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TDB2015 – Day4: Poland, here we come!

it’s good to be back in the twike! we start out early and make our way out of kaliningrad city. on very, very bad and bumpy roads which only get better after we leave the city behind us.

we drive along the coast and through some old villages which have both old german houses and newer russian additions. this gives the villages a haphazard look – very organic 😉

some last pictures from russian territory:

lavender field just outside kaliningrad

lavender field just outside kaliningrad

twike & lavender just outside kaliningrad

twike & lavender just outside kaliningrad

on our way to the border

on our way to the border

about 30 kms later, we arrive at the smaller of two border crossings into poland. russian formailities (not counting pictures and questions about TW560) are over within 25 minutes. wow.

we leave the russian border and enter the zone between both countries only to find that our hopes for a quick border crossing have been in vain. a long line of cars and trucks leads up to the polish checkpoint for at least 2km.

after waiting about 15 mins without any movement at all, an executive decision has to be made about our fate today! i decide to declare a TWIKE to be a motorbike and jump the queue all the way to the front and start convincing the official person at the VIP barrier that we, as a motorbike shouldn’t be waiting in line.

TW560 jumps the queue

TW560 jumps the queue

the border guard agrees but tells us to get in line just after the barrier, since we still need to get to one of the checkpoints and since we are too wide to weave through the traffic just have to join the queue. we should see shortly later that jumping the queue saved us about 2 hours.

so there we were, waiting in line…

after about an hour

after about an hour

…still not moving – at least our border guard for our line is good looking!

the wait at a border always seems shorter with pretty border guards :)

the wait at a border always seems shorter with pretty border guards 🙂

just under an hour later, we finally made it to poland. good bye russia, it was, yet again, a pleasure and i’ll be back soon.

europe has us back

europe has us back

my recollection of my last visit to rural poland is a completely flat country with wide expanses. after a few days driving though very flat countries, we were pleasantly surprised when we saw following sign for what was at best a 2% decline 🙂

you must be joking!

you must be joking!

jokes aside, poland is not flat. we really welcomed the change after 1200+ kms with zero hills.

aaaahhh. a mountain!

aaahhh. a mountain!

rural poland is very relaxing – roads vary from very good (mostly after receiving grants from the european union – this fact is proudly made public by billboards) to very, very bad. life, overall, has vastly improved since i visited poland last time.

dozens of kms of this kind of beauty

dozens of kms of this kind of beauty

after a short drive we arrive in frombork (frauenburg). it is our last opportunity to say good bye to the sea. at the port authority bulding, we spy a very tempting 32A plug and – since it’s sunday – don’t bother too much to ask for permission.

twike visits frauenburg

twike visits frauenburg

a splendid day, yet again

a splendid day, yet again

goodbye sea, miss you already!

goodbye sea, miss you already!

we spend the rest of the day driving – single lane roads, our usual diet. a very relaxing and nice thing to do.

rural architecture varies a lot – from very old to very new. older architecture reflects german history. if you don’t know what happened to poland and especially eastern poland during the last 300 years – you have much to catch up to 😉

in preparation for this trip i read a book called “kindheit in ostpreussen” (childhood in eastern prussia) by marion hedda ilse gräfin von dönhoff. it gave me valuable insight into the things i saw today. (if you’re planning to visit myanmar – read orwell’s “burmese days” before you go!)

polish farmhouses - old style

polish farmhouses – old style

our second charge today was at a dod of 94% … it took us just a minute to research our next 32A charging station: a hospital 🙂

always a good bet for electricity: hospitals

always a good bet for electricity: hospitals

the rest of our day driving was relaxing but didn’t yield much photo-wise. except one pic we took at a petrol station:

...that's a fancy way to say it :)

…that’s a fancy way to say it 🙂

late afternoon, we arrived in bydgoczsz, aka bromberg. (if you haven’t yet, research poland’s german history!)

the intrepid travelers reward after a hard days' TWIKEing

the intrepid travelers reward after a hard days’ TWIKEing

after checking into our hotel, we immediately explore the town.

bydgoszcz is a smaller polish city with a quaint town square, old city and canal system.

we wander around aimlessly hoping to stumble upon a restaurant for the evening.

Bydgoszcz town centre

Bydgoszcz town centre

town mill in Bydgoszcz

town mill in Bydgoszcz

we ate exceptionally well at the mill and headed back to the hotel after midnight.

from a TWIKEers’ point of view following two items are noteworthy:

Bydgoszcz canal with solar boat

Bydgoszcz canal with solar boat

and a bank popularizing ECO-credit:

what men dream of...cars with strange tails :)

what men dream of…cars with strange tails 🙂

tomorrow will be a full day of TWIKE’ing in poland – this is turning out to be one hell of a big country 🙂