June 2009, Wroclaw, Poland! Day 22
A half day of driving (528 km) starting at 12:30 from Gotha, Germany after putting in my new battery (36 euros). Full power. Passed a couple of cops going about 150 km in an unlimited zone on the Autobahn, what a feeling!
Stopped in Dresden for lunch with rain clouds following me the whole way. It was hard to stop knowing I might get rained on, but I had to see a bit of Dresden as it was highly recommended.
A Buffalo Burger at the Canadian Restaurant "Ontario" around the main square.
Went through to Poland at Gorlitz which looked like a nice little town to stay. Going into Poland meant that I now would only know 10 words instead of 200 in German. Also, found it harder to concentrate on the road due to the scenery.
The beginning of many tunnels to come...
Riding to Wroclaw before the rain.
Made it to Magda's in Wroclaw (Vrotslav - for non Polish speakers) after of course getting lost for a little bit. Getting lost sucks and it always seems that the rain starts 5 minutes before I am found again which adds to the urgency of finding your destination. The challenge of finding your way pushes you to interact with the local people and in the end is a great relief (Screw GPS at least for now). Finally met Magda and her flatmate Maja only 1 1/2 hours late. I found Magda on Couch Surfing, which is a traveling website for places to stay or for meeting locals while you are in their town. This was my first experience and was a bit scary at first, but turned out much better then staying at a hostel or hotel. I would have to say that Magda and Maja set the bar very high for hosting. The three of us went for food and drink and a small tour of the town centre and Magda even gave me her room to protect me from the cat. It was a great experience. And it should not be forgotten that Poland is still one of the cheaper EU countries as the three of us ate and had a couple of drinks for about 75 sworty (18 euros). A good night for sure and Wroclaw should be on everyone's list. Return visit for me.
I had also forgotten about the great beer "Okocim", which you can get in Calgary.
Magda and Maja
The next day I grabbed up my kit and had a look around the town after making some bike adjustments. Got lost a couple more times, it started raining so I got out of town and I headed to Czech and my friends Milan and Renata's just south of Praha (Prague).
What you get when you don't speak the language. It was actually pretty good.