In December 2014 we visited Toruń. Weekend getaway was associated with participation in the half-marathon of Santas. We decided to combine it with the kids trip.
We’ve arrived to Toruń on Saturday, around noon. Toruń is the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus, and thus our trip was partly focused on astronomy, on the other hand, Torun is the capital of gingerbread – we wanted to see how they are made. The trip started with a visit to the Planetarium where we watched kids dedicated movie of Rudolph’s reindeer adventures. There, in a funny way children watched story about the stars and planets. It was displayed on a semicircular ceiling. Great experience. To avoid waiting in checkout line we remembered to buy tickets online before trip.
Next we headed towards the Old Market Square in Torun, on the way stopping at the monument of Nicolaus Copernicus. In winter it gets dark quickly, it was really cold outside so we limited to minimum our walking time. We walked market, we saw the Leaning Tower and the house of Nicolaus Copernicus.
There is museum in the house where Copernicus grew up. We were surprised that in this museum was more service than the public. Every visitor was accompanied with service person who checked to not touch anything and do not spoil something. Each room we were entering to service person lit the light, and after leaving the room they put lights out. Strange phenomenon. And the effect of having such a “bodyguard” was that instead explore curiously we walked this place quickly. Better not mention about staff attitude to children.
Next stop was visit to the Museum of the Living Gingerbread. Unfortunately we were not able to enter it this day because all tickets were sold and there was no possibility to book visit online. But we didn’t gave up, would visit this place the next day. Then we drove to the sports hall to pick up a starter pack for tomorrow’s race and then we went to the hostel. And surprise surprise … we had accommodation in the bunker!
Overnight in the bunker, more specifically in the Fortress of Torun – at Żółkiewski’s Fort IV, which was adapted to be the hostel. A very interesting initiative, which applies large size old military building from ancient times for the purposes of tourist. The hostel has a friendly rooms located in places where many years ago there were barracks for soldiers. The atmosphere is amazing. Hostel stuff invited us for an evening tour with torchlight. We had to be a part of it!
Tour has began. We acted as a recruits. We had short introduction about the place and our role. We pretended that went back in time. Guide was dressed in the costume of a soldier from the heyday of the fortress and very interestingly told about what happened at the fort, its history and hostilities around Torun. During the walk we were crossing not only the interior of the fort, but also went out watching the moat embankment at the top. Guided tours of the fort was like a trip into the past, so it took the form of a story in which we often fell to formulate something that it happens in next few years, but we as a soldiers can’t know about it (because it is our future) – only narrators know that. Very cheerful form of storytelling. It was a great history lesson not only for us but also for children.
On Sunday morning, Philip took a half-marathon, and at that time the rest of family used the time to meet with a friend in the Old Town. After the race we met up and went to the Living Museum of Gingerbread. This place we liked much. First, in a rather unique way were conducted classes talking about where do gingerbread, what’s the ingredients and how it was produced.
There was no possibility to not join and being not involved in the creative process of making pastries. Whenever someone showed a little boredom he was immediately selected to proceed with the next step of baking process. After a brief introduction, everyone had the opportunity to prepare own gingerbread in one of the prepared molds. After all, gingerbread were souvenir of the visit and it was not eatable. These edible was available to buy in a special shop. Several types of gingerbread we bought.
After visit to Gingerbread Museum we came to a small pizzeria in Old Town, which served delicious little homemade pizzas. Children tasted them so we had to order next portions.