Edinburgh, Scotland

An “Unusual” Trip: From Scotland To Poland And Germany

“So, Vlad, where are you going on holiday?”, a curious coworker asked. “I’m going to Scotland, then to Poland and a day in Berlin”, I replied enthusiastically. “Oh, so you like unusual trips”. It hadn’t even occurred to me that for some people, my trips could be considered unusual. Ever since I can remember, standing still in one place has never been acceptable for me. It’s alright for quick city breaks, though even then I check if I have time to squeeze in a day trip. If you’re a regular reader, you may recall my previous summer trips: From Paris to Oslo in 2014 and the journey through Northern Europe last year.

But whenever I told someone about my plans they would always say “You do know that Scotland and Poland aren’t too close to each other on the map, don’t you?”. I would respond saying that Ryan Air brings them closer 😉 Truth be told, I’ve always wanted to visit Poland (particularly Krakow, Gdansk, Poznan and Wroclaw) but there weren’t any direct flights to these cities. Since a friend wanted to revisit Scotland, I figured we could combine the two and confuse everyone through our Facebook statuses. 😆

Anyway, after this ridiculously long introduction that you may or may not have skipped, here is a quick overview of our summer trip to Scotland and Poland (and a glimpse of Germany). 

Glasgow, or that city in Scotland we saw for two hours

Glasgow, Scotland

We arrived in Glasgow pretty late, due to flight changes and by the time we got to our hostel it was already 10 PM. Since we were leaving the next morning, we still wanted to see a little bit of the city. And eat. We walked on empty streets….until we reached the center, where there were a lot of people enjoying alcohol a wee-bit-much. Paul had found a nice place that was open until midnight and, after getting carded, we found out the kitchen had closed.

So my memories from Glasgow are eating pasta at 11 PM (which was 1 AM at home), not seeing the George Square because it was closed for the Homeless World Cup (which, to my shock, isn’t a Hunger Games kind of thing), and seeing a few passed out drunk people. But other than that, the city is super lovely. No, seriously, I do want to go back and see it properly.

The Scottish Highlands, or “that rainy place”

Scottish Highlands, Scotland
My favorite place in the Highlands: The Church of St Mary and St Finnan or the Glenfinnan Church
Scottish Highlands, Scotland
It rained the most at Eilean Donan Castle 🙁
Scottish Highlands, Scotland
We made it out of Loch Ness alive!

I was waiting for this tour a lot, but I was also worried that it will rain a lot. Well guess what. It effin did! I’m not upset, after all, it was typical Scottish weather and I was expecting it but I had such an “oh maaaaaaaaaan” feeling. My friend has been there three time and every time it was sunny and nice. Guess we didn’t deserve sunny 🙁 Anyhow, I had an amazing time and seen some fabulous places. We had a super cool tour guide who told us all the tales from Scotland’s history.

Edinburgh, or getting a farmer’s tan where’d you least expect it

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland
The lovely and quiet Dean Village in Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Scotland
An amazing view of Edinburgh from the top of Calton Hill

After a very humid couple of days in the Highlands, we arrived to Edinburgh where we saw little rain, it was sunny and warm most of the time. We even went to the beach! Fully clothed, but still, it was a lovely experience….before a quick summer rain. Anyway, I’m getting off track here. Edinburgh was love at first sight and it’s become one of my top 10 cities for sure. I was expecting to like it, sure, but I had such a great time, I’m already thinking of returning.

Krakow, or that super crowded city with religious kids

Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland
I still don’t know what’s up with the singing….goat (?) Can anyone explain?

Krakow, Poland

We arrived in Poland to a very crowded Krakow, something we weren’t expecting. Turns out, Pope Francis would be visiting a few days later and there were pilgrims from all over the world, gathering in different parts of the city, singing, dancing and sharing stories about their faith. As for me? I was just happy to find the “world’s smallest candy factory”.

Gdansk, or the love child of Amsterdam and Stockholm*

Gdansk, Poland
Falling in love with Gdansk

Gdansk, Poland

Probably the city I was the most excited for, I’ve wanted to visit it for a very long time. I knew I would love it because it reminds me of both Amsterdam and Stockholm. And what do you know: I loved it instantly. Even though the first day was cloudy, crowded and we started with a 30 minutes wait for a breakfast that took 3 minutes to make, I didn’t let all that bother me. The second day however, I woke up early and went to the city center before most people did. I was rewarded with a beautiful blue skies and streets all to myself. <3

* – it has nothing to do with either Amsterdam or Stockholm, but its history is actually very hectic. But more on this in a future post.

Berlin, or that moody city that punished us for leaving so soon

Berlin, Germany
Enjoy blue skies, you never know when they’re replaced with clouds.
Berlin, Germany
Paul at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Berlin, Germany
Bye Berlin, hope to see you again soon!

After spending a lot of time in smaller cities, Berlin felt intimidating to me. We had to figure out public transportation, the points of interest weren’t close to each other and frankly, I didn’t know what to see besides Allane’s list of must do’s in Berlin. But the weather wasn’t impressed by our plans. The first day it was super hot, around 30C, while the second day it rained A LOT, more rain that I’ve seen in Scotland combined. I planned on walking around Gendarmenmarkt and Nikolaiviertel, but I spent more time than I’d hope for in a Saturn, listening to deafening thunders. I definitely feel like I should go back and see Berlin properly, because I quite liked what I saw, it was an interesting, and sometimes odd, city.

So there you have it, a quick overview about our summer trip that took us from Scotland to Poland and Berlin. There will be more stories in the following weeks and next Monday it’s Paul’s turn to tell you all about an awesome dinner we’ve had in Berlin. 😀

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  • great trip! Gdansk does look a bit like Stockholm:) I’d love to visit Krakow! I too didn’t have nice weather in Scotland when I visited a few years ago:)

    • I remember reading your Scotland posts and thinking “I hope it won’t be that bad when I visit”, haha. At least it was sunny in Edinburgh 🙂

  • I was at that wall! I am most excited to read about the Highlands portion, esp the logistics of visiting different picturesque areas, like that church. I dont mind the rain – I think it suits the aura of the place. A package deal 🙂

    • The next article I write will be about the Highlands 😉 I didn’t mind the rain for the most part, the only times when it bothered me was when it rained a lot in places where I had some shots planned beforehand that I couldn’t take because of the rain/fog. 🙁

  • Ahila Thillainathan

    Lucky you experienced sunny Edinburgh. The weekend I was there last year, it rained heavily so my memories of the city are not so pleasant. Loved Inverness though. And Gdansk was a city I visit 13 years ago, when it hadn’t yet cleaned itself up and acquired this ‘Stockholm’ ish air that you and many other recent travellers have commented upon, so I feel I need to revisit.

    • You should definitely revisit Gdansk, it’s such a lovely city. 😀

  • We’ll be visiting Krakow after the crowds are gone – but that was just lucky planning! I’m sure it was a big surprise to realize the Pope was there. Great photos! #citytripping

    • The Pope wasn’t there yet, just the many many pilgrims. I’m not religious, so I wasn’t impressed, haha. Thanks!

  • We had a lovely sunny week in the Scottish Highlands last year – but it tipped down with rain in Edinburgh! I would definitely like to travel more around Poland; I had a flying visit to Krakow a few years back but have never been to Gdansk – might have to go and investigate…. #Mondayescapes

    • I’d love to go back to Krakow, hopefully it would be less crowded, haha. As for the Highlands, I could return anytime!

  • World Journeys

    wow! So much in a short trip! The pictures of Scotland look amazing!

    • Thank you! 🙂

  • Haha.. It does sound like a very unusual holiday indeed. Well, Scotland, Berlin and Poland look close enough on the map from where I am looking at it from (Singapore). Why not if it’s on everyone’s bucket list? You got to love low cost carriers these days. Your photos are just amazing. I heard of the weather in Scotland and though you had what was apparently a typical gloomy day, your photos don’t look gloomy at all! #CityTripping

    • Thank you. They’ve all been on my bucket list for so long, seeing them in one trip felt right, haha.

  • Now this sounds like a fantastic trip, even if Scotland and Poland aren’t usually on the same itinerary 😉 You definitely had traditional Scottish weather, which is to say all the different types in the space of a few days (I’ve visited and had sun, rain, clouds within about an hour before!) The Highlands are so gorgeous though, even when it’s not sunny. And Gdansk looks fascinating, I don’t think I knew much about it apart from bits of Cold War history, so really looking forward to reading your post – Krakov is as beautiful as ever as well. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    • Thanks, Cathy! Sadly, when I was in the Highlands, I don’t remember seeing the sun much, it was so cold when we got to Fort William. In Edinburgh however was mostly sunny and warm, but in one day we saw rain, sun, then rain again. Gdansk is indeed gorgeous, I can’t wait to write about it 😀

  • I think having unusual trips make each trip unique and memorable! We have trips like that all the time because I try to see as much as possible! These were all great places you visited! Wish I could see them again as an adult! Sooner rather than later haha

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  • Oh my, what an adventure… I felt like I went with you guys!! Gdansk is amazing, I was already in love with it after seeing your pics on Instagram. By the way, your pictures are even more breathtaking now!
    I’m so sorry that the weather in Berlin didn’t help much… I also felt intimidated in Berlin, I mean, Munich is a tiny town in comparison hahaha. 😀

  • Looks like you had a great trip! Not sure why people think it was unusual. I guess it is more popular to cram 17 cities in 12 days (I am exaggerating but you know what I mean). I am going to Krakow soon. Hope it is not as crowded as when you visited.

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  • Great trip to the beautiful cities.

  • Kelly Ratcliff

    This looks absolutely amazing. We really hope to travel here some day!

  • Erin

    I just found your blog and am glad I did! I’m new to the travel blogging world and am still discovering who else is out there. Great post and photos! Thanks for sharing!