Breakfast this morning was delicious, with a huge variety in the hotel buffet.
The weather today was overcast and cool at times, but at least the rain held off, apart for a brief shower around 3pm. This contributed greatly to a much more pleasant ride (86km in all) through the Polish countryside.
We started out making an unplanned detour through a place called Wilkow, due to misleading signage out of town. A very helpful woman gave directions to help get us back on track. She spoke only Polish. We are finding that none of the older people speak English. Some speak a bit of German. We also found that it is a bit hit and miss finding a helpful person – some just don’t want to talk with you. Anyway this woman was lovely.
From Wilkow our planned route took us through the little Sichow, Jawor, Luboradz, Konary, Udanin, Imbramowice, Domanice, Tworzyjanow to Sobotka
A lot of the old heritage buildings in the countryside are seriously dilapidated. Too many to stop and photograph. There are also some new houses dotted around the place – it almost seems as though they would rather build new than renew.
The most striking example today was in a small settlement called Pyszczyn – a massive building visible from quite far away. When you get closer you see that it is falling apart. I looked it up later and found that it is a palace from the turn of the 18-19th century and for sale together with 8.27ha of parkland (probably for the price of a small house in Auckland).
A highlight of the ride was a short cut we took through an established beech forest. We started out taking directions from a couple of workers at a small trucking firm. The younger could only speak Polish but the older could speak basic German. He brightened up when we said we were from New Zealand and said – “yes, New Zealand, Wellington!” (note, not Auckland). After riding all day on pot-holed and patched roads we should have been wary when the Polish warned of a bad road. It was bad – started out as an unsealed track with muddy holes between two fields. Soon it took us through a beautiful forest though, where Kris saw two deer, which made it worth while.
On reaching Sobotka we found Hotel Sleza easily on the central square. It is is a neat little hotel and has a feature arch in the foyer from the 16th century.