Just when I decided to take a walk the rain started . But here in Szczecin the rain is highly unpredictable and this time of year it often doesn’t last long . I checked the predictions on the internet and , for once , they were right . The rain was to last only for an hour . After that , the sun came out and it was time to go .
First , I walked down the the new Old Town . This , as I understand it , was the old town of the city before the area was mostly bombed to rubble by the Brits and the Americans during World War II [ note: pre-war Szczecin was the German city of Stettin ; the borders changed after the war ] . 1944 was a bad year for the city . The old town was on the river and the bridges and shipyard and warehouses , bombing targets , were on the river .
A few old buildings , or parts of them , survived the bombing . The castle , for example , was not totally destroyed and was rebuilt . The old City Hall , looking to me a lot like a church , was somehow spared the destruction . It now houses a museum of the city and a restaurant and brewery and the new Old Town was built up around it .
The locals laugh a little when the current Old Town is mentioned . They call it the new Old Town , because most of it has been recently built . I’ll guess that the buildings around the square of the new Old Town were finished about ten years ago or so . It has several restaurants and wine bars . It’s a good place to sit , have a beer , and watch tourists , especially Germans .
I considered having a beer , but I heard music closer to the river . It sounded sweet and folksy and I wondered if it was live or recorded . I had to go and check . It was live — a group of girls singing , dressed in ( modified ) folk costume . As far as I could tell , they were from the Czech Republic and they were singing Czech folk songs .
When they were done I continued my walk , now back along the river . It’s always nice to check out the boats .
Later in the day Ada and I walked down here again to listen to a group of musicians playing on the same floating stage where the Czech singers ( if they were Czech ) had performed . These guys were great . One of them I recognized from a free concert at the castle a week ago . A Spanish singer showed up and performed two or three Spanish songs during the concert . He must be an opera singer . His voice was something else .
Their stage was floating on the river and I was watching boats pass during the performance . At one point one of the boats made waves that rocked the stage enough to interrupt the music for a minute or two .
After the concert , Ada and I walked across the Long Bridge to the other side of the river .
We went as far as the recently-installed sandy beach . People go there to sunbathe , I guess , during the day ; but there is no swimming allowed . We were there at night and the place was crowded with , mostly , young people drinking beer and having a good time. Music was playing there , too . A couple of guys were drumming as electronic music played behind them .
A drone was watching all of this , I guess .
I never know what I might see during the summer in the city . Lots of events , races , free concerts , and festivals pop up day by day . As Ada and I walked back home , we saw bicycles and tents and road barriers set up in anticipation of the triathlon that seems to be going to happen tomorrow . Meanwhile , rafts and straw huts on them wait on the river . They floated in from far distances and , I suppose , a festival of ancient Slavic culture will occur soon .