Crossing the Czech, Polish border.
We experienced cold nights in Mongolia and Russia, but the recent freezing fog in Poland has probably been the coldest we’ve experienced so far. Our slow long breakfasts have become slower and longer as our frozen, numb fingers struggle to do what our brains tell them to do!
Our morning view was usually spectacular. We’d frequently wake up to a landscape that was transformed from the night before by thick fog giving our surroundings an air of drama and mystery.
We went to a milk bar (bar mleczny)in Poznan. These places were very popular during Poland’s communist past, not necessarily because the food was tasty but rather it was mainly the only cafe available that sold cheap food, mainly dairy.
The menu was all in Polish so we took a chance and ordered the most expensive soup on the menu thinking it would be the most substantial. Turns out it was duck blood soup, a sweet tasting soup with a cinnamon flavour. We have tasted lots of strange foods on the road but this was really weird. We washed it down with a glass of hot milk and a st. Martin croissant. Not just any croissant but one that is so fancy it’s protected by EU law! We ate at least one a day when we could get them. They weigh about 250grams and are filled with walnuts, fruit peel, poppy seeds, biscuit crumbs, raisins and almonds. Good cycling fuel!
It was very common to see deer roaming the country side in Poland and unfortunately just as common to see deer stalking towers which are used by hunters to shoot deer, not a fun tree house as we first thought!
The route is a pretty relaxed, easy cycle without much challenging terrain, the landscape is very flat, forested and at times can be a little monotonous. I never thought I’d be screaming for a hill to be magically summoned to rise out of the earth after tackling the Transfagarasan mountains in Romania, until I’d reached the flat plains of Poland!
The picturesque city of Wroclaw’s city centre was dotted with these little gnome fugures. Gnomes play a special role in polish folklore and contemporary culture. They actually played their part in the political struggle in 1980 communist Poland. The gnomes became the calling card of the Orange Alternative movement- an underground protest movement that used absurdity and nonsense to stage peaceful protests.
Generator by the artist Lech Twardowski, Wroclaw.
Hats off to Wroclaw!
Four months of avoiding a shave!