Days: 45 (11 rest days)
Paid accommodation: 41 nights
Free accommodation: 4 nights
Best food: pierogi
Best drink: homemade liquor
Favorite word: cześć
Favorite place: Moving Dunes close to Leba
Poland in one word: High season
Ah, Poland! Endless fields, an extremely lively coast and historical towns – often hiding the beautiful façades behind stalls and shops announcing ice cream and waffles, fast food, souvenirs and beach wear. We spent a month and half in the country, coinciding with the summer holidays. This meant sunny weather, beach breaks and good camping conditions; but also overcrowded beaches, masses of people in the coastal towns and high prices. In Gdansk, where we spent a lot of time, the streets were buzzing with tourists due to the annual St. Dominic’s Fair.
We enjoyed hiking on proper hiking trails, even if they sometimes lead us far away from the coastline. We saw a lot of deer and other animals in the woods, amazing dunes at the beach and along our way found all the fruit summer has to offer: Cherries, straw-, blue-, rasp- and blackberries. More than in any country before, we had fantastic encounters with people on the trails: Hikers doing the Polish coastline in the opposite direction, cyclists on their way to Hel, people on a day trip stopping for a long chat with us.
We were fortunate to spend some days with José’s workmates Piotr and Piotr, who visited their hometowns just when we were in the region. José’s brother Jorge flew in especially from Portugal to spend a long summer weekend with us.
In Gdansk, José found a doctor who could treat the pain in his foot. This problem was replaced temporarily by blisters caused by the new hiking shoes and insoles, but soon he was as good as new and hiking distances of 25 km was becoming more and more routine. Our last week in Poland had a première: Moiken’s mum Regine was brave enough to join us for 100 km of hiking!
We crossed the border to Germany on September 4 filled with good memories of an amazing time. Diękuję i do widzenia Polska!