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The Warsaw Voice » Other » July 29, 2009
NORTHERN KASHUBIA REGION
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Norda Beckons
July 29, 2009   
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Mieczysław Struk, vice-chairman of Pomerania province, talks to Barbara Deręgowska about the tourist appeal of the Northern Kashubia region.

Northern Kashubia is an exceptional region. The 11th Kashubian Congress ended recently; this year it was held in Bytów and attracted guests including Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Who are the Kashubians today and how does the region attract tourists?
Kashubians are a special people in Poland who have been here for centuries. They have preserved their tradition, identity and distinct Slav language. They developed their rituals under the strong influence of the sea. They are very enterprising and sensitive about maintaining their freedom. The Kashubian Congress attracts over 10,000 participants from the north and south. Norda, or Northern Kashubia, has a unique charm thanks to its beautiful wide beaches, the sea and the sun. Baltic beaches are unrivaled in Europe. The beaches of the Bay of Puck delight visitors with the calm and shallow waters of the Small Sea, as Kashubians called the bay a long time ago. The wide sandy beaches along the open sea, on the other hand, are perfect for long strolls and for breathing the iodine-saturated sea air. The wandering dunes of Słowiński National Park and sections of a cliff shore near Jastrzębia Góra are a great treasure. Norda also offers the wonderful natural environment of the Nadmorski (Coastal) Scenic Park, special educational trails in nature reserves, caves and picturesque lakes. We have managed to develop excellent conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing, and also for sailors, hikers, cyclists and anyone else who likes spending their leisure time actively. Tourists will also enjoy Kashubian cuisine, its main assets being its connection to the sea and its simplicity. Dishes made from freshly caught and fried eel, herring, cod, salmon and flatfish are the region's culinary pride.

Northern Kashubia has a centuries-old culture and history. Is this the main reason why the region is popular with visitors?
In addition to a distinct culture and original wildlife, tourists are attracted to the region's rich past. This is related to the Cistercian and Teutonic religious orders and the rule of royal starosts. Three counties, Lębork, Wejherowo and Puck, have several dozen captivating historic sites worth seeing. It's also worth following the trail of manor houses and palaces in Northern Kashubia. Many of them are today comfortable hotels. Tourists who come to us from all over Europe are also enthralled by the historic churches, old cemeteries, museums and monuments. The Cistercian Trail runs through the region, and there's also the Gothic Castle Trail in the southern part of Kashubia. The ruins of the Baltic's largest German anti-aircraft battery from World War II are another major tourist attraction. Lighthouses and fishing ports, some of them with historic Border Guard cutters, are other distinct sightseeing sites in Norda. The quiet and charming fishing ports, full of yellow cutters and a historical ambiance, can safely compete with the modern sailboat marinas in Łeba and Jastarnia. In other words, we have plenty of attractions to offer and plenty with which to tempt tourists, both Poles and foreigners.

www.poznaj3miasto.pl

The tourist website dedicated to Pomerania province is run by the Pomeranian Regional Tourist Organization, of which Mieczysław Struk is honorary chairman.

Mieczysław Struk, 48, married with two children. Graduated in 1985 from the Tourism and Recreation Department of the Academy of Physical Education in Wrocław. Completed postgraduate courses in Organization and Management (1994) and European Integration (2001) at Gdańsk University. Postgraduate studies 2001-2003 at the department of Management and the Economics of Services at Szczecin University.

Became governor of Jastarnia in 1998 and from 1990 until 2002, was the mayor of the town. Since 1988 councilman in the Local Assembly of Pomerania Province. In 2002-2005 chaired the Committee on Development Strategy and Land Planning Policy. Became deputy marshal of Pomerania province in 2005.

Struk is honorary president of the Pomerania Regional Tourist Organization.
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