Saturday, 17 May 2014

Day 12 - Nachon to Oswiecim/ Auschwitz - Sat 17 May

Day 12 - Nachon to Oswiecim/ Auschwitz - Sat 17 May
Not many fisherman out this cold morning in what appears to be a catfish competition. Used our remaining Czech currency to fuel up. Thank you Czech Republic for your good roads, sedate drivers and courteous people! Freezing at 7.5
º as we crossed border into our fourth country Poland, breathing out frosted vapour. Passed a music/violin park - Chopin? Exchanged euros for zloty. Climbed into pine forested hills shrouded in mist, drizzle. Envious of fragrant wood smoke coming from chimneys. First view of Poland not inspiring, abandoned factories, gated complexes with turrets on corners - shades of Soviet past? Shame we've entered country on such bleak day.

Nysa township - Wieza Ziebicks tower

Stopped for traditional Polish meal at Strzelce Opolskie - meat roll, dumplings, pickled veggies and slaw (glad we ordered small serve) “Hot chocolate” turned out to glass of very rich fudge/mousse. Poland seems contradictory so far, the towns overwhelm with excessive signage, grey unpainted cement buildings, many in disrepair, graffiti, and abandoned ruins- a chaotic feel. Then you drive into the countryside with its early green cereal crops, patches blown over with wind and rain, and see the pride people take in their houses, ornamental gardens, flowers among the barrows, bridges, wishing wells, ponds and statuary, and attractive window dressings of flowers and lace curtains. Plenty of deer signs, but no deer! Seagulls with black heads and big eyes swooping over fields.

What else to do on a rainy Saturday

Glad we ordered small serve....

Finally drew near our day’s destination, Garmin sometimes frustrating - likes to take narrow side roads (with impassable bridges), unfinished highways and roads closed for long term repairs... thank goodness for our trusty Pocket Earth app. Drove into Oswiecim was 70 º Jewish before German occupation. River in flood, locals out taking photos. Info centre closed, but carpark indicated could sleep overnight there (shades of China....). Joined other motor homes, into pizzeria for dinner and wifi. Met Aussies and Scots companions travelling together in same camper (!) All ready for tomorrow’s foray.

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