of Sopot. As a Brit, I feel inclined to call it a seaside resort, although I’m not sure such a nice town should share a moniker with the likes of Blackpool.

Useful information

Of course, visiting a lovely seaside town on a rainy October morning is never the best idea, but when have I ever had them?

sopot-main-square

Despite the dreary conditions, the appeal of the town shone through. The wide open city square, the spacious boardwalk and the beach that, although deserted, looked like it would be inviting in the summer.

sopot-boardwalk

sopot-beach

Of course, Sopot’s main attraction isn’t the beach or the beautiful architecture, it’s the completely mental architecture.

sopot-crazy-building

This building has supposedly put the town on the map, although no one else got off my train here and there were no other idiots outside taking photos of it. For once I wasn’t the biggest idiot, that was whoever planted those tree there.

Get rid of the trees

Inside this wonky building is nothing of note. A run of the mill coffee shop takes pride of place at the front and there are a few other shops inside, but nothing amazing. The interior is just as it is in any normal building.

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…Gdansking the night away

If you drew a line between my previous most easterly European adventures, it would go between Malmo and Zadar, which is pretty much the border of what is classed as Eastern Europe. I don’t class those places as crossing the border, falling more into Northern and Southern Europe, so it was a frontier I was eager to penetrate. I’d been told various stories of the east’s beauty and its cheap prices (especially for drinks) so it was probably about time I saw some of it.

eastern-europe

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