Friday, August 3, 2012

Poland For Lunch: A Day Trip to Szczecin (Stettin)

It all started while sitting around at a bar one day, our friend Karla from Australia mentioned, "I want to go to Poland for lunch...just because I can." Coming from big countries like America or Australia, the chance to just "pop" over to another country for a day, or lunch, is quite a novelty. We decided to go for it. Szczecin is a two-hour train ride from Berlin, a smallish Polish town. The best part is things are open on Sundays there, there are pierogies and everything was super cheap. I took out the equivalent of 30 EUR and managed to get a full lunch with beer and appetizers, coffee, postcards, some more beers and fill a grocery bag with food. It was also generally a super fun day trip.

One good thing to know is that you can get a Berlin-Brandenburg group ticket for up to 5 people for 28€. For some reason Szczecin, though not actually in Berlin or Brandenburg, is included on this ticket (it's right on the border). Thus, the trip there AND back cost each of us less that €5,50 total. Hellz to the yes, I say!

I baked cake and made a HUGE container of coffee for the ride and we arrived at the train station for our 9am train on Sunday morning, July 8th.  We were tired. Our friend Myriam managed to somehow go from a night out straight to the train station without sleeping and not die.

Marion, Myriam and Carly, who was visiting me. Tired at the main train station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof, but excited!

Carly was demonstrating that we got to touch a piece of Russia. Train stations are exciting!

Me demonstrating the parmesean cheese soap in the train toilet. Yes, I took pictures in the toilet.

We arrived! The first thing we did was eat, of course! Well, the first thing we did was walk around confused, exchange our money into the Polish currency, Zloty, get a map, and take the old tram into town. Anyway, above are some Polish salads. Some info from Wiki about Szczecin:

Szczecin (German: Stettin), is the capital city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. In the vicinity of the Baltic Sea, it is the country's seventh-largest city and the largest seaport in Poland. As of June 2011 the population was 407,811.

Szczecin had quite the chaotic past, being taken over by Germany and Sweden at different points, a location of a few witchhunts and entirely fortified by walls in the 1600s. Apparently Szczecin also "was an important site of anti-communist unrest in the communist era." (Wiki).

Myriam with the pierogi. We went to Karczma Polska Pod Kogutem, where there were many pierogi options among other things. They had mushroom and cabbage ones without cheese or meat for me and also some with cottage cheese and something and some with meat. They were delicious. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed sitting on the patio and drinking some beers with our lunch.

Carly and June chowing down! Writing this is making me hungry all over again.

I found these pigs in the restaurant on the way downstairs to the bathroom.

After lunch, we took a wander to see the "sights", which there were not too many of. You can't really say Szczecin is the most beautiful of towns, though it does have some old nice buildings, a river running through it, etc. We thought this was funny...Franklina Delano Roosevelta street, guess FDR made an influence?

I believe the brown stone building used to be a Merchant Marine Academy. To the right is the river.

This happened.

The Church square.

Pretty old building! June, Myriam and Marion are enjoying the door.

I want to live in there.

I was complaining that there was not going to be vegan things...and then I found this poster. A vegan hardcore something from the USA at Teatr Kana. Of course. But then...

Let me mark the moment I found a cafe with soymilk in Szczecin! Sojowe mleko, bitches! I enjoyed that soy latte, for serious, and was shocked to find one in this small random Polish town. So, if you're wondering where to find soymilk in Szczecin, Kawiarnia Fanaberia (Cafe Fanaberia) is your place! Here are some reviews, if you're interested. The address is Bogusława 5 and there is another cute place called Teatr Maly next door that had beer and food. This area, Buguslawa Promenade, appeared to be the "hip" district of Szczecin. Anyway, Fanaberia had a little patio area out front and another area to sit in the backyard. They had lots of cakes and pastries and you could buy their tea and coffee, all presented with lots of fancy teapots and whatnot. They also had iced tea and apparently have really good hot chocolate, but it was way too hot to test the latter out.

Then we wandered more and found this building.

At last, we all headed to the mall for our last hour before the train. Everyone else looked at clothes,  but I headed straight for the supermarket. This was perhaps the biggest super market I'd ever seen in my life, and I'd gladly go back to Szczecin just to go there. There was an entire aisle of milk, where I found the beauty above, entire aisle of canned meat, another for yogurt, pasta, and half a refrigerated case filled with pierogies. It was epic.

After our shopping adventure we decided we better head back to the station to catch our 6pm train. Unfortunately the trams were not running so frequently and we arrived one minute after our train had left...running like idiots up to the platform. Oops. We had even attempted hitch-hiking to the station, but got turned down (there were five of us). So we managed to kill a couple hours until 8pm when the next train came, drank some more beers, ate some food in the station and played some games (I Spy anyone?). At least the train back was direct with no changes and we ended up having fun anyway.

We will surely go again, it was a great day trip, yummy food, cheap day out of Berlin and we had an awesome group that lead to never-ending giggles and adventures. Yay Szczecin!


  1. I thought I was the only person who enjoyed supermarkets in other countries. Going to Szczecin in the morning thanks for the help!

  2. @test - Absolutely not, I love them as well. Have fun!