Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Torun - the End of our Trip to Northern Poland

Statue of Nicholas Copernicus, Torun-born scientist/author of the heliocentric theory (that the sun, not the earth, is the center of the "universe.")

OK, so we tried again to do a short "stop-over" at a town we wanted to see on our way home from Gdansk. This one went better than our side trip to Zamosc, but not by much. The nice weather we experienced in Gdansk turned to nasty rain (at least it wasn't snow and ice) by the time we reached Torun. But this time we had the train schedule for getting back to Krakow before we stopped and bought our tickets home before we went into town.

One of the gates leading to Torun's town square

Torun is best known as the birthplace of Nicholas Copernicus (the university here - Copernicus University - has a prominent astronomy program) and for its gingerbread. We stashed our luggage in a locker at the train station and took a taxi into town...took pictures of the old town square, including the statue of Copernicus, walked down to the ruins of the Teutonic Knights' castle (which the locals dismantled brick by brick in the 15th century after they chased the Order out of town - guess they were happy to see them go), and stopped in one of several gingerbread stores to stock up on a supply of cookies for Christmas.

A little of what's left of the Teutonic Knights' castle and fortification walls

Then we grabbed a bus to get back to the train station...it was very crowded and John and I got separated. He was by the door and I could see him. When the bus stopped, I saw him nod and thought he meant this was the place to get off, so I exited the bus. As the last one of the crowd to get off, the bus door closed right after me and when I looked around, John wasn't there! (Later I found out his "nod" meant that there was a seat for me up front with him.) Fortunately, I saw the route the bus was taking and it wasn't too far a walk to the train station. And John was there waiting for me. Just another little adventure! We made the train - a long trip back to Warsaw and then back down to Krakow. We love these little trips, but it's always good to get back "home."

Torun is also known for its magnificent old brick buildings...here are a few:

Can you see the 1311 date on the upper left corner?

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