Welcome to the latest in my series of Dlaczego Kochamy Polskę (Why we love Poland) where I interview people (both Polish and non-Polish) who have a love for Poland, and normally work here, blog about it or share photos from Poland. The latest blogger to feature is Steven who runs the site Finding Poland. If you also love Poland, live in Poland or blog in Poland and want to be included in the series, please get in touch with me!
Where are you from?
I’m from a small town in central England called Wellingborough. It’s sandwiched roughly between Oxford to the south and Leicester to the north.
Where in Poland do you live?
I live in Gdansk. I’ve only been here since February 2020 but I feel like I’ve got to know the city
very well already. The reason is because I rely on my legs to get everywhere and that’s the best
way to get to know a place. I can honestly say that there’s no place I’d rather be right now as
there’s so much to see and do in the Tri-City area.
When did you first travel abroad?
I was 11 years old when I went on a school trip to France. I don’t remember too much about it,
apart from playing poker with my roommates until the early hours. A more interesting story
might be the first time I travelled to Poland. I was 19 and had just completed the first year of my
degree when a Polish chap, who I met at university, invited me to his hometown – Mszana Dolna
– for the summer. To my surprise, he’d already booked a bus ticket from Nottingham to Krakow
before he invited me so I had a 30-hour journey to look forward to. It did go quickly though. It
must have been all the Polish vodka.
What is your favourite city in Poland and why?
It’s a toss up between Gdansk and Krakow. I’ll go with Gdansk because every single district
seems to have its own appealing charm and plenty to do and see. Of course, the Old Town of
Gdansk is in a league of its own, but I tend to see a city for what it has to offer away from the
touristy areas. I’ve recently been exploring Jaśkowa Valley Park, which is just a 15-minute walk
from my home. The Tricity Landscape Park is next on my list, followed by the districts of Oliwa
and Przymorze. I’ve done the beaches up in Jelitkowo and Brzeźno. Zaspa is also an interesting
place with all the wall murals. Finally, Gdansk is a very clean and safe city.
What is your favourite town in Poland and why?
It has to be Mszana Dolna. The word ‘quaint’ comes to mind with the Mszanka river and
mountain ranges circling the town.
What is your favourite village in Poland and why?
I haven’t been to many villages in Poland. Perhaps my favourite is Szczawa, which is to the west
of the southern Polish city of Nowy Sącz. There are plenty of scenic hiking trails in and around
Szczawa, as well as a few gorgeous mountain peaks.
What is your favourite province in Poland and why?
It has to be Pomorskie. The air is much fresher than in Poland’s southern provinces. The lure of
Gdansk, Sopot and many other seaside resorts also help Pomorskie to stand out from the other
Why do you like living in Poland?
I enjoy travelling. The ever-improving infrastructure here, most notably the rail network, enables
me to visit great cities, beautiful lakes and the mountains swiftly and for little money really when
you consider the extortionate cost of train tickets in the UK. The chances for exploration are
tremendous in Poland. I’ve been to so many places in southern and central Poland, but there are
still huge regions and provinces to sink my teeth into. I haven’t been to the Masurian Lake
District, north-west Poland, coastal resorts (apart from Sopot and Gdansk) and many of the most
renowned national parks and landscape parks.
Apart from the travel thrills, expats can live quite comfortably in Poland on a modest salary. It’s
not a country where I’ve wondered how I’m going to pay the bills at the end of the month.
What is your favourite Polish food and why?
Polish pierogi takes some beating, doesn’t it? In one of my write-ups, I wrote about the
scrumptious baked pierogi made at Pierogarnia Mandu in Gdansk. I guess it’s about the crispy
texture and sheer variety of fillings one can stuff into these larger baked pierogi. I mean –
bamboo shoots, mun mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, peppers, onions, leek, pineapple and fried
chicken. That’s quite a mouthwatering combination.
What is your favourite random fact about Poland?
Polish TV is dubbed – by one man. Ridiculous, bizarre, bonkers. I don’t watch films on Polish
If you didn’t live in Poland, where would you live?
On the Californian coast. I can just imagine myself driving from Hollywood to Santa
Monica beach on a scorching summer’s day.
And here are the links to follow Steven’s site.
Website link: https://findingpoland.com/about-me/
Finding Poland on Facebook
Finding Poland on Instagram
Finding Poland on YouTube