A few years ago I travelled from Wrocław to Poznań to visit a friend who had moved back to Poland. I didn’t know a lot about the place before I went so it was rather lovely just to wander and explore this west-Polish city. I went around the time the Euro 2012 cup was there, so there was a lot of football bollocks scattered around. But besides that it was a splendid city.
The most famous thing in Poznań’s centre is the two little goats who smash heads at midday. The story behind the billy goats is something to do with two goats who started bashing each other when a small boy was trying to drag them to be cooked. I don’t know if the goats were killed and eaten – but they have been immortalised in the town hall clock.
Poznań is known for a lot more than just two fluffy goats. It’s also known for its universities, Renaissance-style buildings and for being the only town mentioned in the Polish national anthem. You’d think that if they were going to name cities in the national anthem that they’d name them all. Or maybe just the capital. But no, they just mention the one (non capital) city. Crazy Polish.
Lake Malta & Lake Kierskie
Lake Malta is an artificial lake just outside of Poznań centre. It’s rather lovely, especially when the sun is out. The area is surrounded by parks, woodlands and a campsite. In the winter there are lots of attractions including the first ski slope in former communist Europe – spiffing. When I was in Poznań we went to Lake Malta and Lake Kierskie. In Lake Kierskie my friend and I went on a pedalo around the lake which was awesome.
Unlike when I was in Munich at Lake Starnberg, I didn’t go skinny dipping due to the lake being really busy. The Germans don’t mind a bit of skinny dipping; but I’m not sure how much the Polish families picnicking around the lake would appreciate my flabby bits.
If you’re visiting Poznan then I highly recommend getting shit faced in the town and then spending the next day enjoying the beautiful-ness of Lake Kierskie. Or, why not take your beers to the lake and go drunken skinny dipping? (Please note that I haven’t checked whether skinny dipping is allowed, so ask first yeah?)
Food & Drink
When I went to Poznań I was young and foolish and a cider drinker. A pint of lager in Poznan was around £1, max. But if you want some bubbly apples it cost around £2.50 (because it’s so rare to find cider on tap). In London that is bloody cheap but it’s more than double the price of a larger here.
My friend took me to the Dark Restaurant in Poznań. A dark restaurant, is where you sit in complete darkness and only the waiting staff can see (with their little eye torch things). Before you go into the restaurant you write down foods you don’t like or are allergic to and the rest is up to the chef. Our main meal was definitely some chicken and cheese thing. Scrummy. But for the life of me I can’t remember what the starter and dessert was.
After we finished we walked back out to the lit reception area to talk to the chef and tell him what we thought we ate. But because my polish goes as far as counting from 1-10 and saying “I don’t speak polish” we spoke to a waiter who spoke English.
The bars in Poznań have a great atmosphere and there’s lots of alternative bars. Poznań is a very musical city so there’s a lot of rock and metal gigs around. Once you’ve spent the day getting drunk at the lake, I recommend going to a local gig and rocking the night away. It’s one of the best ways to truly enjoy Poznań.