See my Szczecin Part i blog post to read my travel guide for this city!
It was towards the end of our few months of living in Gdansk, Poland that we hopped on a train to Szczecin to visit and stay with Dan’s aunty and grandma for a week. The train ride took just under 5 hours and just like our train ride to Krakow, I loved endlessly gazing out the window at the deer roaming through the fields and the country houses in the middle of nowhere, smoke rising out of their chimneys at dusk to warm themselves from the cold nights that have already started to fret at the end of summer. We arrived at night and were greeted warmly at the train platform to Dan’s aunty who hadn’t seen Dan for more than 10 years. We spent the rest of the night eating a wonderful home cooked meal, flicking through photos and listening to stories.
Our week in Szczecin was sunny and warm and we spent our days being shown around the city, exploring all of what it had to offer. Szczecin to me seemed to be older than all the other Polish cities I’ve visited. The buildings are bigger, engrained with character and the streets are busy with mostly locals either working or running their daily errands. It felt to me that Szczecin was filled with people who live more of a city life. We made new friends, with Piotr who is Dan’s aunty’s son and runs his own computer store in the city, spent our days road tripping, walking and even visited Berlin for a day!
Anxiety started setting in while we were in Szczecin. We knew that it was soon time to say goodbye to everyone we love and had spent so much time with. It was soon time to call this adventure around the world that took us four months to an end. We had the most amazing time in Szczecin and Poland itself, but deep down there was a nagging feeling that we just didn’t want to go home. After all these months, where we were at that moment already felt like home.
The train ride from Szczecin to Gdansk was one of the longest in my mind, filled with tears and heavy sighs. I mostly remember the sight of the trees blurring out the window at dusk from where we were sitting, then standing, then sitting again in our restlessness. We had a going away party in Gdansk at night with all our family, next door neighbours and more people than I can remember where the vodka flowed freely and we were all huddled under blankets and heavy jumpers to warm ourselves from the cold. The laughter and the chatter was loud that night, but nothing was louder than the deafening anxious pit in my stomach that I knew we were going to leave this all behind once again.
We stayed up all night, slowly one by one people retreated back inside or back home. But we sat outside, talking and enjoying our last few moments until the morning sun started trickling back over the horizon.
all photos edited with my Gdansk Lightroom Preset.