Polish plain

After Częstochowa, we are really out of the hills. It still undulates, but it’s not hills anymore. Forests are still there, but also less continuous / less large. Agriculture takes over and our average speed gradually goes up. And with it, so does the distance we cover in a day, although this is mainly dictated by the locations of the campsites.

In the foothills of those hills, they built castles in earlier times. The first campsite after Kraków was at the foot of one such castle. Lovely people who were developing “camping at home” with a small bathroom accessible only from the garden. From them we learned that in Poland it is tradition to light a bonfire on Whit Monday.

Pentecost bonfire

The day after, we unintentionally cycled past 2 more (remnants of) castles and saw signs indicating a tour of some of them.

Castle at campsite after Cracow
One of the castles we saw along the way.

The campsite before Częstochowa was apparently still in an area with good climbing rocks, we gathered from the nature of the shops and other tourist information. Incidentally, the place was pretty empty for the scale of everything. The campsite there sat by a hotel and was several football fields in size; and we were there alone… wide streets. Children’s climbing forest, all empty. It’s Pentecost, so when is the season here? Ludicrously, we found there that we were given a hanger with the paid nights to hang on the tent and, above all, that we were both given a note that we could exchange at reception for a key to a shower stall. And afterwards you could get that note back by returning that key…. Leftover of communism?

In Częstochowa we thought we had 3 chances at a campsite. No such luck! So once again we ended up in a flat… close to the castle on the mountain and the church in question. There must have been quite a happening on Pentecost, because there was still a huge stage there and crowd gates and stuff. When we had already left, we found out that the black madonna has her home there; missed a chance to see her 😉.

More or less flat, we then cycled to a campsite with kayaking facilities in a forest along a river. Pure entrepreneurship here. Nothing for every job its own man or bureaucratic hassle. They do have a fridge with drinks and remind all guests that the ice cream bar at the beach is open for the first time since winter, even though it is 8 degrees colder than the day before (i.e. 17). And it works too, as we did indeed get some delicious ice creams.

Merchandise from the kayak campsite.

The campsite after that did not yet have a sanitary building. The owners were clearly full of plans, but had started a few too many at once, so nothing was finished. Fortunately their little flat in the garden was more or less, so we could then use that.

Our garden apartment 😉

And then we cycled to Lodz, which itself is slightly elevated compared to its surroundings. Maarten taught us that all nutrients are washed away from the soil in this area when it rains, which explains why we see mostly pine forests and “dune” sand. Perhaps that also explains the type of vegetables we can get here: potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beetroot and various types of cabbage. Rarely do we see beans, chicory or cauliflower. By the way, we do see plenty of small entrepreneurs selling their strawberries; we get fresh ones every day, delicious!

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