For any mainstream tourist, the reputation of Poland must seem decidedly discouraging. Dubbed as cheap, overflowing with low quality wares and food, uniformly dressed in drab socialist gray and offering only boring flatlands of no variance, it must seem that just about anything else must be more attractive. Admittedly, there is a grain of truth to the reputation, yet it is overwhelmingly undeserved. After visiting, it's clear to me that Poland is more aptly described as inexpensive than cheap, the cuisine - and especially any sour rye soup (żurek) - is as of yet an undiscovered European foodie paradise; and that infamous socialist gray on buildings, where not painted over, usually stands out on masterpieces of modernist architecture. In Gdańsk, all of this and more is true: the food is great, try the positively Nordic-tasting herring; the prices are acceptable even for the thrifty - even more so in the countless milk bars; the port and its surrounding industrial zone is a sight to behold for anyone looking for the charm of the derelict. Gdańsk is a city to visit repeatedly and often.