Last Friday night, I was evaluating my options for the weekend, since I don’t have any trips planned until our long weekend in June. It was a feeling I’m not accustomed to–this year I’ve traveled so much that whenever I had a weekend at home I always want to lounge in my pajamas, watch Netflix, and see my friends. But the weather is finally beautiful, and my friends were all out of town or working, and I didn’t really feel in the mood for a Netflix binge. So I did some quick research, and bright and early on Saturday morning, I got on a train to Poznań!
Even though Poznań is only two hours from Wrocław, I had not yet been there. I arrived around 10:30 a.m. because my train was late (this isn’t Switzerland, after all) and started meandering towards the city center to catch a walking tour at 11:45. I had a quick breakfast at Weranda, which I chose because it looked so cute on the photos on Google. I guess they change their decorations seasonally because it is now different from the pictures on Google, but no less charming.
The walking tour started in Stary Rynek (Old Market Square), in front of the city hall, where at noon every day, two goats pop out above the clock and put on a little show, which in all honestly is a bit boring and not worth your time.
The best part of the walking tour was our second stop, after the main square’s little goat show. We went to the church right off Rynek, where we listened to an organ and choir concert for a few minutes. This is the most extravagant Baroque church in Poland, but guess what! The tour guide told us that: a) the cupola is fake, it’s just an illusion painted on the roof; b) everything that is gold is not really gold, just painted gold; and c) everything that looks like marble is not really marble, but made of bricks with fake marble facades. You know what they say: fake it ’til you make it.
Next I walked east to Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island) to see the oldest cathedral in Poland, then continued to Środka, Poznań’s hipster neighborhood according to the few blog posts I could find on Friday night. While I think our hipster neighborhood, Nadodrze, is more hip (not that anyone’s keeping score except I totally am), because the buildings in Środka were way too kept to truly qualify for hipsterdom, I still found an excellent very hipster coffee shop, La Ruina, for a Vietnamese iced coffee, which serves as a mid-afternoon caffeine jolt and a nice, cool drink because Poland has finally decided that it’s summer.
I meandered my way back to the city center, stopping to traipse under several bridges to find art and murals, then up to Park Cytadela to check out the Nierozpoznani, an art installation of many sculptures of torsos and legs, walking in different directions.
At this point, of course, I had to stop for more ice cream (mascarpone with raspberry, yogurt with mint and chocolate chips; yes, I remember), then get confused as to why the ticket machines on the bus don’t take credit cards, then continue to ignore the aching in my feet until I got back to the train station, and boarded a train to take me back to Wrocław. I would’ve stopped for a beer at a beach bar, but seriously y’all, I walked over 20 kilometers, and it was time to go home and conclude the perfect day trip.
Next up: all the cool street art I found in Poznań!