Today we we chose a shorter route – 71 km on flat terrain – as we felt we needed a rest. The route took us through Sadow – Kozecin – Sosnica – Woznika – Kozeglowy – Lgota Nadwarcie – Myszkow – Zawiercie. I was still sore and slow from the previous day. Kris adjusted my handlebars however and this has made an improvement to my comfort on the bike.
It was a cold morning and we noticed the smell of coal smoke as we rode through the villages. The plains of Europe are dotted with the large German built wind turbines similar to the ones we have in Wellington. Poland is no exception. We have seen many wind turbines, even in places where there does not seem to be much wind (when we passed). We have also travelled through many beautiful oak woodlands on our journey. There is another side to this image. On colder days inhabitants fire up their coal fires, and a tarry stench greets us when we enter villages. We have also seen no effort to engineer eco-friendly transport systems.
The receptionist at Hotel Lubex had warned us that it was a public holiday (presumably for Pentacost), so we carried our food and wine with us. We also heard church bells a number of times and saw families making their way to church. The Roman Catholicism in Poland is very evident as you ride through the small towns. There are small shrines (either Jesus on the cross or Mary) on many cross roads. Pope John Paul II (who was from Southern Poland) is also venerated here and you see many references – statues, a traffic circle in Lubliniec named after him, etc.
Our accommodation in Zawiercie has the unlikely name of CMC Putex Hostel. I found it on the internet but was not sure that it would work out at all. The only other accommodation in town was an expensive (by Polish standards) spa resort, which we could afford if we were stuck.
Zawiercie turned out to be a dormitory type town, with many large worker apartment buildings. The entrance to the hostel is through a small forest of trees alongside these apartments. We pushed on however and found that the hostel is actually in a lovely old building and a wedding party was in progress in the downstairs reception rooms. We were given a large “apartment”, with a sitting room, bedroom and bathroom. Also a big TV, but all the satellite TV movies are dubbed into Polish.
We arrived early at our hostel and after eating our food had a indulgent afternoon sleep for a few hours. Later on we went for a walk down the road and found a bottle store and bakery open – bought some Polish beer and some biscuits.
We also had the unexpected pleasure of finding this street art, on the back of some lock up garages off the main street behind our hostel.