I know I don’t usually start a post with an image but that figure is Torun’s most notable claim to fame with Torun being the birthplace of the astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus. There are statues of the man throughout Poland and even a University named after him here in town. He was around something like 500 years ago and unsurprisingly the Polish are proud to have him as a fellow countryman. So what did he bring to astronomy? Well, apparently when almost everyone believed Earth was the centre of the Universe, Copernicus proposed the planets revolved around the sun. This paved the way for future astronomers to build on and improve our understanding of the cosmos.
Nearly 10 years ago a leading paper in Poland published what it considered the “Seven wonders of Poland” and so unsurprisingly this has stuck ever since.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Torun Old Town – TICK
Malbork Castle – TICK
Wawel Castle and Cathedral
Zamosć Old Town
Krakow Market Square and Old Town
Five of these seven are UNESCO protected.
I am of course aiming to see the vast majority of these during my time here irrespective of their location. As you’ve seen and read, ‘getting about’ has been something I can proudly say I’ve not done half-heartedly so why kick the trend now?
The town of Torun has a medieval background and as such, a new town has been built around an old town. Seen that once or twice this year. The medieval part of the city was designated UNESCO some 20 years ago which of course immediately elevated interest in the town – especially from tourists. Subsequently they’ve been coming here ever since, although in saying that, I’ve really not seen many tourists at all and that includes my week in Gdansk! It’s by and large mainly Polish nationals from what I can tell (and hear).
Saint Catherine of Alexandria church:
Did anyone clock the temperature in the last image?
Amusingly I waited for five minutes till all the many people in both directions had dispersed and during that time the blasted thing dropped a degree! Livid.
36 degrees was the hottest I’ve seen so far this year and I am out and about walking the streets without a hat or cap. Silly really but you just have to take shade at every available opportunity.
It would be stories relating to my accommodation that would provide the ‘experiences’ so-to-speak in Torun. The first hostel provided me a ‘first‘ just with its location! When the website said very close to a train station, it actually meant IN the train station. No really, as hard as that might be to envisage. I’m really, really annoyed at myself for not remembering to take photos inside the station showing the proximity of the train ticket sales booth and the hostel’s main front door as it really was that close so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
The second hostel, however, provided me three ‘firsts‘ in just 24 hours!
Firstly I stayed in a twelve bedroom dormitory. I can hear my youngest brother thinking ‘No way…‘ but yep, it happened Pao. Granted I used a little ‘travel experience’ before I handed over any money. By this, I mean I simply made a visit to the second hostel to look around it before I actually booked it. To my surprise, although they had plenty of double and twin beds rooms, they only had one single dormitory and that housed 12 beds! I almost laughed out loud upon hearing that. No chance I immediately thought to myself although hang on a minute, unless….
“So how many people are currently booked in for tomorrow night?“, I ask the girl.
“One“, she says.
“Get in!”, I think to myself and before a smile starts to take shape on my face, I sign up there and then.
The cost of this large room? A barely believable £5.98 for the night! No, seriously. (No breakfast but free tea and coffee). You can’t get much better than that in all of Europe! Except I didn’t pay that and so you’ll have to await this story in the days to come….
In the meantime, I think heading to the capital could be on the cards so watch this space.