Weekend at Toruń

Spring is in full bloom and this is the best time to visit places to enjoy their natural beauty. The weekend get away this time was  to the medieval town of Toruń. Thanks to the weekend ticket from PKP (bilet weekendowy) which makes the journey cheaper. TLK trains were used for both journey from Warszawa Zachodnia (Warsaw West) to Toruń Główny (main train station in Toruń) and return. The journey from Warsaw to Toruń itself was exciting. The train traverses through the middle of fields, forests and small villages. The small polish villages scattered across the landscape and isolated houses in the middle of big fields paints a picturesque breathtaking view. Most of the fields are filled with either short green grass or yellow blossom (mostly Rapeseed, Brassica napus).

After reaching the main train station one can take per journey tickets or a 24 hr ticket for the public transportation. For the main train station there are frequent bus connections to reach the medieval town. The buses takes the Józef Piłsudski Bridge to cross both the Kępa Bazarowa islet and the Vistula river

The medieval Town of Toruń was the major attraction.  Toruń is one of the few cities which survived the destruction during world wars and thus have a well preserved medieval township. The tourist information center provided all the information necessary to visit the city and provided with maps and descriptions of different attractions available in Toruń.

Toruń Castle or Thorn Castle is one of the the World Heritage Sites in Poland and is part of seven wonders in Poland. The castle was established by the Teutonic Order and was demolished by the citizens of Toruń and the Toruń City Council during the beginning of the thirteen years war (1454–66). The largest section of the castle to survive to present day is the sewage tower (dansker). The tower is located over a stream that joins the nearby Vistula river. The castle ruins also host many events.  The layout of the castle is clearly discernible as the outer walls have been preserved. The castle walls extends from the ruins to the other ends of the medieval town with leaning tower being a part of it.

Nicolaus Copernicus (Mikołaj Kopernik), the renaissance era mathematician and astronomer, who proposed the  the heliocentric theory, was born in Toruń.  The Copernicus house is a museum and is a major tourist attraction. The museum displays the interesting history and the instruments used in astronomy and geometry. It also have a section with the archeological relics from the town of Toruń on display. For a seeker of truth, visiting the house of Copernicus will always be an inspiration. The street where the house is located is named after him.

The most famous product of Toruń is the Toruń gingerbread (Toruńskie Pierniki). The tradition of the baking of these aromatic cookies in this town is almost as long as the history of Toruń. The gingerbread museum and living museum of gingerbread shows the history of gingerbread. There are workshops on how to prepare Piernicki and exhibition on the history of gingerbread. Gingerbreads from this town are of two types: one is for human consumption and other is for decorative purposes. The museum provides a tour of various molds, techniques, machines and ovens used in gingerbread preparation.

Nature and the natural beauty is as important as the architecture of a city. Torun is no exception to this. The river Vistula flows along the sides of the medivial town across its length. The river sides and the associated banks are an excellent spot to spend quality time. The river and the greenery on the other side of the river adds to the serenity and calmness. The Józef Piłsudski Bridge bridge connects the medivial town to the other side of the river. The Kępa Bazarowa islet is a natural reserve with riverine forest covering half of its area. The Mała Wisełka river which is separated from Vistula flows through the Kępa Bazarowa and joins back Vistula. The Kepa Bazarowa can be easily accessed by take the path near the main train station (Torun Glowny) which leads upto the panoramic view point on the beach of the river.

The Vistula panorama is earmarked by two bridges forming the border points: the road bridge named after J. Piłsudski, and the railway bridge named after E. Malinowski. In between them, the buildings of the Old Towns present itself painting the view: the cathedral, churches, the Town Hall Tower, tenement houses, granaries, the gates, city towers, defense walls, bastions, the remnants of the Teutonic Castle, the steps of Philadelphian Boulevard riverside and many more. The view of the city after sunset after lights set is something that is not miss when visiting Torun. The panorama gains a special beauty  due to the stylish illumination of monuments, with the reflection in the river.

Planetarium of Toruń is another masterpiece. The exhibition on Mars base has many interesting activities like simulating the bio reactors, controlling the oxygen level and various power generators, making food combinations for sustainable life in the Mars base. The base also has few of the photos of Mars taken by NASA missions on display.

The city also have a pletora of statues of important people as well characters from comic strips.