Survey from the future
It is the year 2030. They live in Poznań, which in the year when they were born, that is, 2012, began to implement the Strategy for the Warta River. What do they think about their city?
The best district?
Piotr: - Wyspa Północna (Northern Island). We moved here with my parents from Łazarz. I liked the old tenement houses and the bustling center, I even objected a little because I had friends there but my parents insisted on that. We live in a two-storey house in the northern part of the island. The skate park is very near, and my dad became keen on fishing – he hangs around on a pier behind the house all day long.
Paweł: - Chwaliszewo, of course. I was born here, when there was no river yet here. I remember little of this but I’ve seen photos in my family album. In the place where now the pub on the water is, there used to stand cars and some garages. When I was young, I used to go with my grandfather to watch enormous excavators. I also remember the day when water was poured into the new river channel. Though actually it was an old river channel but it was dug up again.
How do you move around the city?
Piotr: - I ride a bike almost all year round. I attend Maria Magdalena High School, the riding takes me ten minutes from my house. My dad complains a little bit because he is a man of the old school and he is attached to a car but slowly he changes his mind. Next year he will have a tram from the island to his very work office, so I guess he will use it.
Paweł: - I travel on foot because everything is close to me. I am finishing my high school and I want to study economics, so if I am admitted, my university will be close too.
The best place for a date?
Piotr: - I like the the pedestrian precinct in Solna street. There is a lot of greenery there and it seems there are fewer tourists than in the Old Town. You can drink coffee and don’t need to shout when you want to say something. There is this café in the former Synagogue, a very atmospheric place. And everything is close, so when you are run out of conversation topics, you can quickly come up with something else.
Paweł: - Boulevards in Chwaliszewo. Especially in the evening when the gas lamps are lighted. Near the water it is quiet. You can meditate or stare at the water. Just sometimes it is difficult to find a free bench there. Besides the harbour in the centre, I like the one in Portowo. There is a café with a terrace there and especially in season you can sit there and watch watermen with boats.
The best place for eating out
Piotr: - “Tylko u nas” on Wrocławska street. My father used to go there for pork chops when he was still at university and he says that their taste hasn’t changed from that time. He even told me to continue this tradition because, apparently, tradition is a sacred thing in Poznań.
Paweł: - In Czantoria there is a cool place. It is run by an old Turk. They have the best kebabs in the city but you have to wait twenty minutes in a queue because recently somebody has written about it in a guide and crowds come there. And, of course, “pyry z gzikiem” on the market. But they are for visitors because how often you can eat potatoes with cottage cheese.
Every day sports
Piotr: - Kayaks, of course. When we haven’t had our own yet, my father and I used to rent one in Chwaliszewo and sailed down the river as far as to Owińsk. From there we returned by water tram because we were too lazy to paddle against the current. Nowadays I sail on my own kayak. I like to sail against the current to Portowo. I drink a Coke there and come back with the tide, enjoying the views. I also like to ride a bike in Starołęka and Łęgi Dębińskie, crossing the Warta at the footbridge leading straight to Portowo, then I rest and come back to the centre.
Paweł: - In winter – ice skates. Canals on Northern Island freeze and you can skate there pretty well. In summer, however, it’s probably a bicycle. I like Wartostrada. You can pass via it whole Poznań from the north to the south and do not feel that you rode through the heart of this great city. And there are no vehicles there because the route runs along the river! It’s great for sluggards.
What would you recommend to tourists?
Piotr: - a tourist tram or the Imperial-Royal Route (Trakt Królewsko Cesarski). Both of them combine all the city’s attractions in a nutshell and to discover them you even do not necessarily need to have a guide. Just listen to the instructions. Of all the monuments I like Zamek Cesarski (the Imperial Palace) most. Nowhere in Poland you can find the same!
Paweł: - I would recommend them to gung-ho, to come out of the railway station and just go where they want to, to get lost in the maze of streets, eat somewhere “pyry z gzikiem” (potatoes with cottage cheese), hire a bike, walk around Stary Rynek (the Old Market), stop for a moment for a coffee in Chwaliszewo, go by water tram to Northern Island or Wielkopolska National Park. And well, maybe ICHOT (Centre of Ostrow Tumski History) should be obligatorily seen. Holograms from dinner at Mieszko I are pretty cool. You can even smell real food there!
What don’t you like in Poznań?
Piotr: - That Lech again fell out of the League. I shouted myself hoarse during the last match but it didn’t work.
Paweł: - That we constantly compare ourselves to others, instead of doing our bit.
What are you afraid of?
Piotr: - I think nothing, but when we moved my mum was terribly scared of flood and that we will be flooded by great water. My father showed her some graphs and explained , but it was in vain. At least she has read somewhere that Poznań has the same flood safety level as the biggest cities in the Netherlands, so she has recently calmed down and now only complains about his fishing.
Paweł: - That I’ll have to move out of here someday and I don’t want that at all.