Monday, July 25, 2011

Gdansk...District Meeting...and a little Sightseeing!

Monday morning we got up early and decided to see a little of the town before District Meeting started. Below is a picture of St. Mary's Basilica...located in the middle of the Main Town and is believed to be the largest old brick church in the world.
We climbed up the 405 steps inside this church to view Gdansk from a tiny platform located at the top of the tower seen in the picture... (center left). Seems like we went down some 400+ steps in the Salt Mines around Krakow a few months ago. So now we are even...
The weather wasn't the best, but the view was still spectacular!
We had to hurry, because this group of sharp Missionaries were waiting for us at the chapel to start District Meeting! (L toR): Elder Garrett (District Leader), Elders Krzyminski, Gudnason, Gladun, and Elder and Sister Zatylny. We love and appreciate the missionaries serving in this area. They are working hard to find and teach with the spirit.
Elder Garrett gave us some excellent training on "Teach People Not Lessons" and it was followed by role-play!
Dane made the perfect "investigator".
After District Meeting, Sister Zatylny had prepared some delicious tortilla soup.
Everyone appreciated the great lunch. Thank you, Sister Zatylny, for taking such good care of our missionaries!
There are 3 main cities that make up the Gdansk area...Gdansk, Gydnia and the charming beach city of Sopot. We had to take a look.
This is known as the 'crooked house'. It is located on a street turned into a pedestrian mall that leads from the railway line to the pier. It makes you a little 'sea-sick' to look at it. Inside is a bunch of restaurants and small shops...nothing great. But the outside of the building is definitely worth the stop.
Here we are walking on the longest wooden pier in Europe built in 1928. It took us out into the Gulf of Gdansk. It was well taken care of. These people are smart....there's a charge to walk the pier! President especially liked the orange shoes this young lady was wearing. Pretty bright.
Walking back towards the beach is also a beautiful view. Here is the 'Grand Hotel' (built in 1927)where Hitler stayed as the Nazis were invading Warsaw.
A nice walk on the pier, a couple of ice cream cones and we were back in the car for a special tour of the Gdansk harbour.
Today this harbour is home to many huge ships....most of them in for paint and repair.

If you enlarge this picture, you can see the new soccer dome that will be used for the 2012 Euro Cup. Gdansk is one of several cities in Poland that will be hosting games. When the sun shines, the dome glows like the color of fitting!

These are huge granaries that were used to store grain that was being imported/exported. This was of special interest to President Nielson since his father, uncles, and grandfather once owned a large granary in Mesa, Arizona....FP Nielson and Sons.
An old fort which used to guard the entrance into the harbor. Now it is a marina for pleasure boats and sailboats to dock.
We finally arrive at what we have come to see: Westerplatte...a long peninsula at the entrance of the Gdansk harbour. When Gdansk became a free city after WWI, Poland was permitted to maintain a post at this location. It served a trade and a military purpose and had soldiers stationed there to protect it. WWII broke out here on September 1939 when a German battleship began shelling the Polish guard post. The Germans thought the fight would be over in hours, but these 182 men held out for 7 days before surrendering.
This sight is now a memorial, with some of the ruins left as they were after being bombed.
That night, we met up with the Gdansk Elders for dinner at a favorite spot in the Main Town...'Burritos'! A fresh-mex restaurant that had the best mexican food I have had in Poland. Taco Bell was in Poland around 1993 but it didn't take off and they left. I wonder with all the changes in the past few years how they would do now. If any of you entrepreneurs would like to try- I know our missionaries would support your efforts. (Always get the mix of hot/mild sauce on your's the best!) (L to R): Dane, Elders Krzyminski, Garrett, Gudnason, and Gladun.)
While at 'Burritos', guess who we ran into?
Sister Austin and her 3 children ( Rachel, Julie and Dan) who have come to see a little of her mission before taking her home. It was a nice surprise! They were on their way to Wroclaw on a night train.....and we are on our way to Bydgoszcz in the morning! (More District Meetings!)

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