Drew Andrew came to visit us almost two weeks ago. (I have to try and call him Andrew now though since he is grown up and a college graduate.) But it’s probably not going to happen…sorry Drew!) He graduated from college this year and it was his present to himself to visit us in Bydgoszcz for a few days on his trip that took him through Reykjavik Iceland, Warsaw, a short train trip to Berlin and Gdansk. It was great to have a visitor….and someone to speak English to besides my husband. Drew Andrew is an avid soccer player and fan and as luck would have it Zawisza Bydgoszcz, the 2014 Polish National champions, were playing a home game.
So on the hottest day that has ever been recorded here (99 degrees), we went to the game. Ticket prices were out of this world….CHEAP out of this world. David’s and my ticket were 9 zloty each ($2.40) because we had senior discounts (yep, we are getting old) and Drew’s was 12 zloty ($3.19). Fortunately our seats were on the shady side of the stadium. It seats 20,000+ people, but only a few thousand were there. It was fun to watch especially with someone who knows the game, but unfortunately they lost 2-1.
The next day we finally did something that I have been wanting to do, but hadn’t had the chance. Go up to the top of the water tower for a bird’s eye view of the city. I tried to go in May when I visited here with David’s Dad and our daughter Maria, but we went on a Friday and they were closed…boo! So with a visitor in town, it was the perfect time to try again. It’s not an active water tower anymore, but has been turned into a museum with all kinds of themed displays and the history of how water used to be distributed to the town. Don’t you just love the old washing machines? Glad we don’t use those now!
But right in the center you can climb the small spiral staircase up 179 steps to the top and step out onto the platform for a view of the city. I don’t mind stairs. Going up is fine….it’s the coming back down later. I’m sure it’s stupidity on my part, but after falling down just a few stairs at home and then 4 surgeries to try and get my ankle back to somewhat normal, I have developed a fear of falling down the stairs. Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt (well, Atlantic Physical Therapy gave me a T-shirt because I practically lived there), but still afraid I’ll do it again.
So I want you to know that I took my life in my hands to get these pictures! I risked life and limb and climbed up those stairs and back down again with a death grip on the railing. Ok…maybe a little over dramatic, but not in my mind. And as long as I’m sharing my fears….I have a fear of heights too. See that walkway and railing? Not wide enough for me! I was standing too close to the edge for comfort.
I’m OK in tall buildings looking out from the inside. Even OK in airplanes and looking down thousands of feet from inside the safety of the plane….but get me out on a ledge where there is a gap in the railing and the “floor” is a metal grate and this unrational fear takes over. But I did manage to take some pictures while I was glued to the side of the water tower. The big white building in the left part of the middle of the picture is the Opera Nova. If you look really closely, there is a spot of brown on the top of the taller part of the building. That’s the building where we live. In the picture below, that church steeple belongs to the Church of St. Andrew Bobola. It is the tallest building in Bydgoszcz. The tower of the church is 75 meters high. Got to think in the metric system here –that’s about 246 feet. Although from this angle it looks like the University Bridge (the green suspension bridge on the right) is just as tall.
Drew took advantage of the view-finder…which is free by the way.. and then spent some time taking time lapse pictures with his camera. He majored in Film and Video Studies and is putting his expertise to work with his fancy camera. He and David enjoyed the view from the railing while I was busy hugging the side of the building. Drew was kind enough to take this picture (with my phone-not his fancy camera). You can’t see it but I have a death grip on David with one hand and the other hand I’m holding onto the wall. I might do this again someday (if anyone else comes to visit), but you know I’ll be holding on for dear life! Hope you enjoyed the bird’s eye view of Bydgoszcz!