Searching for Amber

Gdansk is famous for its amber, which washes up on its beaches from the Baltic Sea. The history of amber is fascinating, as I’ll let that website explain.

One of my goals in living in Gdansk is to find some amber myself. My first trip to the seaside, in September, let me know I had no idea what I was doing. I saw others picking through debris, and I looked through debris too, not finding anything that fit my idea of amber, translucent and orange. I did find a few rocks/shells/whatever that could be amber? maybe? The pictures of that first amber-hunting expedition are below.

Since that adventure, I’ve visited Gdansk’s very cool Amber Museum, and learned much more about amber. In fact, amber isn’t always translucent orange. I also learned (from the museum and locals) that the best time to find amber successfully is after a storm. Last weekend, a storm was predicted but didn’t materialize. The prediction was moved to Monday. That day, there was a bit of snow and a lot of wind; as a resident of Wisconsin, I wouldn’t call it a storm, but it was the first close-to-a-storm that we’d had, and I wasn’t busy on Tuesday morning, so Andy and I headed to the beach.

(Yes, I used a broken plastic cheese grater to poke through debris and frozen sand.)

Again, I didn’t find anything that jumped out at me as “Amber!” but I picked up some rocks that made me look twice. We also gathered what we thought at the time might be coal, because… coal? There is an energy problem in Europe and maybe somebody would want a few extra pieces? Once everything had warmed up and dried out, what seemed like coal now seems like it might not be coal. I need a geologist friend to look at all this. Kevin and Sherri, want to visit?

One thing I’ve learned in my long walks along the Baltic Sea is that I’m a winter sea kind of gal. The feel of the cold sea air on my face, the frozen sand, and the frigid temperatures are invigorating. Cold air tastes so clean!

Until next time, stay cool, friends!

Gdansk Christmas Market

The Gdansk Christmas Market opened last week and so Andy and I spent Sunday afternoon at the Old Town event. We ate an early lunch first which was a mistake, as the market featured many wonderful smelling foods. We shared a warm raspberry mead which is now my favorite hot drink.

I encouraged Andy to get a kielbasa (we don’t cook a lot of meat at home) which was served with the best mustard I’ve ever tasted!

I bought some cheerful green Christmas lights to put on our little apartment balcony. Cheerful lights are good because the sun now sets at 3:30pm. The green lights are hard to see in the photos. Our balcony is the one below the Ukrainian flag balcony.

We plan to enjoy more food, drinks, and fun at this and other Christmas markets!