It’s an unavoidable fact, that in a large country, we’d lose a day driving. The morning disappears to chores, the afternoon to driving.
They take a bit of adjusting to, the long distances in Poland. They’re not everywhere mind, but today was an unavoidable one, between Torun and Poznan. The funny thing is, the distances are still a lot shorter than in Australia. I dread to think how antsy I’m likely to get on those. Himself keeps gently insisting that touring Australia is in our future, busily leaning towards purchasing a motorhome there. Time will tell!
Meanwhile trapped in the car with nothing but farmland to entertain me, my mind is free to wander. The subtleties of the 90 day visa waiver EU rule’s interaction with Germany’s bilateral visa agreement are still wholly unanswered. I write to the German embassy for clarification on a specific point, but fear it’s been left too late to be useful on this trip. The less said on that, the better. I’ve nagged endlessly on the need to clarify it in some formal manner, more than once. I’ve said before: staff are much easier to instruct and direct than husbands.
There’s also the matter of Hong Kong. We’ve been watching the protests come to a slow boil, with 6,000 troops now on the border, poised to act if needed. Travel warnings say to excercise “extreme vigilance”. I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to personal safety – “extreme caution” warnings are not my idea of a good time. If it doesn’t improve, Hong Kong may have to wait until another time, which means changing flights and cancelling accommodation. It needs monitoring a while yet, but we take the opportunity to check any likely damage, should we decide to change.
On a more fun note, after some observeration, I think I’ve cracked the Polish tourist eating code. Breakfast can be eaten quite happily until 11 am. Between then and midday is time for cake. Having missed out on endless desserts whenever we’ve been out for lunch, I’ve reasoned it’s before lunch because once you’ve eaten lunch, it’s impossible to cram in dessert, no matter how focused your intentions. Cake inhaled, one is free then to enjoy lunch up until 3 – 4 pm, upon whence it’s immediately time for icecream. Like the rest of Europe, icecream is a very serious business in Poland. If observed consumption is a guide, a day without icecream is a day wasted. Icecream hour neatly leads you to drinks before dinner, which starts heaven knows when as Himself usually has bundled me home by that stage. 😉😁😔.
I’ve also observed that the Poles are, quite rightly, extraordinarily proud of their country. Lord knows they’ve suffered and fought through enough through wars and socialist oppression for it. Unlike many other countries we’ve been to, most tourists in Poland are Polish, displaying their love for their country by holidaying and spending their money in it. When you consider how new the country is to western style consumerism, catering to tourists has come along in leaps and bounds in very short timeframe. Through all this, Poland’s unique character has not been lost. International chain stores are virtually non existent, and whilst burgers and pizza are present everywhere, elsewhere, there’s little junk food and food in restaurants is authentic – home cooking at its very best. There’s a little work to do on infrastructure still, especially on Soviet era buildings and roads, but that too has come a long way, without beggaring the country. It’s a solid B+ report card all round. A+ on its gorgeous historical centres – they’ve been truly special.
My meandering mind aside, we see the odd stork here and there, in fields mostly, standing perfectly still.
But the highlight of the day comes right at the end, just as we about of come off the motorway. I spot a tiny little caramel roe deer, standing at the edge of a corn field, contemplating a crossing. She’s very, very pretty, delicately featured with a sweet face and large eyes. Seeing us and thinking better of it, she turns and bolts for safety.
Good choice, little one. Outside of the green crossings, creatures have no hope on the motorways.
We arrive in Poznan by late afternoon and run into, of all people, another couple of Aussies from Victoria. It’s aways fun to swap experiences, especially with someone from our side of the pond. Armed with their kindly donated map of Poznan, we’re all set for tomorrow.
NB: The stork and deer photos are “borrowed” from the net. I would happily credit their origin, but they were not marked with one.