Brunch at Glacehaus
Abuelita with her grand-grand-child Mara
Stargard's Main Square: On the left the beatiful Town House.
On the right the Museum where there was was formerly the bank held by my family before WWII. All these buildings were reconstructed after WWII.
Hanseatic style, although Stargard never was part of the Hanseatic League
One of the remaining town entrance towers
Dolce e Freddo, a nice place to sit and have a good ice-cream and coffee in Stargard
Our overnight stay in Drawsko Pomorskie at the Lake Jezioro Okra.
Enjoying a rich but light dinner with Reypenaer Cheese, raspberries, delicious huge cherries bought in Stargard.
Our first meal in a Polish restaurant.
The specialty was:
Walk to the highest Kashubian mountain Wieżyca Góra and up the viewing tower
Seen while picking up delicious wild raspberries along the trail
Our overnight place on the trail head parking
Soft ice is a speciality in Poland. And this is a small portion!
The wheels to activate the cranes were turned by men walking in them like hamsters!
Delicious food at this Kashubian restaurant
Overnight at Westerplatte
The crematory ovens are still there...
Tired of the visit, we sat down for a drink along the Nogat River
The 82 km Elblag-Ostróda Canal is the longest navigable canal still in use in Poland. It's also the most unusual. The canal deals with 100m difference in water levels by means of a unique system of slipways, where boats are physically dragged across dry land on rail-mounted trolleys. Also awesome: It works on hydraulic power!
View from ou camper: a boat climbing up a hill (it reminded me of the movie with Kinsky).
What an excitement when I saw the first ship gliding up the hill on the ramp of the canal.
Buczynied "station" - having a beer, smoked fish and a fritky (French fries) after our walk
These are the facilities in this "camping": a cattle wash basin with 3 outlets, a shower bunk (cost for 1 shower 7mPLN)
A boat going up the hill!
14th century castle where Copernicus lived from 1516 to 1520
Many concerts are held during the summer at the amphitheater
These statues remind me of the ones on the Easter Island
Lunch with a carousel of 5 different beers at the Ceská Hospoda
Sitting on Copernicus' lap
A beatiful place to spend a relaxing day
The pride of the church is the organ sumptuously decorated instrument of 4965 pipes. Mechanical angels and various saints dance and turn when the organ plays
Hidden in the forest is the 18 overgrown hectares of huge, partly destroyed concrete bunkers. This was Hitler's main headquarters during WWII, baptised with the German name of Wolfsschance, or Wolf's Lair. The location was carefully chose in this remote part of East Prussida, far away from important towns and transport routes, to be a convenient command centre for the planned German advance eastwards. About 80 structures were built, including seven heavy bunkers for the top leaders. Their bunkers had walls and ceilings up to 8m thick!
Tours in tanks are offered, gas masks, helmets, guns are sold in the shops. I am surprised to see that people here like so much all this military stuff.
Lunch at Restauracja Góra Wiatrów
A lake somewhere in the Masurian Lake district
Eating cheese finger food in the rain
Dinner at Tawerna Pod Zlamanym Pagajem, very good. And good life music too!
Tuesday 26.06.2018: Loulé - Alberca (Spain): 622 km
Wednesday 27.06.2018: Alberca - Zumaia: 523 km
Walk down the Las Batuecas Valleywith petroglyps. After that drive to Zumaia
Thursday 28.06.2018: Zumaia (Spain) - Coulon (France): 467 km
Friday 29.06.2018: Coulon - Gurley (France): 426 km
Saturday 30.06.2018: Gurley - Saaregueminess/Saargemünd (France) : 365 km
Sunday 01.07.2018: Saargemünd (France) - Nordheim (Deutschland): 149 km
Monday 02.07.2018: Our Wohni goes to Riedstadt for inspection
Friday 06.07.2018: Wohni ready for take off - Riedstadt - Nordheim - Hann. Münden: 269 km
Saturday 07.07.2018: Hann. Münden - Bad Oldesloe: 336 km
Sunday 08.07.2018: Bad Oldesloe - Anklam: 262 km
Brunch at Glacehaus with Maxi, Mario, Mara, Ulrich and Rebecca. Visit of Abuelita and adieus at around 14:00. Drive to Anklam. Overnight at the harbour Wasserwanderrastplatz (10€/night with fresh water but without grey water dump, electricity 2€). We had a gin tonic and a light dinner outside. N53º51'22" E13º40'42"
Monday 09.07.2018: Anklam - Stargard - Drawsko Pomorskie (alt 115 m) : 223 km, 25ºC sunny/cloudy
Breakfast with fresh bread brought by Volker from the Bäckerei Junge. We then explored the town, which is a Hanseatic town and where Otto Lilienthal was born and raised. Coffee at the Bäckerei Junge and then drive to Poland with a stop at Ferdinandshof where we found a nice simple restaurant along the road but in the woods. Drive to Stargard. There, the family of my great-grandfather had a bank on the market place. This is nowadays a Museum and the Tourist Information Centre. Before that we had a good ice cream at the "Dolce e Freddo" (10,50 PLN*). We had a nice walk along the former city wall and back to our camper before continuing to Drawsko Pomorskie in Pomerania. Settled at a parking for the public beach on the Jezioro Okra Lake. N53º30'58" E15º49'18".
Tuesday 10.07.2018: Drawsko Pomorskie - Rezerwat pryzrody Szczyt Wieżyca (alt 250 m): 218 km, 26ºC some rain and sometimes sunshine
Drive towards Gdansk, Stop for lunch at the Restaurant Gospoda Koṡcierzyna next to a riding centre south of the town of Kościerzyna (36 PLN), Drive to Rezerwat pryzrody Szczyt Wieżyca and walked up the highest mountain of the Kashubian district Wieżyca Góra and up the viewing tower (7 PLN/person). We decided to stay here and enjoy the evening with games. N54º13'37" E18º7'46".
Wednesday 11.07.2018: Rezerwat Pryzrody Szczyt Wieżyca - Gdansk - Westerplatte: 58 km, sunny and warm, in the afternoon some rain, then sunshine again
Drive to Gdansk where we parked at the guarded parking lot behind the Music Academy, which is really convenient to visit Gdansk (6 PLN/hour, even during the night). Sightseeing of Gdansk with to start a ride on the very modern Ferris Wheel (28 PLN/pax for 5 rounds). Lunch at the Kashubian restaurant "Mestwin" (delicious food, 90 PLN). Grocery shopping at Biedronka (a Portuguese company: "Jerônimo Martins" - Pingo Doce and Recheio, Delta Café etc.). Due to the high charge for the parking if we would stay overnight, we drove to the European Solidarity Centre "Europejskie Centrum Solidarności (20 PLN/pax). Drive to Westerplatte. Parking and overnight on a parking along the coast (6 PLN) N54º24'25", E18º40'41"
Thursday 12.07.2018: Westerplatte - KZ Stutthoff (Sztutowo) - Malbork (alt 10 m): *65 km, lots of rain in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon
Visit of Westerplatte. When Gdansk became a free city after WWI, Poland was permitted to maintain a post at this location, at the tip of the port zone. It served both trading and military purposes and had a garrison to protect it. The Westerplatte area is famous for one thing: it was here, at 4.45am on 1 September 2919, that the first shots of WWII were fired during the German invasion of Poland. The site is now a memorial, with some of the ruins left as they were after bombardment, plus a massive monument put up in memory of the defenders. We then drove to Stutthoff that was a concentration camp held by the Nazis. Entrance is free, parking expensive (20 PLN for 2,5 hours with our camper), to view the 20 minutes movie 3 PLN/pax. Visiting this camp is depressing. The former extermination camp in which the Naxis disposed of Polish resisters from the beginning of WWII, and which later became part of their Final Solution against Jews. Nowadays it's a sombre museum presenting exhibitions and documentaries about the German occupation of the region. It was raining all the time during our visit, like reflecting the sadness... Drive to Malbork to visit one of the unmissables of any trip to Poland and a stunning spectacle both inside and out. (Unesco-listed structure ia a classic example of the medieval fortress and Europe's largest Gothic castle to boot (39,50 PLN/pax). It was a long visit by audio headphone (well done but I was pretty tired after the visit - there are lot of stairs to climb!). Parking and overnight very closed to the bridge crossing the Nogat River to the castle. Drink at a snack sitting along the river to finish the afternoon. N54º2'29" E19º1'24"
Friday 13.07.2018: Malbork - Elbląg-Ostróda Canal near Katy (alt 75 m): 58 km, 24ºC heavy rain showers!
Drive to Katy with a stop for lovely grocery shopping at LeClerc to a so-called camping site (50 PLN/night with electricity). What an excitement when I saw the first ship gliding down the hill on the ramp of the canal. The 82 km Elblag-Ostróda Canal is the longest navigable canal still in use in Poland. It's also the most unusual. The canal deals with 100m difference in water levels by means of a unique system of slipways, where boats are physically dragged across dry land on rail-mounted trolleys. The five slipways are on a 10km stretch of the northern part of the canal. Each slipway consists of two trolleys tied to a single looped rope, operating on the same principle as a funicular and they are powered by water! The part of the canal between Elblag and Milomlyn, which includes all the slipways was built between 1848 and 1860 to transport timber down to the Baltic from the rich forests of the Ostróda region. The canal proved to be reliable and profitable, and it cut the distance of the original route almost fivefold. The canal was damaged during the 1945 Red Army offensive but was repaired soon after liberation and opened for for timber transport in 1946. A year later, the first tourist boat sailed the route. It remains the only canal of its kind in Europe and continues to operate essential. We had a lot of strong rain during our almost 2 hours journey. Fortunately, when we got off in Jelenie to walk back home we were lucky and had no serious rainfall (9,2 km, 105 m ascent, 1,5 h). We even did the bonus walk up to the Buczyniec "station" to enjoy a beer, smoked fish and fritky (= French fries). Lots of rain again after coming home. N53º58'50" E19º37'17"
Saturday 14.07.2018: Elbląg-Ostróda Canal - Olsztyn (alt 110 m) - Camping Lorsby in Mrągowo (alt 160 m) : 144 km, 24ºC, rainfall in the morning, better in the afternoon
After doing all the service (dumping, fresh water) we drove to Olsztyn where we parked at the parking next to (N53º46'50" E20º27'53") where we had to walk about 1,5 km into the old town. First we had lunch at the Ceská Hospoda (69 PLN). After that, continuing our sightseeing tour, we had a coffee at Malta Café (17 PLN). Then ice cream from Pracownia Cukiernicza, delicious! Back to our camper we decided to drive further and we landed at the Campagro "Lorsby" in Mrągowo (50 PLN/night with electricity for 2 pax) - a very nice place direct at a see lake Sarż. N53º50'18" E21º11'7"
Sunday 15.07.2018: Campagro "Lorsby" in Mrągowo: 24ºC, windy, heavy rainfalls, some sunshine during lunch
A relaxing day! We just enjoyed doing nothing, having our Sunday breakfast and the nice location. And a good barbecue lunch, yes, outside! -just before it started to rain again. Lots of mosquitoes and little things I can't say what they are.
Monday 16.07.2018: Mrągowo - Święta Lipka - Wolfsschanze - Mikołajki (alt 118m): 194 km, 24ºC sunny in the morning, rain in the afternoon and evening
Visit of the Święta Lipka Church of our Lady. Parking for 10 PLN for the whole day. What a great "performance" we were able to watch, especially from the organist. The organ has 4965 pipes, and sometimes the angels danced, some other figures wiggled, the trumpeters moved from side to side. Once inside, the visitor is enveloped in colourful and florid Baroque ornamentation. All the frescoes are the work of Maciej Meyer of Lidzbark, and display "trompe l'oeil" images. The pride of the church is its breathtaking organ, a sumptuously decorated instrument of 4965 pipes. The work of Johann Jozue Monsengel of Königsberg, it is decorated with mechanical figures of saints and angels that dance around when the organ is played. We continued our road to the "Wolfsschanze" (Wolf's Lair) which is hidden in thick forest near the hamlet of Gierloż (10 PLN/pax + parking 15 PLN with electricity if we wanted). Lunch at Restauracja Góra Wiatrów, which was not easy to reach but food was good. After lunch, we had the crazy idea to drive up to the Polish/Russian border, but the road got so bad that we had to drive back. We decided to drive to Mikołajki and settled at the Camperpark Mikołajki, 75 PLN/night all inclusive ;o). It was 8pm. We walked along the promenade of Mikołajki, dinner at Tawerna Pod Złamanym Pagajem _42 PLN) with really good live music: a guitarist and a young lady with a beautiful voice. N53º48'9" E21º34'25"
Tuesday 17.07.2018: Mikołajki, walk to Galindia: 25ºC, rain then in the afternoon good weather, evening rain
Walk to the reinvented village Galindia of the tribe of Pruzzes who belonged to the Baltic family until the 13th century A.D. (2,5 hours, 13 km). It started to rain at the end of our walk, so it wasn't too bad. We had to pay an entrance of 10 PLN to visit this "village". With good weather it would be a great place to be, but it was raining. We had a drink up a bar "Galindia II" and played dames (? I don't know how it is called in English) and ordered a taxi to take us back to Mikołajki (110 PLN, but we only paid 70 PLN because that was what we were told would be charged for this trip from the taxi company). Lunch at the Piano Bar Prohibicja - Peter's Pub just next door to our parking. After lunch we went walking along the promenade and had lots of lody (ice cream, 3,5 PLN / ball). Back home Volker went for a bicycle ride to Łuknajno on the northern part of Jez. Śniardwy (8 km on wet paths).
* Polish Zloty to Euro Conversion:
1 PLN = 0.231 EUR - 1 EUR = 4,33 PLN
Nest with 4 swallow kittens waiting for their parents to bring food
A bar on the first floor "decorated" like it was at the Pruzzes' time
The new hotel with all facilities as seen from the other side of the lake
The reinvented village Galindia of the tribe of Pruzzes who belonged to the Baltic family until the 13th century A.D.