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Published: July 24th 2013
It seemed like it never got dark at all during the night as we both woke a couple of times and thought it was time to get up when it was really only early morning .Gretchen had been bugged by a flickering lamp on a post outside our second story room. Why it had to be on most of the night in the middle of the forest is beyond us.
However ,with breakfast done we loaded up and set a course westward towards Poznan and a two night stop in an apartment on the edge of the city.
The weather has improved overall as we have headed further west in Poland and as the sun comes out up goes the temperature by 4 or 5 degrees quite quickly .Perhaps it is something to do with the land mass that the eastern side of the country seemed to be more overcast and cloudy than the western side.
It was pretty well much the same countryside that we passed through again heading to Poznan although we are starting to think that harvest of the grains must be getting close as there is now a lighter yellow to the wheat etc.
Even the corn now has flowers appearing .One thing though that we haven’t seen in Poland as we did in Romania and Bulgaria are the sunflowers and we would have loved to see them in flower. Perhaps Germany will offer them as countryside scenery as we pass through?
The opportunity to pull off at a formed layby for lunch was welcomed and we did just that watching the local traffic police arrive and proceed to the side of the highway with their lollipop to drag in a truck or two for inspection of their load and papers.Now that we have reached more western parts of Europe we are fairly sure that the days when we feared we might get pulled over by the traffic police,such as on the Romanian/Hungarian border,are over for us.
In Michael Palins TV series on New Europe he had ridden a steam train which was a local service between Poznan and a town 70 odd kilometres away called Woltzstyn and we wondered if the train still operated and that we might be able to enjoy a ride through the countryside and the joys of coal smoke,cinders and steam.
The Polish train timetable on the web recorded several trains a day between the two towns but we couldn’t tell if one or any of them were steam hauled.
There was just one thing for it but to front up at the Poznan Railway station and ask the question.
After negotiating our way to Centrum through the trams we found a park a short walk away from the station. As I proceeded to get out and walk to the station a scruffy guy came over from a small group of men and babbled away to me with his hand out indicating he wanted money.
Now we haven’t come up against this sort of thing in Poland and he caught me a bit by surprise, so much so that I abandoned the idea of going into the station and we drove on to look for our accommodation .I wasn’t keen on leaving Gretchen in the car on her own with the unsavoury types nearby and nor were we keen to leave the car there on its own while we both walked to the station.
So we shall just have to turn up at the station for the morning train and see what type of engine is pulling the carriages tomorrow morning.
Our apartment was in fact in the nearby town of Lubon about 10 minutes out of Poznan and we were welcomed by a very pleasant lady who offered us our choice of the studio/bedsit we had booked or the one bedroom apartment. Naturally we went for the one bedroom apartment which as it so happened had a much more comfortable bed!
We did our afternoon ritual of supermarket shopping at an Auchan store which had so much variety that it becomes confusing.
In the meat display was a small selection of red meat that looked like beef steak and as it has been ages since we last had real red meat we took the plunge and added one of the few packages to our basket .If it was horse then so be it we decided.
The apartment was located in a small number of new houses behind a locked gate(similar to a gated community we might see back in NZ) and with the sun shining and the temperature still in the mid 20’s at 6.30pm we sat outside at a small garden table and had our pre dinner drinks.
We had discovered that the rail line to Wolsztyn passed through Lubon,the outer we were staying at so rather than getting ourselves ultra early in the morning we could have another hour in bed as the station was just down the road.
With tomorrows planning completed we cooked dinner with Gretchen having the flounder(at a ridiculous price on €0.50) we had bought at Auchan while I had the Polish sausages(it has taken all the nights we have had in Poland to get to taste the local variety and they were good!)
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