On the evening of day 121 of our trip, we went to the train station of Trzebiatów to pick up a very special visitor. Moiken’s mum Regine arrived to join us for a week of hiking along the Polish coastline until the German border! But first, we did a quick tour through the town and went to a local pizza place to gather some energy for the next day.
It was the first time since we started our trip that somebody else was hiking with us. At the same time that we were excited about the idea of walking in a group, we also had some doubts: Would it be too boring for our hiking companion? Or too hard? Would we be able to agree on the hiking speed and frequency of breaks?
We soon discovered that none of this was a problem and it was fun to tell all our stories while we were walking, get some news from home and share our daily routine with another person – including all our favorite hiking songs! We had a nice hike through the countryside until we reached the coast at Niechorze, where we celebrated with a good meal and local beer.
There was still enough time for a small tour to the lighthouse of Niechorze, where we enjoyed the fantastic views from high above – something we couldn’t have done with our backpacks.
The next day, we walked through a seaside resort on top of the cliffs, where we met the Little Prince and his look-alike:
We realized that 500 years ago, our coastal path would have been an inland path: At Trzęsacz, we came across a church ruin, which once had stood on solid ground, 2 km away from the shore. Over the years, the sea reclaimed most of the land and today, only a small part of the outer wall is still standing. 250 years ago, the end of the bridge where we took the picture would have been the edge of the cliffs.
We finally arrived in Dziwnówek and to our surprise, we didn’t see any “pokoje” (rooms for rent) signs. Where did they go? We found out that we were in a place where people go for recovery at the sea; full of sanatoriums and rehabilitation centres. Paying a bit more than our usual room rate, we found a place in one of them, where we also received a spartanic breakfast the next morning (coffee was out of the question!).
We had a longer hike planned for day 124, so we booked our accommodation ahead of time to avoid a long search at our destination. First, we covered a few kilometers until the next town, Dziwnów, where we had a coffee at the most unfriendly place of the whole trip. They sold the coffee most unwillingly, and when we dared to ask for the toilet, the key had mysteriously disappeared. We took a deep breath and assured each other that life is beautiful. José said something along the lines of: “Winter is coming.” Then we moved on and crossed the bridge to the island of Wolin.
It was a beautiful but quite strenuous tour through the forest and along the cliffs with a lot of ups and downs. The day was sunny and warm, so we were eager to finally go for a swim in the Baltic Sea. However, when we were the closest to the beach, we were still 30m too high. So we enjoyed a lunch break with a view, before we walked the last stretch of the day.
At the holiday apartment we had booked, we had a pleasant surprise, because there was an outdoor pool! We happily took a dip to refresh after a warm day.
On day 125, it was all beach hiking until Międzyzdroje, where we arrived early enough to explore this traditional beach resort. We went for a stroll through the old centre, walked on the pier, and had coffee and cake in the sun.
Our last stop in Poland was Świnoujście, which is so popular with German tourists that we thought we had already passed the border. To get there, we had to take a ferry across the Świna river, which was very convenient, as it started raining exactly when we were waiting for the ferry and stopped soon after we had reached the other bank. We spent the last evening with Regine in this nice town; spotting the turn-of-century buildings and walking on the busy beach promenade.
Our brave hiking companion had walked 100km with us during five days, keeping up with our pace without any problems. Well done, Regine!