37 degrees and shivering

Yesterday we drove 85km from Krakow to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). As predicted the weather was beautiful for those who love sunbathing or doing nothing, but not for us! There was a clear blue sky and the temperature reached up to 37. After half of the kilometers we ran out of water. Because it was a sunday all shops were closed so we decided to ask locals for water. After some negotiations between Sabine and 3 Polish kids we got our bottles filled plus a glass of lemonade because we were fools!!! They couldn’t believe we came from Krakow and we’re heading for Oswiecim, specially because of the weather.

In Oswiecim we found a nice camping place at the ‘Auschwitz center for dialogue and prayer’…
When we arrived we had no energy anymore to do some shoppings so we decided to eat at the center and get bread for the breakfast in the morning. When we escaped from the mosquitos we met a Dutch couple travelling by camper who offerted us a half part of their bread and a glass of wine! (How suitable in the centre of prayer;-))

This morning we went to Auschwitz and Birkenau. Both camps are really impressive and interesting. Specially the size of Birkenau and the efficiency of both camps were ‘amazing’. As Birkenau is an open area with no shade we decided to leave it as quickly as possible and to go back in the evening, as it is 5 min. by bike from the campsite.
This time we were almost alone which made the place even more impressive!

Tomorrow we’ll leave Poland and enter Czech Republic. Hopefully the mosquitos can’t cross the border…

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Warsaw to Krakov

After a great weekend in Warsaw we left Kasia and her family (thanks again). We drove in 5 days to Krakow where we are now.

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The landscape is beautiful and very widely. We’ve got great views especially when it’s hilly. The cycling is pretty heavy when there’s no flat part. The headwind makes it even harder.
We’ve camped in very nice villages with only Polish tourists.

The main roads are often busy but the asphalt is mostly good. The small roads are very quiet but sometimes they look more like patchwork than a road. The worst till now were the roads through forests. It’s clear google never uses bikes for it’s streetview, they think you can cycle everywere but the loose sand makes it really impossible.

Today was our last day in Krakow. We had a great time in this nice city and with our hosts Marta and Marcin (thank you!). We even went back in communistic times with them. They showed their communistic neighbourhood and we’ve played a game about queuing to get your groceries.

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We specially enjoyed the bike-protest with 540 persons to ask for better rules and infrastructure!

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Let’s hope our help has been of some use. If not, we at least enjoyed ourselves!

Tomorrow we’ll cycle to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) mostly on the banks of Wisla-river, so hopefully it won’t be a hard day, the temperature of 34 degrees is already killing enough!!

Hi Poland!

After being back from India for 6 month already, it’s time for our next trip! Like most people know, we’ll stay closer to home this time. We’re going to cycle from Warsaw via Krakau and Auschwitz (Poland) to Brno and Prague (Czech Republic).

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Thursday we entered the night train, directly from Arnhem to Warsaw. It wasn’t easy to enter the right wagon with our bikes packed with luggage. A big Polish conductor told us to go to the back of the train. Running to the back a german conductor told us from a distance to enter the wagon where we were. The polish conductor told us again not to enter here. After running three times from one side to the other (dutch conductors were looking to it like watching a tennismatch; left – right – left – right), Koen pushed his bike up the stairs into the small door of the train and forced the polish conductor to step back. The german entered also and said to the Polish conductor “I’m the boss and they have to park their bike in couchette no 7!” We had to sleep in another, but in the end we slept in the same couchettes as our bikes.
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Now we are couchsurfing in Warsaw at Kasia’s place who we hosted before in Breda. We had dinner in the big garden and already visited the beautiful centre of Warsaw, which looks old but it’s totally rebuild after being destroyed in world war II.
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We’re looking forward to see more of this country, the first impression is already very good!

okrzyki / na zdraví
Sabine en Koen