18 June – short ride to ruined town

Today was such a short and easy ride it was almost a rest day. We rode just 40km on the Oder-Neisse-Radweg – from Frankfurt (Oder) to Kostrzyn.
We set off early, as we knew it was going to get hot later on. It was pleasant in the morning, though there were many flying insects which can be nettling. Both Kris and I are suffering from a number of bites over the past few days.

Leaving Frankfurt with the Oder river in the background

I had to take a photo of this novel approach to bicycle parking in the city – safe and dry – in Frankfurt alongside the river

The first part of the ride took us a little away from the river, on some nice shaded paths – then we came alongside the river riding on the stop banks again.
The river and flood plain are a lot larger than when we first started riding alongside it yesterday.

River Oder and floodplain, from stop bank cycle path

River Oder

We saw some nesting storks again at Lebus. I always stop to take photos of storks I am particularly happy with how this one came out.

The storks nest is to the left of the church tower – Lebus

Our hotel in Kostryzn is in Poland, just across the river-border. It is also next to a ruined fortress and abandoned town, which are the main tourist attractions of Kostryzn.

The fortress lies on land at the confluence of the Oder and Warta rivers. It was one of the greatest fortifications in Europe after its completion in 1590. It was conquered for the first time in 1806 by Napoleon’s army. And almost completely destroyed by the Red Army in 1945, together with the neighbouring town. The town and fortress have not been restored. All that remains of the fortress are some gates, ruined foundations and bastions along the river.

Fortress gate

Fortress ruins

River view from fortress ramparts

River and fortress ramparts

All that remains of the town are cobbled streets and building foundations, overgrown with trees. It is a strange place to wonder around in. It was hot and humid and the place was teeming with biting insects.

Street in ruined town

Street in ruined town

We rode around the new city, on the other side of the Warta river (for about another 10km) – we were searching for an old town, but there was not much to see. We went through a market with lots of stalls selling cheap cigarettes and brick-a-brac of all sorts just on the border – it was under canvas and felt like being in a maze we would never escape from – hot and humid.

Our hotel has a 24 hour restaurant where we had some very nice goulash soup and some (not so good) Polish beer. We unexpectedly found a good Polish APA (beer) at the Kostryn supermarket, which we had in the room later.

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