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Published: July 16th 2008
My little white beast
I blended in perfectly with this local number
The little white beast………
So I could either sit on my butt (dupa) for 1 week or see as much as I can before Russia. So what the heck?! I rented a car, my little white Fiat. Thank god for my few experiences driving in Poland already, because I don't know if I would've had the confidence or I would have had at least more stress and problems on the road. I won't lie, I did feel very nervous at the start and the first 5 mins I stalled a couple fo times and yes in the middle of an intersection! And i was beeped at alot, but you should see me now! Just one of the Poles, I like the way they drive, very similar to me. I had researched my trip heavily, armed with Swiatek my toy Seal from Gdynia and my Polish road map off I went. At first I thought I will drive to Krakow, Auschwitz etc. But then I reconsidered as those places are very far way and I don't want to drive too much, mainly because of this being a semi eco trip and not wanting to produce too many emissions. So I decided
Gate & Wall to the city
Torun, escaped the second world war in great condition
to stay in this area, Pomorskie (Pomerania). My first day, not too much driving ( I had organised all my accomodation only at farm stays). These places are not directly in the cities. I can say, such nice people, beautiful and quiet surroundings. Good places for running, which was definately one of the reason I chose these places. And I bet they're cheaper than a hotel but nicer and cleaner.
Day 1 - The Kashubian Region. Kashubian people have inhabited this region for centuries. They have they're own language and culture. Kartuzy, Chielmno, and Szymbork were the cities I visited and stayed in Chielmno. Chielmno is very close to the lakes and I stayed at a very old farm, you should have seen the size of my key, like 10cm's long! Nice but too quiet and small for me.
Day 2 - Gniew and Chelmno.
Gniew is also home to a very old castlefrom 1276 it was built by the Teutonic Knights. And during the summer they're reinact jousting tournaments, damn for being there on a Tuesday! A very pretty city on the Vistula River. Poland's largest river. Don't you love when your're on a tour and you
Me at the lakes
A nice day by the lake
can't understand what they are saying?! Yes I can speak Polish, but old times and castle lingo is not in my vocab, so I did lose a bit of the translation! My place to stay for the next couple of days was Chelmno, 50 kms from Torun. This city survived the war pretty much unscathed and is still surrounded by it's city walls. It is also named the city for lovers. There is alot of love hearts made of flowers growing in the city. Also I found out, which was mentioned in the guidebook was this is also a pilgrimage city. The story is that around 300 years ago a woman and her blind son came here. They came and prayed at the church and then they went to the river where she washed his eyes and miraculosly he could now see! So once, twice a year there is a special day where a mass is held then they proceed to the river where the priest blesses the people. Lots of sick people come during this time. I was blessed to be there on the day and be witness to the procession. What have you got, when you don't have
My gold ticket
Visa to Russia
The couple I stayed with in Osowo, 3km's from the city were so lovely. Not only a beautiful place but kind people. The husband, Tomasz has a brother in NT, so they know alot about Oz. They told me you only need a couple of hours in Chelmno, that I should also go to Torun, as it's the 2nd most beautiful city in Poland after Krakow! Well know i have to go! I had sort of decided not to drive in the bigger cities, oh what the hell?! I survived! And yes the home of Nicholas Copernicus lived up to they're words. It also survived the war quite unscathed and sits beside the Vistula river. It is also home to some very yummy gingerbread biscuits! Oh so good, I wish I could share them with you. It's a speciality of the region and come in many different types and fillings. I really just enjoy walking around and looking at sites, not necessarily visiting museums etc. The next day alas I had to leave my lovely hosts, we had spent the previous night talking and drinking beer (piwo))! They told me I can come back anytime as a guest
Oooh so cute!
These little doggies belonged to the farm i stayed at in Chelmo
for free! See I am lovely! Lots of driving to be done this day. First to Gdansk to pick up my gold, my russian visa, which I paid alot for believe me! Then off to the lakes, which I didn't realise would take me over 4 hours! Lots of cars on the roads as well as no major highways make driving in Poland slow. Also when you pass through a village or city, with a certain sign you have to slow down 50/60km. So its' always fast/slow the whole ways and also they are single lanes, so sometimes you get stuck behind bus or truck and have to wait for space before you overtake them. At least it makes driving interesting! Also there is a law in Poland, where you have to drive with your lights on 24hrs a day. Sometimes I would forget to turn them on, or even off! They are currently trying to update the road infrastructure. I can't explain in words how bad the condition of the roads are. My friend has been telling me for years and now I totally get it. The inside s are so worn and bumpy, also they have imprints left
Gate to the city
This is the gate to Torun, the home of Nicholas Copernicus
by trucks. You really need a 4WD for this terrain. Anyhoo, I did have difficulty locating this farm but we met at the church and I followed here back. A very beautiful and peaceful farm and I as the only guest. A young couple, with they're dogs, chickens, horses live here. As well at times the bocian (stork) lives here also! Again lovely people and nice country roads to run on, must watch out for the ankle biting dogs though! This as my first relaxing, sunbaking day. Why not? I had planned to be at the lakes later in the week for the better weather. Minus being attacked by ants and bugs on the grass I chilled by the lakes for a few hours with also a refreshing dip! Trying to even out my sexy shorts and singlet tan I have going on since working on the farm. Am starting too feel sad about leaving Poland Sunday for Russia. Sad for leaving but excited for visiting Russia and also seeing my friend and her family. I have to return to leve anyway………..Do zobaczenia!
Great website for eco tourism farms in Poland: www.agroturystyka.pl
Recommened farm stays by me:
Traditional wooden polish statue, looks a bit ride though!
Zdzar 1, 78-460 Barwice
Ph 94 373 2380
Anna and Tomasz Stefanski
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