Poznan has lots of history. It also has lots of very cheap beer.
Travelers to Eastern Europe usually fall into one of two groups; those who are going to be interested in lots of history or those that are going to be interested in lots of very cheap beer. If you are one of the rare fish that is interested in both then you will be chuffed to the gills with what Poznan has to offer you. However, I suggest you do the history first. Once you’ve started on the very cheap beer you will have great difficulty respectfully doffing your cap to the graves of the first kings of Poland, without falling over.
This is because Polish beer produces mind-bending states of consciousness that you may not be used to. This will be especially so if you have been weaned on insipid English lagers that pretend to be quality Belgian, Australian or American beers, but are all brewed a few miles from Preston.
The bizarre effects of imbibing the unholy Polish trinity of Lech, Tyskie and Zywiec (how do you pronounce that?) can include ecstatic optimism, freakish hallucinations and delusions of biblical proportions.
Indeed you may even think yourself to be God’s representative on Earth. It was eight cans of Tyskie that did the trick for Karol Jozef Wojtyla. He was so convincing in saying he was best mates with the big man that they offered him the job of being Pope John Paul II.
The Poles are very proud of him, by the way, and there is a statue of him in Poznan. I suppose if you have no chance of winning the football World Cup or even the Eurovision Song Contest, then making a fuss when the local priest gets the white smoke in the Vatican is as good as it gets. Although, these days, the rest of us are more concerned about keeping the local priest away from the kids.
If you are going to Poznan from the UK then you will probably have to suffer the vivid blue and yellow cabin interiors of Ryanair. This also means travelling from their UK base at far-flung Stanstead Airport, which is way beyond the back of beyond. It also means cramming all your clothes into a Cornflakes box, as this is as much cabin baggage as you are allowed to take on their planes without being charged so much that it eats into your cheap beer budget. So if you were actually planning to take any Cornflakes with you, then you may have to sacrifice taking clean clothes. Or mix some underpants in with the Cornflakes.
As I’ve said there is lots of history to be had in Poznan and the most entertaining way to experience this is by downloading the only audio-guide I could find on the internet. It is entertaining because it has been made by an American and right from the get-go he keeps you entertained with his wonderful pronunciations of Pose-nan and Poe-Land.
I can’t wait for him to do guides to Eye-Raq and Lycestershire.