Trouble on the edge of paradise

I want to share some memories of my summer holidays with you in this, the first autumn issue of ‘Eurobuild’ of the year. I managed to escape from the heatwave by heading north. And I recommend this to everyone – as long as you’re able to accept certain nuances

I’ve been visiting the Lithuanian coast for a number of years. It’s much shorter than Poland’s (100 km compared to 500 km), but for some inexplicable reason it is far less crowded. Lithuania does have three or four resorts where noisy holidaymakers take up every inch of the relatively limited space available (such as the pier in Palanga and the promenade in Šventoji), but away from those overrun tourist traps it’s all peace and serenity. You only need to go a couple of hundred yards from those swimming areas with all the lifeguards and gaudy windbreakers to find miles of empty beaches. But even this paradise hasn’t been left entirely untouched by the times we live in. You might only rarely hear Russian spoken on Lithuania’s streets these days, even though they previously accounted for two-thirds of the visitors from abroad, as they are no longer welcome in the country. However, if you do hear the cadences of eastern Slavic, without doubt you will have just come across Belarusians or Ukrainians. In spite of this, it’s still difficult to put “Mother Russia” out of your mind, as you can sense how close the city formerly known as Königsberg is (we Poles refuse to call it by the name it was “rechristened” with in Soviet times) – especially when you drive past a military convoy or when camouflage-coloured transport planes tear across the skies above the beaches. Even fewer people go to visit the Curonian spit, which is a beautiful nature reserve rather similar to the Hel peninsula in Poland, but with fewer guesthouses and a strictly limited number of tourists. You can now only get to it from the northern side, by ferry from Klaipėda, since the southern side is under the control of the evil empire, and the free world has fenced this part off with barbed wire. It is apparently a safe trip to take, but it is certainly unnerving. In spite of all this, I can still heartily recommend a holiday in Lithuania – but only if you all promise not to swarm there in huge numbers.

However, not everyone gets the chance for a break over the summer and, as a result, we have a number of interesting articles for you to peruse. Have you ever compared commercial real estate to a piece of music? (And I’m not just talking about the stuff that’s played in the elevator or clothes shops.) Then be sure to take note of our analysis of the use of music in properties and the soundscapes that are being added to them. You’re also going to find out a great deal about the new brands that are being launched on the Polish market and that could perhaps augur a new era for Polish retail. We also take you on a trip to some popular holiday destinations, namely, the Balkans, to check out what the warehouse markets are like there and how much truth there is in the notion that they could threaten Poland’s leading position in the region (spoiler alert – at least not for the time being). You will also find a photo report of the conquest by one Eurobuild CEE’s intrepid reporters of the historic Citadela fort in Warsaw, which has now possibly become the site of not just one ambitious architectural project, but even two.

And now I shall also take the opportunity to invite you in advance to read our October edition, which we are now already working on. It will come out as it always does at the Expo Real fair in Munich with an additional warehouse supplement, together with all the dazzling journalistic flourishes we are renowned for. Well, it promises, at least, to be a very worthwhile read!