The Birthplace of Eastern Europe's Democracies
In the summer of 2021, we received our EU COVID certificates and found that Poland was green in the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs' travel advice. Now we could take the journey the pandemic had prevented to revisit the birthplace of the Eastern European democracy movements in the 1980s.
On a tour in August and September, we explored nature, culture and people. We drove from the sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea in the north to the Masurian Lakes in the east through flat landscapes to the Tatra Mountains in the south. We crossed the Vistula River several times, which stretches from southern Poland to the Baltic Sea.
From holidays three decades ago, we remembered beautiful scenery and welcoming people, but also a foot-dragging vibe. The impressions we now got became an image of a dynamic country divided between conservative nationalists and liberal internationalists. They also added new dimensions to our understanding of Polish politicians' views on European cooperation.