Southward to Torun

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July 15th 2013
Published: July 24th 2013
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We knew it was too good to be true and yes the sun of yesterday had deserted us,at least for the morning.Not that it mattered as we have a reasonable distance to travel by car south to Torun and perhaps by the time we get there the sun will be out again.

Breakfast was the same as yesterday with the three nationalities represented and conversation limited to our individual groups.We would have to say this has been the only disappointing feature of our stay here as it is always good to converse with locals and fellow travellers from afar and we have in the past been able to at least get some conversation from others around us at breakfast.

We took the R1 on a virtually direct run south travelling through countryside that has become very recognisible and repetitive which goes to demonstrate just how big Poland is and just how far we have travelled around and through it taking in at first the eastern side from south to north with a dive into the middle for Warsaw and then on our return from the three Baltic countries,a journey west and now south.

Nevertheless some of the scenery has changed along with the style of housing except for those unsightly apartment blocks.After a little research on why they appear to be everywhere including the smallest of rural villages and not just in the cities revealed that in the 50’s and 60’s as the population grew in the ‘baby boom’ after WW2 the Communist authorities thought that it was better to house people in group housing where services such as lighting and heating could be supplied to a larger number of people at a cost they could afford and get them out of what were rundown rural buildings that lacked many of those services.It was just a shame that they didn’t employ some architects with a bit of imagination and a few more designs up their sleeve.

Light rain forced us from our boot lunch to having to eat in the car at the half way stop.

The weather ahead improved as we made ground towards Torun and it was just as well as we started to come across a feature we hadn’t seen since the roads of Romania and before,the girls in the forest laybys!Some of the more rural roads we had been travelling on without trucks passing would not have been good business but on the R1 there was plenty of commercial traffic and so the opportunity to make some money for these ‘women from the forest’.

Our accommodation at Torun was situated in the forest and it was hard to make out who they were catering for as there was a large number of what seemed to be unaccompanied children playing at various games set up around the two sizeable buildings where the rooms were located.We think it was like a holiday place for kids whose parents had to continue to work through the summer holidays.Anyway it was different to have the happy sounds of kids around for a change.

The city of Torun was a short drive away and after a coffee and a bit of a rest from the driving we set off to take a look at the old town and seek out a place for dinner out.

Torun has not long had UNESCO Heritage site status and it was spending the money that comes with the recognition o doing up the streets approaching the old town area which made it a challenge to find a car park.As we headed away from the car park the sun came out which meant we were going to have our couple of hours exploring in fine weather.

The old town was very much like the others we have seen in Poland except that here the city walls are still in place at least down the side that fronts to the River Wisla(there is that river again,we can’t get away from its wanderings!).

We spent an hour or so taking in the sights and in the process inspected a few menus of restaurants we passed by but couldn’t find much in the way of local food that we wanted to try before we left Poland and time was running out.

In desperation we sat down at an outside table at a restaurant that advertised it had Guiness on its drinks menu.Not a good choice you might think when we are looking for local food and drink to try.However,we were pleased that when we looked more closely at the menus there was a good choice of local dishes to try.So we ordered up borch soup which is made from beetroot with some delicate spices and served warm,it was delicious.Then came pork with fried potatoes,fried cabbage and beetroot while Gretchen had a chicken dish with potato and other vegetables.We didn’t have a Guiness(we will save that until we get to Ireland in October) but instead had a cold Zweic,which is a local beer.

We still haven’t got used to the longer hours of the day and the curtains in our room were not that dark in colour to hold out the light from outside and despite the hotel being in the forest it still seemed like twilight for a long time after we hit the sack.

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