Did you stop in at the café for a cool drink while you were waiting? Hope you didn’t go to the Kantor….that’s a modern day “money changer”. They will take your US dollars (or whatever kind of money you have) and exchange it for Polish zlotys. The exchange rates are usually higher, so hold on to your cash and look for an ATM machine.
But for now turn around, we are going to walk the other direction. Up the street and just around the corner, we come to this:A little mini plaza….complete with another statue. I have no idea who this is, the plaque is written in Polish. I’ll have to go back another day and whip out my Google Translate. But for now let’s take a right and walk down the street a block. Now turn right again and walk down the hill. You are now at the Bydgoszcz Canal, which was constructed in 1773-1774. It’s part of the International Waterway. Because the canal connects with the River Notec, you could go all on the way to Berlin by water! It was built by 6,000 German and Czech workers about a third of whom died from dysentery during construction. They are currently doing repairs to the canal and reconstructing some of the locks.
There are walkways on either side and it’s a great place for an evening stroll.It’s not evening, but we are going to stroll anyway….all the way down to that bridge down there…see it? That’s where we are going to cross over to the other side to Mill Island. Mill Island sits between the canal and the Brda river and has been made into a big recreational area. There is a huge playground for children,
Directly across from this on the other side of the canal is the beach! Yes, they have a beach in Bydgoszcz…complete with beach chairs too! I think you have to pay to sit there. And right in front of us there is one of the several museums and you’ll see a nice little restaurant peaking out from the back corner.Now we’re going to say good-bye to Mill Island and cross yet another bridge to take us back over to the other side of the Brda river. But if you want to play in the water take off your shoes and wade around a bit Or you can sit on the bench and watch the kids wade around in a “sluicer” that runs behind the museum.
Did you see this building hiding behind the trees in the picture above? It’s The Opera Nova….you can’t miss it! It’s one of ten Opera Houses in Poland. We can see this building from our balcony, it’s just as beautiful lit up at night.In case you are wondering….this river is very clean. You can actually see fish swimming around! They take great pride here in trying to be environmentally friendly. Even if they do allow cars in the water!This is actually a paddle boat that you can rent so you can “drive” the river. This is on the bucket list of things to do too! Oh, did you notice the houseboat? It’s that white rectangle in the picture above. It’s the only houseboat I’ve seen here.This is the view from the bridge looking upriver…which is where we are going. That’s the bridge we took to take us over to Old Town….so we’re almost back to where we started. For all you people who like to fish, you can bring your rod and reel and try it out. You might have missed it when you were looking at the scenery, but the man dressed in green caught 2 fish!
As you walk down the ramp you might notice that the pavement on the river walk (and around town too!) is either two colors or two different kinds of stone, depending where you are. That’s because biking is big here and almost everywhere there is a sidewalk along the river or canal and sometimes the street, there is a bike lane (the red in this picture) and a pedestrian lane. If you take a quick look to your left and across the river, you’ll see the back side of the Bydgoszcz Cathedral…that’s the same one I told you about in an earlier post. There is some scaffolding covering one side as restoration work is in progress. We can see this building from our balcony too!
And you stop looking up for a minute and look straight ahead, you can see that you can keep walking down the river if you want. But we’ve made a full circle around. You can sit and rest a bit if you want. I’m going to show you a few more sights you can see from your bench. The first are the buildings across the river. You can see that they try to blend in the newer modern buildings with the older surrounding building.
We are done for our walk today. If you turn around and go up the stairs behind you, you’ll be on the bridge to Old Town. Do you think you can find your way home?