Monday, July 10, 2023

Gdynia, Poland

Hello from Poland! 

Gdynia, Poland
Early morning view of Gdynia from my balcony
On our itinerary this port was listed as "Gdansk (Gdynia), Poland". When two cities are listed it is hard to know exactly where you will be landing until you get there. Today we were docked in the industrial port near the city of Gdynia with Gdansk being another hour away from here. 
cruise ship excursion busses lined up on dock in Gdynia, Poland
Ship tours going to Gdansk and beyond
Island Princess empty Lido deck
Everyone is off the ship exploring
My plan was to avoid long drives and stay local but the only shuttle we could take went to the mall. Me? In a mall? The last time I was in a mall was when I was a mall walker way back when. I'm not a shopper but I am a people watcher (and being around a new language, a people listener) so I knew I'd be able to salvage the day. If the bus could accommodate a scooter, that is.

Who would have guessed Poland would be the very first port with a special shuttle just for wheelchairs and scooters? Heck, Princess won't let me ride on their accessible transportation but Poland will? Yahoo!
accessible van transportation to Gdynia, Poland mall
My chariot awaits after my day at the mall
The Centrum Handlowe Riviera (Riviera Shopping Center) is filled with 250 shops and 30 restaurants and cafes. It even had a grocery store inside! Filled with locals, the mall made for great people watching and listening. And even some picture taking.
Finally, no cobblestones!
Riviera shipping center in Gdynia, Poland
Takes patience to get a photo with no people in it
Lots of sales today
Looks like the photo is backward, doesn't it?
Nope, the name of the shop is written this way.
As I said when I was processing our back to back visits to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, a mall is a mall is a mall. Just like there, I found some of the same stores and familiar brands in Poland as elsewhere in the world. I even stumbled upon The Body Shop where I think the lady working there thought I was nuts. Still desperately hoping to be able to smell something post-Covid I kept spraying different fragrance testers up and down my arms. Only two registered for me - strawberry and pine - but I'll take it as a sign I'm improving.

I also visited the clean handicapped restroom where I figured since I learned to wash my hands in Norwegian when I was in the Lofoten Islands last month I might as well learn how to wash my hands in Polish, too.
hand washing sign in Poland
Near the restrooms the mall had free lockers to store coats and bags while you're shopping. The directions were in Polish, English, and Russian. 
free locked in Riviera shopping center in Gdynia, Poland
When in Rome do as the Romans do, right? Well then when in Poland do as the Polish do and do your grocery shopping. The Auchan store had just about anything you might need. It reminded me of a Walmart Supercenter but with a much larger number of selections. I didn't buy anything but had fun looking at all the choices. 
cheese section in Auchan grocery store in Poland
This entire wall all the way to the end is cheese
mustard section in Auchan grocery store in Poland
Mustards galore
canned fish section in Auchan grocery store in Poland
Fish in jars? Oh, yeah.
I can't recall the last time I've seen such red strawberries and tomatoes. The prices of everything were good, less than my husband's paying at home right now, for sure.
Today was more of a local experience rather than a tourist experience. Who is lucky enough to say that about their day in Poland?!

Tomorrow is a much needed sea day with Wednesday being a turnaround day and a new cruise starting in Copenhagen, Denmark. See you then.

Return of tastes and smells post-Covid: 
Tastes - Maple fudge
Smells - Rosemary, lavender, brief whiff of sunscreen on my face, strawberry body spray, pine body spray