A group of German tourists were being given a history lesson on Solidarnosc Plac. They were outside Gate No 2 on Doki Street, where Lech Walesa once stood and changed the world.
By the side of the Solidarity Kiosk (closed), some Spanish lads drank beer.
They were waiting for the adjoining football camp to open. Outsiders drawing lines across this country has been one of its problems, but without the Gdansk shipyard, we would not have Euro 2012 here. There is a direct line. Welcome to Poland, where history lives.
History lives: A statue of Kazimierz Deyna was unveiled in Warsaw this week
A couple of miles north, past the odd red-and-white Polska flag draped from a window, the new Lechia Gdansk stadium was being prepared for Sunday's Group C opener between Spain and Italy. It is some structure, an amber bowl to reflect the mineral that gave Gdansk its trade, able to hold almost 45,000.
To the west of the city, the old Lechia stadium looks in good nick, too. Germany, to whom Gdansk remains 'Danzig', are training there. Around 8,000 locals watched Mesut Ozil and Co on Wednesday.
This is the ground where, in 1983, Walesa was smuggled in to see Lechia play Juventus in the second leg of a European Cup- winners' Cup tie. Giovanni Trapattoni, Michel Platini and Zbigniew Boniek were playing for Juve.
The ruling Communist Party were cracking down on Solidarity, Walesa's trade union federation, and Walesa has recalled: 'The stadium was packed, the crowd shouted Solidarity's name. It sounded really perfect. It did upset the Communists and the secret police. It was a big moment. We needed to show the Communist Party that they weren't the only power in Poland. They felt paralysed by seeing how united we were at football matches.
'Sport was one of the ways we met each other and found out how much we had in common. We were much closer because of football.'
On Wednesday, on the Polish equivalent of News at Ten, two grinning nuns were interviewed in a stand as Germany trained. That came after a report on the return of the ashes of Kazimierz Deyna to Poland. The former Manchester City midfielder was killed in a car crash in San Diego in 1989. A hero of 1974, when Poland came third in the World Cup, Deyna's ashes now lie in Warsaw, where Legia fans have also paid for a statue. History mingles with the present.
Cities & Stadiums
The Top 3 Teams of Previous Tournaments
|2008||Spain||Germany||Russia / Turkey|
|2004||Greece||Portugal||Netherlands / Czech Republic|
|2000||France||Italy||Netherlands / Portugal|
|1996||Germany||Czech Republic||France / England|
|1992||Denmark||Germany||Netherlands / Sweden|
|1988||Netherlands||Soviet Union||Italy / West Germany|
|1984||France||Spain||Denmark / Portugal|
|1972||West Germany||Soviet Union||Belgium|