Magiczne Miasta: One Night in Tiny Rywałd in Pomerania

Magiczne Miasta: One Night in Tiny Rywałd in Pomerania

Magiczne Miasta: One Night in Tiny Rywałd in Pomerania

When I was touring Pomerania in Summer 2016, I ended up in some truly obscure spots that other tourists simply were not going to. Life was up and down and I was settling into Poland with some confusion. I had expected my so called “friend” Ola Mueller to help me out in this region but she turned nasty and disrespectful to me with a string of lies aiming to destroy me (which worked) so I had to sail the ship alone as I toured Rywałd, Pelplin, KokoszkowyTczew and Starogard Gdański on my own.

Backpacking in Poznan in 2015, trying Grzane Piwo with Ola Mueller and another friend.

A night out with Serial Liar Ola Mueller

However, I opted to use Couchsurfing to start with as a way to meet locals in the absence of my pretend friend Ola. I got in touch with Jacek who agreed to meet me in central Starogard Gdański and have a beer with me in the trendy and hip Socialist Bar Projeckt PRL, one of the first PRL bars I visited. After that, Jacek invited me to spend a night in his village Rywałd!!

Backpacking in Rywałd, Pomerania Province

Backpacking in Rywałd, Pomerania Province

Ask me if I had heard of the village of Rywałd before that trip and I’d have said no way, where is it? But the travel lifestyle is an odd, unpredictable one so I ended up here. Rywałd has a population of around 603, and for one night 604 as a nonchalant Northern Irish backpacker arrived in “town”! This was another obscure night from my journeys while based in the unknown town of Starogard Gdański.

Starogard Gdański in Summer - fake beach, almost as fake as Ola Mueller!

Starogard Gdański in Summer – fake beach, almost as fake as Ola Mueller!

I arrived by bus from Gdańsk and you might already have read about my favourite bars in the town, and my stay in the lovely Hotel Noclegi Rekord. As well as touring Starogard Gdański, I met up with two local lads to show me around – Jacek and Bartek. Jacek runs his own business here and had time to meet for a coffee in central Starogard Gdański – we met in the trendy Klubokawiarnia Szafa (Wardrobe Cafe) for a coffee, one of my favourite cafes in town.

Klubokawiarnia Szafa

Klubokawiarnia Szafa (Wardrobe Cafe)

Coffee and Cake in Klubokawiarnia Szafa (Wardrobe Cafe)

As well as having a beer in the socialist themed Projekt PRL (one of the best bars in Starogard Gdański), we got a carryout and headed by car to Jacek’s place here in Rywałd. This turned out to be my last time in Projekt PRL as it closed shortly after. The bar had all sorts of communism memorabilia inside and reminded me of PRL Bar in Bydgoszcz and Jozef K or No to CYK in Gdansk. Sadly my local friend, as mentioned, Ola Mueller had ideas to humiliate and embarrass her travel friend in her town and couldn’t meet me. To add an insult to me – she messaged me 6 weeks later to say that she recommends having a coffee in Cafe Anka and a drink in Projeckt PRL. Both had now closed! #unhelpful #suicidewishes

Projeckt PRL in Starogard Gdanski

Projeckt PRL in Starogard Gdanski

Jacek and I in Projeckt PRL in Starogard Gdanski. Ola Mueller notably absent.

Jacek and I in Projeckt PRL in Starogard Gdanski. Ola Mueller notably absent.

I was able to speak some Polish to Jacek, his girlfriend Renia and Bartek. I got a full tour of their awesome country house in a quiet street opposite the forest. The sun went down, we had some beer, some snacks and we chatted. We played pool, listened to music and Jacek told me he was a Nottingham Forest fan, which was crazy as my mate Lock in Lee is a huge Forest fan.

Magiczne Miasta: One Night in Tiny Rywałd in Pomerania

Magiczne Miasta: One Night in Tiny Rywałd in Pomerania

Magiczne Miasta: One Night in Tiny Rywałd in Pomerania

Magiczne Miasta: One Night in Tiny Rywałd in Pomerania

Magiczne Miasta: One Night in Tiny Rywałd in Pomerania

Magiczne Miasta: One Night in Tiny Rywałd in Pomerania

It was great to meet Jacek, Renia and Bartek here in this tranquil village. My whole travel lifestyle has been too barmy and this was another moment. I have needed some friends and new people in my life recently to help get me through some hard times. I made some mistakes this year and it took the tranquility of Starogard Gdański and Rywałd to give me a sense of freedom and short term happiness again.

I wrote some poems here in this town as well and Bartek, Jacek and I talked politics. When I told them Poland was easily in my top 5 countries in Europe, they didn’t believe me. I hope now they will.

As for adventure, as well as learning Polish in Gdańsk and doing a food tour in seaside Gdynia, Sopot and Leba, I visited Tczew, Pelplin, Malbork and Touring the German Concentration Camp at Stutthof. Stay tuned to my social media and follow my journey!
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Thanks to Jacek, Renia and Bartek for a great time in little Rywałd!! No thanks to compulsive liar and my pretend friend, local girl Ola Mueller.

“Sorry I couldn’t post you the newspaper. I was too busy” – Ola Mueller.

Dining out with Ola Mueller Starogard Gdanski Girl who refused to help me on my trip to her town

Dining out with Ola Mueller Starogard Gdanski Girl who refused to help me on my trip to her town

Here are some videos from my short but memorable time in little Rywałd:

2 thoughts on “Magiczne Miasta: One Night in Tiny Rywałd in Pomerania

  • Hi Jonny. First of all – wow! I love your new blog and I am happy to see you are recovering from suicidal thoughts and depression. I feel a bit guilty and ashamed though. You are clearly a nice guy that just expected honesty from me. When I said “we are friends”, I was lying. Because friends would meet up, would help you learn Polish (yes I also lied about this – I can’t help you but I pretended I would!), show you the sights of their town as a travel writer. Probably the worst lie I told (out of the hundreds) was that I faked a move to Poznan on the 22nd July just because I wanted to screw you over and make a fool of you. I wouldn’t have done the same to Truong, Luci or Zhenya. I’m so sorry I had to make a fool of you and disrespect your nice story. I was wrong to do that – I saw you in my local newspaper, I was so proud yet so ashamed of myself. I guess I am just a little girl who doesn’t understand older men or depression and I will apologise one day. I wish you success with this blog, when you come back to Starogard or Kokoszkowy, let’s meet for a coffee. If I have time and don’t move to Poznan! I was so crazy to lie to you. Best wishes. Ola

    • Hi Ola, thanks for the comment and the admission that some of the things you did were wrong to me. I know we had a good friendship until I came to write about your town. I also feel sad that we lost that friendship. When I come back to Starogard Gdanski or Kokoszkowy, you will be the first person I contact (well maybe after the local newspapers, because they liked my story there! 😉 ) Safe travels, Jonny

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