Poland








Daiwnowek
Lat N 54° 02,15', Long E 14° 48,18'
Today: 77 °F ( +25 °C)
29 May 2005
-197066 km

We found a washing machine at the campsite so we take the opportunity to do the laundry. It is also nice to stay fore a while in the same place to relax. Daiwnowek is a small holiday resort for mostly locals and a few Germans. The Polish people do not speak English, but some of them know a few words of German. This means we have to use your hands to make ourselves understood.

Yesterday we went to a place were they played Polish hit music. The dance floor was packed with mostly with middle-aged women singing and dancing away. Nice to se that everyone seemed to have such a good time.

The big hunt for an Internet café is on. Now one seems to know what Internet is around here. Maybe we are asking the wrong way...












Daiwnowek
Lat N 54° 02,15', Long E 14° 48,18'
Today: 59 °F ( +15 °C)
30 May 2005
-197066 km

At last we have found an Internet café! Now we can upload the adventures of the passed days and send some e-mail.

It is noticeable that beach season has not started yet. The heat wave of the passed days was probably very temporary. It is now cloudy, cool and rainy again. This means that we all over again have to decide what to do; go for sun and beaches or stay up north and put up with the cool whether. Finally we decided to stay in Poland to do all the things we want to do here before we leave. This means we now head for Warsaw, and our first stop along the way Bialy-Bor.

At the campsite we met fourteen artists from Poland and Germany that were having a one week workshop. Immediately we were invited in their community. The evening ended in a big party and a late sauna.










Bialy-Bor
Lat N 53° 54,33', Long E 16° 49,66'
Today: 53.6 °F ( +12 °C)
31 May 2005
-197048 km

This was a nice place, so we decided to stay for another day with our new found friends. All through the day there were heavy rain showers, but we managed to take a walk in the village between the showers. We had an excellent and filling Polish lunch. In Poland the main meal is the lunch with both soup and main dish. In the evening they usually have something not to heavy, more like a breakfast. In this campsite we get good value for the money, we get housing, excellent lunch and dinner for two persons for only 28 $.

In the evening we visited the local pub. We had a few beers and played chess with the owner.














Bialy-Bor
Lat N 53° 54,33', Long E 16° 49,66'
Today: 53.6 °F ( +12 °C)
01 Jun 2005
-197048 km

Said goodbye to our new found friends and headed for Torun. We stopped along the way to visit Chelmo, an old town with a whole lot of gothic churches. Our car just passed 200 000 kilometers today! It is important to take good care of it so the car takes us all the way to China.

When we arrived at the campsite in Torin we were able to check in as a car and not a camper for the first time. That saved us a whole lot of money. A police car followed us in to the campsite and sneaked by to take a photo of our camper as we parked.

Torun is a proper town. Here we can make ourselves understood in English and there are a lot of Internet cafes. It makes our life much easier not having to guess all the time. Catharina also managed to figure out what she had for dinner the other day; soup with cow stomach. Hmmm… Obviously a popular dish in Poland, but not something that she will order again…










Torun
Lat N 52° 59,99', Long E 18° 36,37'
Today: 57.2 °F ( +14 °C)
02 Jun 2005
-177297 km

We have decided to stay for two more nights in Torun. We want to work on the car and to take a closer look at the town. We really need to come up with a solution for a tent/sun/rain roof for our camper.










Torun
Lat N 52° 59,99', Long E 18° 36,37'
Today: 62.6 °F ( +17 °C)
03 Jun 2005
-177297 km

It is time to start translating our website in to English, now that we have English speaking people curious to read about our trip. We are really happy about the weather. It is tremendously better today. It has not been raining all day and the temperature is slowly rising…










Torun
Lat N 52° 59,99', Long E 18° 36,37'
Today: 71.6 °F ( +22 °C)
04 Jun 2005
-177297 km

Today we took the opportunity to take a walk around Torin. The weather has not been this good for days. The town is neat with old, richly decorated houses and balconies and the streets are packed with restaurants and cafés.

In an alley we found a vegetarian restaurant and came up with the brilliant idea to save our bodies from absolute depravation. The food in Poland is quite fattening compared to what we normally eat, and of course we have had a few beers this passed weeks as well. We decided to have a super healthy day – no beer, vegetarian food and only health drinks.










Torun
Lat N 52° 59,99', Long E 18° 36,37'
Today: 68 °F ( +20 °C)
05 Jun 2005
-177297 km

This was a day for traveling. When you visit countries in Eastern Europe you will notice how dull and grey all the block of flats look, but not all of them in Poland. Now days quite a few of are richly decorated in colorful geometric patterns. Along the way we found a store where we bought parts for our tent to be.

When we arrived in Warsaw it turned out to be the annual ”Strawberry festival” in a park nearby. It is a kind of summer party with music, food, beer and stalls.












Warsawa
Lat N 52° 12,80', Long E 20° 57,82'
Today: 66.2 °F ( +19 °C)
06 Jun 2005
-177272 km

Today we have been riding the bus, tram and metro like crazy checking out the town. The ”Palace of Culture and Science” is a really ugly building in the center that dominates the Warsaw skyline completely. The building is a gift from Russia in the fifties. The Polish people makes jokes about it and says that the panorama view from the top is the best in town, because it is the only view were you do not have to se the building.

When Catharina visited Warsaw 20 years ago she got to borrow a flat for a week, right in the center. Today we tried to locate the flat, but too much has happened since then so we did not manage to find it.








Warsawa
Lat N 52° 12,80', Long E 20° 57,82'
Today: 66.2 °F ( +19 °C)
07 Jun 2005
-177272 km

We have now seen and done what we want in Warsaw, so we are now heading for Krakow. Along the way there was an IKEA. Of course we needed to pay a visit to se what the Swedish company IKEA is like abroad. It was very similar to home except for the “Swedish Shop” at the exit where they sell Swedish delicacies as Kalles Kaviar and herring, etctera.












Krakow
Lat N 50° 05,9', Long E 19° 56,23'
Today: 62.6 °F ( +17 °C)
08 Jun 2005
-177242 km

Bert got to borrow some tools today to put up an extra handle at the back door. After that we took the bus in to town, a lovely town with a lot of tourists. In the center you also find Wawel castle and cathedral, where over one hundred kings and queens have been crowned and buried. Krakow used to be the capital of Poland.














Krakow
Lat N 50° 05,9', Long E 19° 56,23'
Today: 53.6 °F ( +12 °C)
09 Jun 2005
-177242 km

Today we took a daytrip to Wielicaka Salt Mine. This is a very interesting place that we really recommend. Everything was made of salt; art, chandeliers, floors, ceilings, walls, chapels and an awesome underground church where you can get married if you like. Everything there was created by the miners, even the art and the church. We took a guided tour in English. The tour took us two hours and 3 kilometers but still we did not manage to se more than 1% of the mine, it is enormous.














10/6: Krakow, Poland
Lat N 50° 05,9', Long E 19° 56,23'
Today: 50 °F ( +10 °C)
10 Jun 2005
3280 km

Rain, rain, rain is poring down. This far it has been raining every day since we got to Poland. If we had known this we would have been in the Mediterranean long ago...

Today we went to Oswiecim, a town also known under the German and more famous name Auschwitz. Both of us have felt quite uncomfortable for this visit, but never the less a visit we just have to do.

The first thing that hit us was the enormous size of the camp. As far as we could se there where barracks and ruins of barracks, and all these used to be crowded with people. The other thing that hit us was the cruel effectiveness in this factory of death named Auschwitz – Birkenau. the rail goes strait in to the camp. Already at the platform, 80% was escorted directly to the gas chambers at the end of the platform, only 200 meters away. The gas chambers where hidden behind trees and a barbed wire fence, only the chimneys could be seen above the trees.

During the visit both of us felt uneasy. Everything was suddenly so tangible and close. Mountains of shoes, suitcases, glases, hair etcetera, belongings of someone tortured, gased or shot to death. How can this happen? Mankind is not as civilized as we would like to think. And worst of all - this can happen again.

A visit to Auschwitz is something everyone should do. There is so much to say and yet no words big enough to cover it. Only questions remains. How much could I endure? How far could I go?












11/6: Sucha, Poland
Lat N 50° 33,18', Long E 18° 13,86'
Today: 57.2 °F ( +14 °C)
11 Jun 2005
3460 km

We are now going to Wroclaw to visit Hanna, one of the artists we met in Bialy-Bor. They turned out to live in a popular area in the nicest part of town, next to a huge park and had a walking distance to town. When we arrived we got dinner and got to meet the whole family. In the evening we went out for a beer with Hanna and her husband Marek.

We choosed to sleep in our car even tough we where invited to stay in the house with Hanna and Marek. But we like our car and in fact we have been sleeping in our car every night since we left Sundsvall.












12/6: Wroclaw, Poland
Lat N 51° 07,19', Long E 17° 05,23'
Today: 68 °F ( +20 °C)
12 Jun 2005
3509 km

After an excellent Polish breakfast Hanna, Katie and Marek showed us around the area, park and the Japanese garden. On the way back we were invited for coffee and strawberries at the house of Mareks parents – where we also had our car parked and guarded by the dog Rocky. In the evening we were having dinner in the garden and drinking champagne. The cat Mickey kept us company.












13/6: Wroclaw, Poland
Lat N 51° 07,19', Long E 17° 05,23'
Today: 77 °F ( +25 °C)
13 Jun 2005
3509 km

Today we were in town with Hanna. She was helping us to get some material to our tent prototype. On the way home we went to the market where Hanna goes every day to get fresh fruit and vegetables. Hanna also wanted to vist her framemaker to check if he had completed her order. He is one of few that still works in a tradionell way. The rest of the day we were working like maniacs to make a prototype for our tent.








14/6: Wroclaw, Poland
Lat N 51° 07,19', Long E 17° 05,23'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
14 Jun 2005
3509 km

At last! Sun and heat. Just what Catharina has been longing for. It was fun to visit Hanna and her family, but after 17 days in Poland it is time to move on to Prag.

We have learnt a couple of interesting things about Poland. Polish people do not always like to obey rules according to Hanna - they do things the Polish way… Marek told us that Poland always has been a far more ”open” society than other countries in eastern Europe. They have always been able to travel and there has always been a private sector in Poland.