Friday, June 22, 2012

EuroCycle 2012: Poland (part 2)

19 - 21 June 2012
  • Poznan - Wolsztyn: 92km
  • Wolsztyn - Zielona Gora: 65km
  • Zielona Gora - Cottbus (GER): 112km
The morning after Ireland's final match in Euro 2012, I took down my tent, loaded up my bike and started my journey home. As fun as the preceding twelve days had been, I was sort of glad that the party was over. It had been hectic and unhealthy, so I was happy to get back on my bike and to head off on my own into the Polish countryside.

The previous day I had bought a map of Germany. Its eastern and western margins contained Poznan and Luxembourg respectively, so I drew a line between the two and my plan was to stay as close to that line as possible.

After meeting many young Poles in the big cities of Poznan and Gdansk who were helpful, friendly and good English speakers, it was interesting for me to be back in rural Poland. On quiet country roads and in villages I often came across older people who looked at me with surprise but kept their distance. People were helpful if I asked directions but, unlike in other countries, they generally wouldn't approach me even when I was stopped at a junction studying my map. I can only guess that their communist past taught people not to ask questions or get involved with strangers.

I enjoyed my peaceful last couple of days in Poland, especially relaxing by the lake in Wolsztyn watching the sunset. Three weeks after cycling off the ferry from Sweden, I left Poland by cycling into Germany. It had been a great, and very varied, three weeks.

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