Vacay by the Sea

It’s been quite a while since I last visited the Polish seaside. Arguably the same can be said for posting anything on this blog. But if you follow the Instagram feed to the right you would know that there’s been some movement on my side so it’s just a matter of time before I post it all on here.

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Ania and I spent a week strolling Polish beaches in early June. With Fado of course, though bringing a dog to a ‘No Dog’s Allowed’ beach is tricky at times, but more on that later. We drove to a small town of Chłopy, located right next to Sarbinowo, both not much more than a couple of small vacation towns still asleep just barely getting ready for the vacation season. And that was the first thing we noticed; there was no one there. Everything was closed, no place to buy ice cream, waffles, or beer… Foot traffic picked up a little some days into our trip and shops and storefronts began their usual tourist peddling.

Yet the first few days we walked on pretty much deserted beaches even though the weather was simply stunning, a feat in its own right. When you ask a Polish person about vacationing by the Polish sea immediately they will shiver and mention two things: it’s too expensive and the weather is never nice. This is said when comparing the Baltic Sea to a weeklong getaway in Egypt for example which from a cost perspective and cheap flights does about equal a Polish vacation in price. The weather in Egypt however is guaranteed! Not the case along the Baltic coast. It’s actually a Russian roulette at best, but this year we won and got a pretty good tan to prove it.

DSC_7640 DSC_8426 DSC_7942So for the record, Fado’s Hawaiian lei wasn’t my idea and I don’t think it was appropriate for a male dog to have it…but given my Hawaiian shirt Fridays and a Hawaiian shirt I happened to be wearing I was in no position to argue 🙂 It did however ease most people into seeing a dog at the beach. Technically all dogs are banned from the sand and ‘No Dogs Allowed’ signs state the same. Technically. Cause practically there are dogs left and right all along the coast. Most people didn’t seem to have a problem with it, especially with a well behaved labrador that would do just about anything for a chance to fetch a frisbee out of the water. No harm to anyone, no dog fights with passing dogs, just fun in the sun. Of course there were the few that always seemed to tell their husbands “Look at that, there’s a no dogs allowed sign right there” and that always made me laugh. These older ladies, and it was ALWAYS some old hag, never said anything straight to us about Fado, but always loudly spoke about it to their husbands or friends. I understand if my dog was to do something stupid to you, I don’t know, piss on your beach blanket, but what’s the point of commenting it when all we did was walk by? Especially when most of the time there was no one around and that one couple we would pass every 15 minutes or so would have a hag in tow.

People with kids I sort of understood. Only once did someone say something, but again not to us but in a loud conversation, when Fado peed on sand a few yards away from small kids playing. I wouldn’t want my kids playing in dog piss sand, so yeah, sorry about that. I’m sure your 3 year old little bastards don’t piss all over the sand either and you walk them a mile to the nearest porta potty. I’d say we’re even. But as empty the beaches were when we first arrived they did get much busier near the end of our stay and more people made beach dog walking just a little more stressful than I liked. Fado is a completely harmless dog, but he’s a 40kg serious looking lab and people with kids usually were just a little freaked out when they saw us coming.

We spent our week at a dog friendly place that also prides itself on being agro-touristic, meaning you will get a chance to eat fresh food made from the veggies grown in the garden, meat from a local farmer, milk from a cow next door, etc. We opted not to eat there much simply because I didn’t travel 400kms just to eat dinners at the motel. I wanted fresh fish, and fresh fish is exactly what we had every day…plus waffles.

The town of Chłopy is actually a port town with a fishing tradition of a few hundred years. I use the word “port” pretty loosely here, yes they do have fishing trawlers go out to fish every day, but upon their return they pull their trawlers back onto the beach. It was pretty interesting to see a massive trawler being pulled by chains onto the sand. It was even better to eat smoked fish from that trawler later that day. DSC_7453 DSC_7485 DSC_7475

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The weeklong stay was as relaxing as we needed it to be. No running around. Just kilometers walked up and down the beach with fresh fish and frisbee along the way. We got lucky with the weather and surprised most people with a tan back at work. I was actually considered “lucky” for catching such good weather all week long. We will definitely come back to this town some day. Until then…I can actually have the fresh smoked fish UPS delivered the very next day!

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