Winter Wonderland: Snowballs and Science in Gdańsk

Day 11
December 14th, 2018

We had fallen asleep to the magic that is snow and when we awoke it was still softly falling. It was hard to contain the boys excitement, coming from Perth – a place where it never snows. Distracting them as long as we could – playing story cubes and having yet another wonderful meal – we borrowed snow clothes and headed out into the garden to play in it.

This was the boys’ first snowball fight and they were delighted. Felix and Lucas loved playing with Dominic and Anna. Despite the language barriers, a grand time was had by all…there are no language barriers in a snowball fight!

Our host family live on the on the outskirts of Gdańsk, the capital and largest city of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and one of the most prominent cities within the cultural and geographical region of Kashubia. It is Poland’s principal seaport and the centre of the country’s fourth-largest metropolitan area, having a population of almost 467K. It is known for being progressive, in the generally conservative Poland.

Prunella had read online about Hevelianum, a science centre in Gdańsk, so we decided to head there. The main objective of the Hevelianum Centre was to turn the Fort of Góra Gradowa into a major tourist attraction of Gdańsk. It contains a picturesque park and a complex of restored 19th-century military remains hosting interactive exhibitions. Plus the view from the top of the hill is a lovely panorama of the city and the industrial landscape of the shipyards.

A delightful impromptu stop at Ikea where we enjoyed a look at our first Polish Christmas trees being packed in mesh tubing and then we were kindly dropped at the science centre, where we spent most of the day.

First we explored the outside Fort. There was a lot to see and we could have easily spent more time exploring but it was cold and soon we were heading inside.

The inside exhibits are split into several zones, each with a different theme. The boys particularly liked the mathematical puzzle room as well as the interactive exhibits that involved technology. One put your face inside famous works of art and another dressed you in a military costume while you loaded a cannon.

Prunella enjoyed a film linking fashion with furniture styles throughout history. The hours passed quickly and we were surprised to find it was near evening when we finally left.

Next, we headed into town for KFC and had some confusion finding our way home. We finally sorted out the train –> cold wait for bus –> bus –> cold walk across fields –> plus a climb over the fence to arrive, at last. So lovely to have a warm place to sleep after a fantastic but long day.

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