I took the train from Wroclaw to Poznan and arrived in the afternoon. Then I took a tram to my apartment, Aparatamenty Pomaranczarnia, and checked in. I have lucked-out in Poznan. For a very reasonable price I have a spotless newly renovated studio apartment with all the modern amenities right in the center of town!
- I showered and changed and then walked to the Old Town Square, familiarizing myself with my surroundings and admiring the view. The Old Town Square is lovely though not as lovely as the one in Wroclaw and not at all as big as the one in Krakow. However, it has its own beauty and special features.
- I found the Tourist Information Bureau and obtained a free map and also a self-guided walking tour of the Royal Route, and some other material to get me started.
- They had a guided walking tour for only 10 zlotys yesterday at 1:00 o'clock and I missed it. They only have it once a week at this time of year.
- Then I went to a big shopping mall close to my apartment called Stary Browar. I bought some groceries to stock my fridge with for the next four days. I had to buy the yoghurt drink that I have taken such a liking to. I bought orange yoghurt drink and it is delicious.
- Then, by asking around, I found an Internet Café very close to my apartment
I had a wonderful Day Two in Poznan, and using my Royal Route Self-Guided Tour, walked a lot and saw many important and lovely sights along the way.
- Went really early to the Stary Rynek to check out the place before it gets crowded.
- Took a photo with the bronze statue of Stary Marych standing beside his bicycle. He was a popular fictitious radio character who talked about politics and life in general in the days when to do so was not really "safe".
- Viewed and took pictures of the various fountains and statues at the Main Square (Rynex), like Neptune with his trident.
- Checked out the beautiful Renaissance Town Hall.
- Viewed the lovely Burghers' Houses round the Old Square. Each one is lovelier than the next one - lots of colour and detailed work on the buildings.
- Checked the Dzialynski Palace which has rich sculptures on its rooftop including a pelican with outstretched wings.
- Heard 9:00am Mass at the Fara Church built for Jesuits by Italian architects. The Mass was in Polish but the Mass in any language is the same and as comforting and familiar. Moreover hearing Mass in such wonderful surroundings was a great experience. The church is an impressive Baroque structure with an ornamental facade, numerous frescoes and richly decorated altars and massive columns.
- Then I went through Market Square to return to my apartment. Saw the Whipping Post, once the site of public floggings.
- Saw the ancient Weigh House.
- Stopped at my apartment for coffee and a snack and to regroup and plan the rest of my day:)
Decided to do the 2nd half of the Royal Imperial Route towards the left of the Stary Rynek, using my map, viewing the exterior of the landmark buildings - all very impressive.
- Saw the RACZYNSKI Library
- Saw the Bazar Hotel landmark building
- Viewed the Polski Theatre.
- Quick visit to St. Martin's Church.
Then I entered the Castle District.
- Saw the former Neo-Romanesque Kaiser's Castle.
- Saw the Imperial Park behind the castle which has a Monument to the thousands of Polish Officers massacred at Katyn and Siberia by the Red Army.
- Saw Collegium Maius - imposing Neo-Baroque building which, at one time, was home to the Nazi Secret Police in WW2.
- Went to Adam Mickiewicz Square to see the June 1956 Uprising Monument - it commemorates the victims of the first anti-communism demonstrations in Poland. It consists of 2 very huge crosses, one with the year date 1956 and the other with later years of anti-communism demonstratons.
- Saw the Wielki Theatre.
- Viewed the University Aula which nowadays serves as a concert hall for the Poznan Philamonic Orchestra. Dutch Renaissance style building - stands out from the others.
- Viewed the Grand Theatre and Opera House. This Neo-Classical building has a facade consisting of six massive columns and is topped by a Pegasus statue - marvellous!
- Saw the New Auditorium of the Poznan Academy of Music - simply lovely building whose exterior resembles a church.
Then I went into the Jezyce District, crossing a bridge to do so, hoping I would be able to find my way back to my hotel as I was quite a distance away:)
- Saw the colourful and showy Nowy Threatre.
- Saw some magnificent art-nouveau townhouses.
Then I retraced my steps back to my apartment, stopping to eat delicious Golonka (Pork Knuckle done Bavaria-style) at a local restaurant with no tourists so it was the genuine article. I had two Golonkas and enjoyed them but was stuffed!
I had a lovely Day Three in Poznan.
- I got up early in the morning and took a tram to the train station to buy a train ticket for my daytrip to Torun the next day. This took some doing as the lady who did my booking did not speak English so we had to ask someone to act as interpreter for us. Even so, my kind interpreter (lady from the Poznan Tourist Information Center) realized that I had been given a ticket for the Torun Glowny station that is further away from the Torun old city center. So she went about explaining to the lady how to change my ticket for the Torun Miasto station. It all worked out well with a lot of smiles and thank you. The Polish people are so very kind.
- My interpreter gave me a map and walking route for Torun in Polish. I also had some information I had printed off the Internet in English and taken with me. I hoped to hit the Tourist Info center in Torun and get a map in English.
- Stopped by my apartment for coffee and a snack.
- Started out to complete my self-guided Imperial Royal Tour and also a few additional sights I wanted t see from my research.
- Visited the richly decorated baroque Franciscan Church. Its Chapel of the Virgin Mary has a carved oak altar and a tiny reputedly miraculous statue of Mary. It also has a gorgeous, colourful, typically Polish pulpit that I loved.
- Saw the former Royal Castle, a part of the former City Walls and the former Synagogue.
- Took a peek at a Greet Orthodox Church. Doors were closed but one could look in from a big picture window with 2 pews.
- Saw the endearing row of small arcaded buildings known as the Fish Sellers' Houses beside the Town Hall. I had seen them before but not known them in their proper context.
- Did a long walk to Cathedral Island and Ostrow Tumski - a much small version of the one in Wroclaw. The group of buildings makes a very pretty picture. Crossed a bridge to get to it. Liked the view of the water and greenery.
- Visited the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. Beautiful high altar and gilded pulpit.
- Behind the altar is the Golden Chapel with a golden ceiling decorated with various saints.
- Enveloped in Byzantine-style decoration, are the double tombs of the 2 first Polish monarchs on one side and their bronze statues on the other.
- Met a German tourist and chatted with her briefly.
- Long walk back to Main Market Square.
- Bought a fridge magnet and Poznan mug.
- Had 2 delicious spinach-filled pancakes and a huge bowl of tomato soup with noodles. I was cold as it was raining and damp so the food warmed me up nicely.
- Stopped at the Internet Cafe and sent out my day’s travelogue to family and friends and answered emails and printed out my boarding pass for my Eurolot flight on the 3rd morning.
On Day 4, I took the early morning train to Torun. It is about 2 hours by train.
- Torun is a gem of a city that was never bombed during the war.
- Did my own self-guided tour and enjoyed walking the streets, admiring the architecture, the merchandise in the stores, and the people going about their business.
- Visited the famous Old Town City Hall with its renowned landmark buildings. Torun has a lot of very pretty, decorative, red brick buildings.
- Saw some cute statues and fountains along the way and took pictures beside them.
- The Raftsman’s Fountain has him playing the flute while several golden frogs spout water. He was the Pied Piper of unwanted frogs in ancient day, or so the story goes. The frogs came from the Vistula River that is close by.
- Saw Copernicus House and monument. Copernicus is Torun’s famous son.
- Visited St. Mary’s Church with its opulent, outstanding, golden altar.
- Saw the Copernicus University. It is an imposing building.
- Saw the Old Torun Gate Complex. Torun used to be a walled city and some of the old gates are still standing.
- Took picture of the City Walls and the Leaning Tower of Torun. The foundations of the tower have shifted so the tower now leans.
- Saw Convent Gate, Caesars Ark, Sailors Gate and the Granaries by the Leaning Tower.
- Saw Dambskis Palace and St. Johns Cathedral.
- There were well laid out walkways with large beds of red and orange blossoms along the walkways. Absolutely lovely! I love open expenses of water, especially the ocean, as it opens up my mind and refreshes my spirit. I spent some time walking along the river and sitting on a bench for awhile, taking in all the beauty and peace that surrounded me.
- I walked along the streets of Torun, admiring the architecture, coming upon fountains or monuments or other things that were a pleasure to behold.
- Then it was time to retrace my steps to the train station and buy my return ticket to Poznan after a day well spent.
- I stopped at my apartment for a bit and then went on to the Internet Café.
- I then stopped at the Supermarket in the big shopping mall to pick up a few things for breakfast.