Poland, Useful Travel Guides

Friday, 1 July 2011

Imagine Poland, 'The Frozen Motlawa River' Gdansk

The unusually cold winter this year provided us with an amazing view of the entirely frozen Motlawa River. Running through the heart of the Gdansk, the Motlawa river is bursting with life during the summer months, yet even in the early March it still managed to draw our attention as we strolled on its banks. 

On the Old Motlawa, the all white water trams, the massive ship Soldek – now part of the maritime museum and the smaller colourful boats, they were all there but very still this time, frozen.

The local marina on the New Motlawa bank was somewhat reduced. As if the luxurious yachts that were all summer grounded there, have now emigrated to the warmer countries with the wandering birds. The empty rows filled with thick shiny ice reflected the different moods of the sky above. 

Between the marina and the Old Town - full of character lies the Granary Island – reminiscence of Gdansk’s busy trading city of the Hanza Union past. The Old Granaries, partially ruined during the Second World War are not haunting any more. These ruins seems to be a part of the City now though one don’t know for how long they will stay like this.
What proved to be a thrilling attraction to both polish and international tourists wandering on the river bank was watching the old fashioned style of fishing.

On the frozen Motlawa River there were not only clumsy walking ducks and seagulls. Since early morning hours in the middle of the river there were also present a variety of fishermen – of different ages, in different outfits, with different skills and techniques yet all with one aim – to get the fish out from beneath the ice that they were sitting on. They were all looking very cold yet determined to fool their victims with some tasty bait and draw it forth in triumph out of the carefully dug hole in the ice.

It was scary to see these men gathered in little community or as the individuals walking and sitting on the ice covering very deep and oh! – so very cold water! For some of them it might have been a necessity, for majority it looked like a bit of an extreme hobby. Both must have been pushed into it by recollecting the winter fireplace stories by grandfathers: ‘of the old good times, when the winters were proper cold winters and they would catch such a  huge fish while hole fishing on the ice.’
Inspiring, foolish maybe, certainly risky in the strong March sun – these scenes caught in pictures will stay in our memory. 

Hopefully in yours as well!

Usefull links

Gdansk, Wikipedia information
Polish Cuisine

To view all our photographs see our exhibition at  www.imaginepoland.com