After leaving Łódź Dan and I visited Torun, Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot, and Hel.
Torun and Tricity (as in Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot) are probably on most people’s Poland itineraries, so there’s not really much new I can say about them. Plus, while they were all nice places, they didn’t make huge impressions on me.
Torun is a pretty university city with a beautiful and also authentic feeling Old Town. We spent one night there simply unwinding and staying up far too late talking with our Couchsurfing hosts. We were so relaxed we didn’t even take a single photo!
Gdansk is also pretty, but honestly it didn’t do very much for me. Maybe it was the stale touristy feel of the city, or maybe I was just really cold (we didn’t have the best weather there).
Sopot has a beautiful wooden pier that’s definitely worth visiting.
And the walk along the beach and through the woods between Sopot and Gdynia made for a great escape from the cities.
There wasn’t much to see or do in Hel, but you should probably visit anyway, for the name alone.
Phew, now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about Leba!
Travel to Leba, Poland
After staying in so many cities (Siberian winters aren’t exactly optimal for camping in the wilderness) Dan and I were craving a bit of time in the countryside. So when I read about Słowiński National Park in northern Poland, famous for its huge sand dunes, I knew we had to go!
We Couchsurfed with a young family in Luzino, a village near Leba (or actually, Łeba), and even if the park had been awful I would have loved my time there because our hosts were so amazing.
They lived in a mud house for several years while building their current home, and after surviving a car crash decided to move to London for a year because life’s too short not to! Seriously, they were the coolest, and staying with them almost made me want to move to Luzino so that I could have them as my neighbors.
The park wasn’t bad either!
Visiting Poland’s Sand Dunes in Leba
We rented bicycles and biked through the forest towards the beach and sand dunes, and oh my goodness, it was so nice to be out of cities for a change!
Bicycling is obviously the perfect photo op, which I took full advantage of while Dan was… amused? Not amused? Patient, at least.
It was sort of alarming to see how quickly the sand dunes move inland – those poor trees will soon be buried!
Depressing summer homes? At least they’re colorful!
We easily hitchhiked from Leba back to Luzino, as we did around most of Poland. It was a great way to get a chance to talk to more friendly locals while avoiding expensive buses.
Poland is one of the easiest places I’ve hitchhiked – the easiest though still remains Macedonia, where my longest wait was only 8 minutes!
Have you been to northern Poland?