Thursday 15.08.2013 298km Total:3577km
Since we're staying two nights in Warsaw and realistically won't have time to see much of anything the first day anyway we're not in much of a hurry to get on the move, after all a 300km leg should be pretty quick... we thought.
It started out well enough with one of the easiest exits from a major city ever, one right turn and then straight on for 100kms.
But it turns out the Poles hate speed almost as much as they love not have one village end before the other one begins.
After 100kms of 50-70-50-90-50-70 I'm ready for a straight jacket and a mental institution, the odometer is standing completely still!
But then again that's probably why the Poles overall have no respect for speed limits so once in a while you just "had too" ride a bit over the limit just to not hinder the traffic.
I'm usually not rabid about speed limits but we saw so many radar controls during the day I'd rather not be separated from either my license or the bills in my wallet in an unfavourable negotiation with a Polish traffic cop.
Eventually we arrive in Warsaw.
Of the 300kms ridden I think max 40 of them where on 120km/h motorway and that was between two of Polands largest cities.
If your going touring in this country you'd better take into account that it probably going to take a lot longer than you think doing reasonable distances.
We arrive at the hotel late afternoon and finally there's a hotel with secure parking right beneath the hotel instead of riding several blocks away leaving the bike in the hands of someone in a port-a-potty with embrasures.
Obviously someone called ahead and warned the hotel because they've locked the minibar! Severely traumatising!
So we had to get the welcome beer along with the meal at a restaurant at the main square in old town.
It's starting to get very ease determining the sights, the last four towns we've been in has had a castle and an "old town".
The food wasn't very Polish, we had chicken skewers with fries but at least we drank local beer which was very good.
The Bear has developed a taste for cream with a hint of coffee so he had that while I had coffee with a hint of coffee.
After supper it's already dark so we just made a detour by the war monument for the Warsaw uprising on our way back to the hotel.
The parliament building and the square in old town.
The war monument.
The theatre was an even grander building than the parliament.
Friday 16.08.2013 0km
For some reason we linger at the hotel and don't get out until around lunch, first stop obviously the caste.
If someone where to ask me what I've seen in any of the cities we've been I can always default to the castle if I don't really remember because statistically it's probably true.
A nice little walk through a very beautiful building that been painstakingly rebuilt after the war but a lot of the art an inventory was saved so it felt very authentic even though it isn't the same building.
Nazi special ops blew up the few remaining major pieces that had survived the bombings as punishment for the rebellion.
After our castle walk we ate at an Italian restaurant where finally there was a waitress that actually understood what dairy-free means.
She recommended the spaghetti with tiger shrimps in chilli and garlic. Very spicy but absolutely delicious.
I chilled my taste buds with sorbet for dessert. The Bear got some sort of cream with a hint of banana.
After that we had meant to go to the Warsaw uprising museum which we did but unfortunately it was closed.
Probably some sort of bridge day to do with the national holiday yesterday.
Since this was closed it was pretty safe to assume that other sights would be closed as well so we just wandered around town pretty aimlessly with pit stops and refills along the way.
We'd meant to go inside St Annes Church but there seemed to be weddings going on one after the other so even though it wasn't officially closed to the public it felt like really bad manners to crash a wedding so we skipped that too.
The clock tower was still open though so at least we got a brisk walk up those stairs rewarded by a spectacular view of the old town.
We wandered around well and good before settling for what probably was a tourist trap of the greater order of Polish cuisine.
I had roasted duck with apple in cranberry sauce.
It was absolutely delicious but it was a bit strange having able as the staple of a meal.
To that I had the first Polish weissbier I've come across but unfortunate it was a Hefe (yeasty) and they'd really OD'd on the yeast on that one.
They'd better leave the weissbier to the Germans in my opinion.
Bear had some sort of meat roulade with bacon and what at least looked like bulgur rice.
We stopped on the way back to the hotel at the same Italian restaurant where the same waitress was still working so I had to ask here if she never had any time off.
She worked 14-hour shifts 15 days a month so I guess that's a no.
210 hours a month and she's still fresh a daisy with a smile on her face, I'm impressed and a tiny bit in love I think.
I ordered an ice-coffee with sorbet at first but when it came it had a large topping of cream so the waitress had it barely even touch the table before apologising and taking it back for a replacement.
The Bear thought about if for a fraction of a second before reprising his cream with a hint of banana.
Bear definitely likes his cream.
Bear washed it down with a Grolsch beer but I couldn't resist it when I found a drink made of apple juice, apple sorbet and apple vodka.
The last supper in Warsaw definitely could have been a lot worse!
Old town with the castle on the right.
Hmm. What might they be selling here?
If you've ridding round half of Europe on a Tiger you obviously get to pose with the real thing.
The view from the clock tower.
Saturday 17.08.2013 471km Total:4048km
We sleep in util 9 and hit the breakfast buffet before slowly getting ready to ride off to Gdansk.
We're thinking we have all the time in the world so we don't check until around lunch.
We get out of Warsaw without much hassle and get on the crown jewel of Polish infrastructure, the Autostrada A1.
Polish roads have failed to impress thus far since the road between Krakow and Warsaw from time to time was so bad it could act as Dragon's teeth.
There where so deep ruts in the road that you really had to brace yourself and put some effort into getting out of them.
But this is an epiphany! Straight as an arrow, dual lanes and 140km/h speed limit with light traffic, the odometer is purring like a kitten!
Too good to be true obviously.
The Autostrada is rerouted because of road works and the traffic is redirected on 50-70-50 roads.
We're in need of both nutrition and petrol at this point so we turn off and sort that before heading back on... the wrong way. Dead f***ing wrong.
I think we probably went in the exact opposite direction opposed to the redirection and keep hitting closed on-ramps to the Autostrada.
This goes on for about 100kms before we eventually get back on the lovely Autostrada.
So change of plans. Instead of spending some time in Gdansk and be stuck there too long we head directly to the ferry port in Gdynia even though this means we'll be there unreasonably early.
We get there about 7PM and don't board the ferry until 9.30PM so it was a bit of a drag but we've seen worse.
A grand meal in the restaurant (we hadn't eaten since lunch) followed by a shopping spree in the tax free where we spend our last Zlotys before one last beer at the bar and then it's time to hit the bunks.
Heading for Gdansk.
Gdynia ferry port.
Strapped down and ready to hit the high seas.