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Tips & Curiosites
July 05, 2016 | Baltic Sea | Poland
Has It Ever Been Possible To Walk Through The Ice-Bound Baltic Sea?

In the 14th century, between the years 1322 and 1324, Europe was struck by especially severe winters. It was so freezing cold for months that even the whole Baltic froze. Merchants, military and bandits made use of this bizarre situation and used the frozen sea as a shortcut. Resourceful innkeepers were overjoyed and started building their inns in the middle of the sea. Special construction of the furnaces prevented them from melting the ice underneath. Seems unreal, right?

No wonder, it’s all just fiction. However, as many other urban legends, this story is still stirring emotions.

Deluge occurred over three centuries after the alleged winter of the millennium, at a time equally cold as then – during Little Ice Age. Over the course of five years, the Swedes barged deep into the territory of the Commonwealth. Even though some military activities took place in the open waters and even though there had to be at least one thaw in five years, many still imagine the Swedes crossing the Baltic Sea on foot and with sleds. Sadly for the Swedes, it wasn’t that easy at all.

However, there’s a kernel of truth in this legend. Historic records mention crossing the frozen territory of the Baltic, even if not as spectacular as walking from Poland to Sweden. Ice expeditions were undertaken on shorter distances where an occurrence of a thicker ice cover was more probable. Those included the iced gulfs of Finland and Bothnia and the Denmark Strait. And what about the inns? They were indeed built on ice, yet very close to the shore, specifically for travelers opting for the fine surface of frozen beaches.

As usual, the reality is falling short in comparison to the fiction. And if that wasn’t disappointing enough, not only did the Baltic not freeze over completely, but also Coca-Cola does not dissolve teeth, Walt Disney was not hibernated, and most of us tend to use more than 10% of our brainpower, although unfortunately there might be some exceptions... 

With the ice or not, I can help you with visiting many Baltic countries such as Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Poland.

Ready to go there? Contact me

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