Day 18 - Satopy to Suwalki - Fri 23 May
Driving through Great Masurian Lakes – over 2000 filling from glaciers. Storks abound.
|If I find the stork who left these twins...|
Arrived early at Swieta Lipka to see stunning 17th century Baroque church, with its dancing angels on organ when it is played.
|Masurian embroidery handed down by mothers|
Passed Ketrzyn to our destination for day – Wolf’s Lair. Obviously Hitler’s hideaway was chosen for its key geographic locale - any further north and we would be in Russia. Took the hour’s walk through Gierloz woods – the Masurian Lakes a natural obstacle for unfriendly forces. Encampment had been surrounded by minefields (glad we didn’t think of free camping here last night), along with four road exits, railway plus airfield - plenty of strategic ingress/egress. We read that the road was also covered in camouflage tenting. Now it’s only ruins of bunkers and storerooms used by Hitler, and the leaders of his forces - Goring, Bormann and Keitel. Stood at site of failed 20 July 1944 assassination attempt by consortium of generals led by von Stauffenberg. Most of the bunkers and buildings were blown up later by liberation armies, Hitler’s bunker (aptly numbered 13) was split asunder.
Lunched at Gizycko by Lake Niegocin. Unlike Australia, in most places you can’t get down to lakes - owned privately, gated entry (even to hotels and restaurants). Heaps of shirtless men and sunburnt people enjoying today's temp of 29º. Strong winds, good for the plentiful wind turbines. Lush green dairy country, no unused land except small woods. Arrived Suwalki mid arvo looking for camp ground with washing machine. Tourist info pointed us to pristine AquaPark, but all locked up (fortunately - it would have cost fortune!). Drove out to Wigry national park, camp ground attached to boutique hotel let GirlRob do washing upstairs in their attic three floors up. Helpful daughter (home from school sick), one of so few Poles who smiled! Sailboats, dinghys, buoys, smoke oven, wood for fire pit, fish grillers, log seats, small deck - little piece of heaven these folks have. Pretty colours as sun set, swan gliding silently on pink water reflecting evening sky. Very tranquil sitting outside.