Stories

Szczecin. Just say it.

by Stacy Siivonen - 3 months ago

I just wanted to go there because no-one else ever talks about it and it is close to the border of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, so I can visit it also, so I went there pretty much blindfolded. I also wanted to participate in geocaching challenge of collecting all states bordering the Baltic Sea. I started from my home town Hanko in southern Finland. Hanko is known as the Key West of Finland, so it is always nice to return there. I went to the Helsinki-Vantaa airport, where is a room called Kainuu, where you can sleep overnight. There are also those sleeping pods but they are overpriced. Easiest it is to sleep at the floor, not as comfortable, though. 

Then I took a morning flight to Oslo, Gardermoen and changed planes to Szczecin. It only so happened that there was a huge snow storm in central Europe and after a while of circling, the plane flew to Schönefeld, Brandenburg, instead. There was supposed to be a transport to Szczecin, but I did not see it coming, neither did so many Polish people with lots of luggage. Screw Norwegian with that one! Schönefeld had real East Europe feeling on it and everything around that area was just like United States - ugly, square halls. There is no lack of ugliness in Germany. I really wonder if certain A. Hitler is to blame for that. I did have more reasons to blame A. Hitler on the way to Szczecin, because all of Brandenburg was just wilderness. Think of it, you are in Central Europe and all you see is woods! I just wondered. Later I found out that it was not Hitler's fault entirely, Brandenburg was called the sand box of the Holy German Empire. Nothing grows there and if people grow something, their little villages were destroyed in wars long before Adolf Hitler came to existence. Still, it was just the area where the red army made its final fight before the capture of Berlin. The allies leveled much of Germany to the ground therefore all the ugly buildings there. Oh yeah, it was Hitler's fault entirely, he started it. 

In Szczecin I went to a crappy hostel, Firlik, and stayed there overnight. The next day it was still snowing. I took taxi to the Vorpommern side in Germany. There was a nice, small village and geocached there. 

The next day I had time to stroll around town and the sun was shining and it was all nice. Szczecin has some nice, old buildings like the Voivode's office. I stood in the same place where Hitler had stood. I thought it was creepy, I always thought that Hitler was just in Hitler places, but actually he had been in many places. And the people in Stettin, which it was called back then, elected him as the honor citizen of the city. That is even creepier. Karma was a bitch, though and the allied destroyed the city, but the Polish people built it back so that you can hardly see any damage from the war. There is a great ducal castle, some old churches and nice parks. One of the parks used to be named after Hitler. In January it felt like I was the only tourist in town. They do not understand English at the hostel. They do not even understand English at the railway station. 

The next day I had to leave. The train took me to the Pomeranian countryside where the airport was. The weather was gorgeous and I spent some time walking in Pomeranian woods. This time with no incident the plane took me to Gardermoen. It was raining there, like it usually rains in Norway, but I still went there geocaching. Nothing great, though, The environment near the airport looked dull. Then I took a flight to Helsinki and stayed overnight on the floor of the Kainuu room. I took a train back home. The ticketing machine was broken and charged my credit card three times. It was later corrected by the credit card company. The trains are untrustworthy in Finland. 

 

 



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