Malbork, Poland

Trip Start Mar 13, 2007
Trip End Aug 10, 2007

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Flag of Poland  , Baltic Coast,
Thursday, March 29, 2007

I visited Malbork Castle as a daytrip from Gdansk.  Malbork is the largest castle in Poland and dates from the 1200s when it was the seat of the Grand Masters of the Order of Teutonic Knights, an order established during the Crusades that decided to unleash its terror on the heathen of Eastern Europe after the fights against the Muslim infidels in the Holy Land was unsuccessful.  As such, Malbork is a Gothic wonderland, and as those of you who had ever been to my house know, I love all things medieval and Gothic.  This is the kind of place I go to for decorating ideas.

I have to say that I really like the people in Poland.  As I also recall from my trip here in 1996, Poles are very friendly and quite chatty.  While it's unusual for people you are sharing a train compartment in other places in Europe to start a conversation with you, in Poland it seems to happen all the time; it's not just trains - pubs, cafes, or even sitting on a bench in the town square.  That I don't speak Polish and that most Poles outside of Warsaw don't speak much English doesn't seem to matter.  The man I shared a compartment with on the 45 minute train ride to Malbork spoke German from some years working in Germany and quickly figured out I understood some, an opportunity to go off on a long monologue about history, politics, current events, how the Moslem immigrants were ruining Europe, and how Iran was creating havoc in Iraq.  Usually this is the kind of thing only drunk people do, but this man and every other person I've had such experiences with in Poland all seemed completely sober.
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