Poland Day 3 – Malbork to Warsaw

Had a pretty good sleep but still didn’t get going until 9. I really don’t like mornings!  Packed the bike and took a photo of my hosts before heading off.

The roads today were all good to excellent with only a short section fair.  All by western standards.  In fact,  a lot of the roads today beat the British ones hands down!

Poland also seems to be a train spotters paradise.  On the first day I saw an electric locomotive from the 50’s pulling a freight train.  Last night there was a supermodern high speed express train similar to the shinkansen in Japan crossing the bridge in Malbork, and this afternoon there was an ancient diesel engine pulling freight cars alongside the highway. I really wish I could take photo dumps of my brain!

The first stretch was lovely winding road through mostly rape-seed fields before I turned onto a highway.  I had breakfast at a highway services together with the first fuel stop not long after. I was planning to leave the highway in 60km anyway but when it turned into a massive building site and one lane road with lots of traffic I was convinced.

I nearly regretted it as the town I turned off at had cobbled streets but the road out of town was great tarmac with beautiful countryside and forests. Unfortunately it was also mostly straight with only a few corners here and there but overall great.

I ended up detouring through the centre of ??? Instead of bypassing it and it was well worth it although I then got lost for a bit on tiny tracks through the countryside until I found the main road again. The 62 going to Warsaw is straight and we’ll paved but has loads of traffic so I didn’t enjoy it much.

Just before getting into Warsaw prophet I spotted a hardware site while stopped at a red light.  A quick bit of lane shuffling got me to the driveway and while they had nothing to fix my saddlebags which were all but falling off by now they happened to be next to a bike mechanics who were awesome.  A and b spent an hour helping me adjust the clamps I had bought in Germany a few days earlier,  even welding up an open tang.  No charge.  Really absolutely fantastic guys so if you ever need to get anything motorbike engaged sorted while near Warsaw do look them up!

From there I headed into Warsaw and soon found the old town but no tourist info. A guy on the street told me about a hostel inside the old town itself and said I should just ride in – nobody would mind with such a special bike.  And indeed most people gave a thumbs up as I parked in the market place.  The hostel was full up abs the adjustment they rented was only available one night so I headed to another hostel which I had gotten from the tourist info place on the marketplace.

They put me up in a 4-bed dorm and even had secure parking for my bike. After logging the luggage up 4 flights I had the first proper hot shower  in days! Bliss! Then a quick wander into town to get some food (peroggi, sour dough soup, and a beer. Yum!).
Shouldn’t have had dessert – hit apple cake and a mug of hot fruit compote.  Food coma!

In town were hundreds of online skaters getting ready for a night skate.  Apparently it happens every 2 weeks or so and is supported by ambulance and police. Fantastic.  I also found rental bikes – first 20 mins free then 1zt (20p) for half an hour, and just use your mobile number to register.  The Boris Bikes in London have a lot to live up to!

Off to bed now ready for a full day of sight-setting tomorrow.  What luxury not to have to pack up at 9 to get going again!