You can tell I’m not really that good with slow travel. Recently I had just one day to go to the sea, but it was so worth it!
I used to live in a city on a shore. I still miss the air and the sound of water. Today I want to remind myself of times when I was young and used to go the the same place several years in a row. Not alone of course. It was a huge undertaking. Three families, mainly mothers with children. So 3 mothers, one girl and 6 boys, 3 tents, 1 or 2 tables with chairs, gas bottle to cook on, mattresses, bedding, bicycles, food, pots, pans, kettles and anything one should need during family holidays in “Spartan conditions” as we call it in Polish. Those who don’t know Sparta – it was was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece completely focused on military training and excellence, spartan conditions or ways of living are simple and without any comfort.
We used always the same camping. It’s called Old Maszoperia and located just outside city called Jastarnia in Northern Kashubia – Hel peninsula. Right now it’s way bigger and more exclusive than I remember. When we arrived you could see the more kite surfers around this camp site than anywhere else. The only thing is, the lady that talked to us just outside the main gate was very unhelpful and unplesant. She wasnt’t the owner or the director but made us go away and look for accommodation elsewhere. It’s a shame because the place is lovely. When I close my eyes I remember a guy I met there once. He used to take his sunbed together with the tape recorder to the pier early in the morning and sunbath all day. These were the times when NANA hit the top of the charts. I also remember he and his friends smashed us in voleyball match.
We found a room and headed straight to the center to find the best fried fish in Poland. We found it. Halibut. From North Pacific or the North Atlantic. “Very” Polish and very yummy.
Funny thing happened. I was trying to take a picture of a souvenir shop and somebody walked straight into my picture. Well, almost. I haven’t press the release button yet looking for the best angle. I asked, seeing the man stopping and posing:
“Would you like to have your picture taken?”
(Ok it happens, mainly abroad, but it does happen!)
and he didn’t say anything so I took the picture. Then he walked away saying
“Just make sure it’s online!”
I was surprised but in a fit of inspiration I asked
“What would you like it to be called?!”
and the man came back looked at the picture and fought hard…
“The biggest hunk in Jastarnia?” I suggested
“Neither hunk nor stud-muffin” he answered
So here’s the picture guess who is it!
So anyway, Hel Tombolo is a long and narrow strip of land separating the Baltic Sea from the Puck Bay. The Bay is shallow and warm while the sea is cold and rough. This is why the place is perfect. I remember the first time I swam naked in the sea. It was there under the stars, Together with my friends we were jumping over the waves and then we lied close to one another looking at the stars. Great times.
This time we walked through the dunes to the sea after dark. I was recording our helpless calls before we got to the beach. It was good to undress and run into the water giggling. If you need a purpose in life it’s moments like this.
The next day we decided to walk to Kuznica. A place where there were the best pancakes ever. Sweet and sour. Whatever one wanted. Always busy, always queues.
Funny thing is, at some point my Mum and my bro decided to walk along the street instead of the beach and thought they would be quicker but I was in the pancake place faster.
The place is called Pogodne Dania and is the biggest disappointment ever. I felt sick eating those pancakes. Avoid it!
Hel peninsula is called by Kashubian people the Cow’s tail, the Cow’s Tongue or the Goose Neck. it was formed many centuries ago, thanks to the coastal currents, which hauled great masses of sand. First the waves and wind formed small sandy islets, which in time closed into a scythe. Afterwards it was subjected to erosion but in XIX century local people started to fix and enforce the peninsula. The infilling of sand is systematically undertaken until now.
Jastarnia is the Peninsula’s heart. At some point the village was separated with a fence into two parts: the catholic (called the Pucka part) and the protestant (called Gdanska or the Forest). People used to live off fishing. Fishermen set up “maszoperie” – the cooperatives. This is where the camping site name comes from. Jastarnia has a big and comfortable marina where you can see lots of yachts and different kind of boats. During the evening you can enjoy almost Mediterranean atmosphere in one of the many restaurants and pubs. There is plenty of lights, game palaces, street sellers, ice cream parlors.
After having gorgeous fish for dinner we went on to a karaoke bar and had some drinks listening to young people singing. As always some of them were… how to put it… not that good, but other amazing. Certainly they should take part in Idol or Got Talent or some other music/talent show.
I got 3 pairs of sunglasses thanks to a Ballentines promotion. Check them out:
The must do thing in Jastarnia is: eating waffles! I swear they don’t taste half as good anywhere else. I ordered one with whipped cream, fruits and carmel… oh… heaven on eath! It was so huge I couldn’t eat it all but if I stayed there for more than one day it could have been dangerous for my figure. Next post is going to be about Jurata and Hel (the city) in the meantime enjoy the slide show with additional pictures.