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Thread: Baltic part three

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    Default Baltic part three

    Back in history Finland was once partof Russia along with at some time most of the Baltic nations, itbecame a Presidential republic in 1919.


    The drive into the centre of town wasthrough well kept streets though with the rain it was hard to seemuch detail. Shops looking much the same as most other countries ofthe region with little evidence of shopping centers as we know them.
    It is here we found the most expensivereal estate of the Baltic with apartments overlooking the sea frontselling at up to E35,000 per square meter.


    We were to visit three of the mostimportant parts of the city on our tour.
    The first was the Church of the Rock.This church had been planned at the end of WW2 but for a number ofreasons had been delayed in it's start until late 60's. The designcame from two brothers who looked at the concept of a church from adifferent angle. This was not to be the standard style church withsteeple and centre aisle.


    The place chosen was a large rockoutcrop which was blasted to create an amphitheater style building.Circular in shape with seating for some 700 sinners. The roof iscircular, suspended by steel arms, leaving an open air feeling.Visited by all tourists as a place of interest and for many worship.On any day during the summer months there may be as many as 500tourists at any one time in the church. Three days after our visit aterrorist was caught in there just before he had time to detonate hissuicide vest.


    Onward to a large very green park withmagnificent gardens. In here a tribute sculpture and bronze bust ofthe composer Sibelius now decomposing.n then to the town square, avery large and impressive place surrounded by a number of historicalbuildings. In the square a large number of wooden statues in theshape of Penguins in various poses, there for a government meeting.Petrol here retails at E1.54




    Oin 1945, today it is hard to imaginethat after such devastation the people could bring the city andcountry back to where it is today. Totally rebuilt and a credit tothe Polish people for their efforts.


    The drive was through very clean andwell kept streets as appears to be the case in all the Baltic cities,a great pride taken by the people.
    Apartment blocks, as is the case in allBaltic cities, house the population though there are a number ofhouses something we did not see in other cities. One such apartmentblock is unique in Europe, and possibly the world, being some 10storeys high but one kilometer in length. Built not in a straightline but rather in the fashion of a wave. However the corridors runthe length of the building so one can go for a long walk withoutgoing out side.


    The old part of the city resembles thatof Bruge, cobbled streets with some very comfortable bars andrestaurants. In the middle of the square a large statue of Neptune.Along side in the water a number of replica sailing galleons used asfloating restaurants. A variety of small shops selling local produceand souvenirs, all decked out with the Polish flag.


    The largest brick built church, StMary's, in the world sits within this old part of the city.
    This is also the home port of thePolish Navy, and has some of the best beaches in Poland.
    It has an array of excellent parks andgardens, a feature of most Baltic cities, and like them all veryclean with no graffiti.


    They continue with their own currencythe Zloty but willing trade in the Euro. Like all the Baltic nationswhere some may still use their own currency even when in the EU alltrade in Euros and will accept the USA Dollar and Pound Sterling.
    Petrol here at E1.30


    Across all the Baltic states thestandard of living is fairly high though wages are not that good,ranging from as low as E750 per month up to around E1200 per month. Ahigh VAT in most but with the benefit of low or free education andhealth.


    Most motor vehicles are European withvery few Japanese such as Toyota or Datsun. All appear to be fairlynew models with a large number of Land Rovers, BMW, Mercedes and Audiin all the cities.
    Food quality and quantity are good, thepeople friendly, and the cities welcoming.
    A part of the world we here in Oz hearlittle of, but having seen it we were impressed.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: Baltic part three

    Alaska was also part of Russia at one time John. Did you know Captain Cook also visited there. The yanks bought it off them when they were short of cash after the Crimean war. Cheers JWS.

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    Default Re: Baltic part three

    From what I learned on this voyage just about all of the Baltic region at some time was Russian. But also many other nations, now much smaller were also owners of part of what is Russia today.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: Baltic part three

    For those who visited Russia in the 50s 60s and maybe the 70s will most probably find they have CCCP stamped in the back of their Discharge Books, which I always assumed was the Union of The Soviet Socialists Republics, in Russian of course, as against the USSR. Must have assisted their immigration Dept. known the seaman had been there before. Cheers JWS

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