FINAL POLAND BIKE TOUR: LUBLIN TO RZESZOW, HANGING IN KRAKOW

Lublin is sometimes called little Krakow, so I’m somewhat intrigued to visit. On the train to Lublin I surveyed the hostel situation, plenty to choose from. Full, Full, Full, there’s a huge Arts & Crafts fair this weekend. The artist are all wearing traditional clothes from Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania. I played tourist and visited a few places, whatever. I think as much as I’ve travelled, It’s hard to find something that really excites me. So I’ve been visiting Vegan restaurants, to support what there doing and eat what turned out to be some great food.

i like bike touring, but the best part is unloading your gear and now you have a bicycle to explore with.

PEOPLE PODS IN THE PARK

I enjoyed the break in town, but nature is calling me back. So I’m on the Green Velo again.

BIKE ONLY ROUTES ARE THE NORM ON THE GREEN VELO ROUTES

I like the quiet of the nature routes, the dirt, sand, and mud trails, my bike? not so much. I stayed at a place where I washed my bike and especially the chain. They didn’t have any chain oil, so I visited a bike rental place, yep. I was shocked by the number of bikes they had for rent. There was a “soda pop” service that picked up your empty bottles and dropped off full ones, seemed every house participated.

I had looked at this out-of-the-way lake the day before & thought too far. As I traveled somewhat closer, I decided to go for it. The time was 15 and it was 35km, started riding & hard. The lake was in Zwierzyniec, super nice and quiet (no barking dogs). I had some down time so I grabbed a plastic bag and walked along the lake and picked up garbage. I fished 3 empty beer cans from the lake, what’s wrong with people? I was rewarded by the park employee with a cold beer.

MOST OF THE CAMPERS WERE EMPTY, THEY SAID IT WAS THE LAST WEEKEND, THE SEASON WAS OVER.

I was sitting having dinner when a family of bicycle tourers showed up. Everyone spoke great English, including all 3 kids. We had some funny conversations, except the 15 year old daughter. She let the family know “this is my last bike trip” and she showed it.

It’s my last day of riding 😦 I kind of took for granted the routes, nature and the great riding weather. I hope to ride to the Rzeszow early enough to catch a train to Krakow.

KRAKOW
I got the train to Krakow and spent 4 days exploring. I did 2 of the “free” walking tours. They were so boring, I dropped out early. Auschwitz & the Salt Mines are 2 of the big tourist attractions, nope. Krakow like Prague is super busy during the day. Solution? Get up a 6 in the morning and bike the town. Krakow has bike lanes everywhere, another plus for having your bike.

Poland was quite different from what I’ve seen portrayed in the media. In the big cities? basically like every other big city. I was super surprised by the amount of bike infrastructure, the number of Vegan restaurants, the beer culture, the amount of spoken english and the price of stuff was super value.
When I’ve visited the UK, It was always someone from Poland, Hungary etc who waited on me in a restaurant or coffee shop. To encourage the young people to stay in Poland? In 2019, Poland passed a law that would exempt workers under the age of 26 from the income tax, better than nothing.

Poland receives nearly 4 x’s more EU money than what they pay into the EU. Nearly every train station and big city downtowns were dug up and being worked on. It’s nice to see money invested in infrastructure and people.  The Polish government has revealed that it intends to connect all major cities to a future high-speed rail network by 2020. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ , US infrastructure gets a D+ grade. The U.S. spends billions on the military, but nearly nothing maintaining America, What are they defending? a broken America?

I use to have a crafts business and always support artist. If I see something I like and can use it, I buy it. So I got some Polish and Ukrainian souvenirs.

POLISH SOUVENIRS VIDEO

Here’e the last of some misc. videos of the riding conditions in Poland.

LAST DAYS BIKING IN POLAND

I was invited out by a young couple for a beer. They were goo goo eyes about America, when I was done telling them about the real America? They said “We love Poland” and they should there’s problems but there’s a lot to be proud of. Like the HUGE middle class.
That’s the Poland that I saw, hope you enjoyed as much as I did.
Jeff

BIKE TOURING POLAND: Lidzbark Warmiski to Bialystok

ONE OF THE MANY TYPES OF ROUTE SCENARIOS ON THE “GREEN VELO” THROUGH POLAND

Attempting to bike tour and then blog using your phone? Impossible. I’m home now with my computer and cleaned up photos.
I started in Elblag using the “Green Velo” route. I only have a month and don’t have the time to take the Green Velo the whole 1250 km. Cars are scarce on the roads in NE Poland and the drivers are super polite. I decide to cut across from Lidzbark Warmiski to Bialystok using google maps, let the journey begin.

GOOGLE MAP LIDZBARK WARMISKI TO BIALYSTOK

The “camping” here is usually in someones backyard, bathrooms, showers and full kitchen for 5 or 6 euro a night. When I arrived in Lidzbark Warmiski, I stayed at TURYSTYKA JANKESOWKA camping, the owners wife said he had the best breakfast in Poland, it’s true. Eggs, good bread, wild pig sausage that he made and deer steak that he harvested.

It’s suppose to rain so I opt to hide out at the Termy Warminskie (swimming pools & saunas). After, I decide to book hostel that’s only 2 mins from Termy, as I enter my CC info, I decide to just ride there. I get there and someone and just called and took the last beds. He makes a reservation for me at a hotel in town, nope. I decide to ride to a farm stay, which was a great move, 1/2 the price of the hotel plus they had a BBQ and pot-luck dinner, score. They introduced me to Polish vodka (it’s still vodka), I rarely (if ever) drink hard alcohol.

I haven’t stayed 2 days anywhere and continue to ride the next morning. I don’t have a odometer on my bike, but a guess? about 60-70 km a day. I’m constantly asked if “I’m traveling alone?”, I say “no, I’m with you now”. I was walking out a store and noticed a Guns & Roses T-Shirt. I commented that I saw them in San Francisco, as I’m biking Tomas rides up next to me and invites me to his house for a beer. His wife is making fresh rolls with jam. He insist I stay the night, but it’s only 11, gotta ride on. He calls me an hour later, “come back we got a bed for you!”

SEVERAL 2 MINUTE CLIPS OF BIKING ROUTES IN POLAND (not professional)

Poland’s houses are ALL really nice. As a former landscaper I can safely say “they are crazy about their yards.” Poland has the fastest growing economy in Europe. Not rich in resources but has invested in education, transportation & health care for everyone. Because of that there’s a huge middle class, unlike America.

Forests cover about 30.5% of Poland’s land area based on international standards. Its overall percentage is still increasing. Forests are managed by the national program of reforestation, aiming at an increase of forest-cover to 33% in 2050.

MORE CRAZY ROADS/TRAILS THROUGH POLAND

I’m watching the calendar and my progress or lack of!, it that requires I hop on a train. I didn’t find Bialystok that friendly, except for the SUPER Vegan restaurant: KROWARZYWA When I arrive in a new town, I type in Vegan Restaurants. There are about 8 of them all around Poland, fast food Vegan. I want to open one here in Ljubljana.
A local told me the south east part of Poland is the most natural and untouched. I’m taking the advice and train to Lublin, known as little Krakow.

Thanks for reading.
Jeff
Next: Lublin arts festival, biking Lublin to Rzeszow, train to Krakow

DAY 1 ELBLAG TO TOLKMICKO, (where?) way the f out here. DAY 2 to PIENIEZNO

No nature left in Europe? You need to get out more often. North East Poland, sometimes thought of as the “forgotten” Poland, is natural and wild. NE Poland borders Lithuania, Belarus & Ukraine.

I brought food, first question? why? The citizens built the Green Velo route, hoping you’ll camp in their yard or eat in their restaurant. I don’t want to eat in my tent, I want to go out.

THE PHONE HOLDER IS GREAT

IT’S SUMMER FLOWER SEASON HERE

MANY HOUSES HAD THESE “GHOST” BIKES IN THEIR YARDS

PATH ALONG VISTULA LAGOON, SUPER NATURAL AREA

DAY 1 videos

DAY 2 TO PIENIEZNO

I stayed on the Green Velo route, but can see trying something different. Like Romania, the storks have giant nest everywhere.

LOTS OF BRICK BUILDINGS, SOME WITH NESTS

THESE ARE EVERYWHERE, I’VE SEEN 2 NESTING

FIELDS OF FLOWERS 💐

I STOPPED FOR A BREAK, THAT WAS THE BUSIEST BIKE/PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE

BLUEBERRIES (my favorite) ARE IN SEASON

MAYBE SOME PATHS ARE OVERGROWN, MOST IS WELL MAINTAINED

SOME VIDEO FROM DAY 2

I’m feeling a little more confident, blogging using the phone.

I’m getting off the GREEN VELO tomorrow. Most roads in this part of Poland seem pretty car free.

Jeff

Next: Biking to Lidzbark Warminski

CLIMATE CONSCIOUS BIKE TRAVEL-POLAND

Finally found a window of free-time😃. I haven’t bike toured since Czech, last year! I wanted to ride Budapest to Belgrade, but the weather was too hot for me. So I chose Climate friendly Poland with average summer temperatures of 20-25.

I grabbed the train in Ljubljana to Vienna, arriving at 22, I stayed the night in Vienna.

Only bike on the train from Ljubljana

I’ve been to Vienna a couple times, so I tried to catch the early train to Gdańsk the next morning. Booked!, so I booked an evening Flix bus & 50€ cheaper!

So I had a full day to play in Vienna and I did. Went back to the hostel, stored my bike stuff and did some exploring. Of course I found the local beer festival 🍺. No garbage cans anywhere?, all the food was served with real dishes👍

VIENNA IS SUPER BIKE FRIENDLY

It’s a 14 hour bus ride to Gdańsk 😒

Gdańsk is the biggest city in Poland and has some awesome bike infrastructure. I rode to Sopot beach, making a giant loop ride out of it.

THE PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE GOES UP & DOWN EVERY 1/2 hour.

LOVE BIKE THEMED BUSINESS’S

THEY ADDED THE LEFT BIKE LANES, THE SHARED ONE WAS TOO PACKED

NICE COFFEE SET-UP

THE BIKE PATH ALONG THE BEACH

BEST BIKE RACKS EVER👍

THERE ARE SOME “HUGE” APARTMENT COMPLEXES

THE “OLD TOWN” IS BEAUTIFUL

I MET THE BREWER & SALESMAN, THEY SHOWED ME AROUND GDAŃSK

GDAŃSK IS HAVING A MONTH LONG PARTY IN TOWN

STUMBLED INTO THE ANTIQUE MARKET

MORE ANTIQUE MARKET

I COULDN’T DECIDE WHICH “ONE”

THERE ARE VEGAN RESTAURANTS EVERYWHERE GUGA SWEET & SPICY👍

LA GUITARRA HOSTEL, GOOD TIMES!

I don’t like riding out of big cities. The Green Velo route starts in Elblag, about 50km

from Gdańsk, so I take the train to start

This is my first attempt using my phone to make a blog post. It’s not as easy as using a real computer.

Hopefully it gets easier and faster

Next: Green Velo route with tons of nature

Jeff

BIKING IN PORTUGAL: PORTO, TAVIRA & LISBON

THE P STANDS FOR PORTUGAL

My friend Miguel from Tavira, is from Porto. He and many others have said “you must visit Porto.” So I found a “super hostel” just steps from the train station, THE BEST GUEST HOSTEL.
Everyone there was super helpful and friendly, the rooms were spotlessly clean & included breakfast!, 16 euro. I found a friendly & informative bicycle rental company, BICLAS & TRICLAS
and off I go.

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MOROCCO PART II: TIZNET, SIDI IFNI

Stanley moved and then the bus got packed at the next stop. He’s not happy.

I wanted to revisit Sidi-Ifni and Stanley had friends in Tiznet. So we took the bus. I forgot my jacket on the bus, it went on a 2,000km trip to Algeria and back. I was shocked I got it back. Moroccan’s are super honest & very hard working people. I never felt threaten or in fear, I had a really good time in Morocco this time.

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MOROCCO REVISITED PART I : MARRAKECH, TAROUDANT & TINWAINEN

The reason for the policeman photo is 6 years ago, I did photos with policeman in every country except Morocco, it’s forbidden. So I thought I would try again, yep-got it. Last time here I thought, Morocco was nice but I didn’t need to come back. This trip I was visiting my good biking friend Stanley, so a different experience, for sure! He bought a house about 5 years ago and invited me to visit.

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