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Poland

Posted: 8 Oct 2017, 2:17pm
by John Holiday
Just enjoyed a week visiting Poland with my Brompton, mainly around Gdansk & Warsaw. Excellent cycling infrastructure, with priority when crossing intersections with lights. Any driver turning across the cycle lane gives way.
None of this 'Cyclists dismount ' rubbish!
At many of the lights, they even had an adjacent handrail & footrest to perch against!
Lots of ladies cycling and hardly a helmet or lycra to be seen!
We can but live in hope of seeing such facilities in UK.
Also excellent network of public transport, trains,buses & trams.
People with disabilities might struggle, however, as not many lifts or ramps & lots of stairs.

Re: Poland

Posted: 9 Oct 2017, 10:34am
by simonhill
Sounds interesting. How did you take your bike?

Edit: I meant specifically as it was a Brompton. How to airport, how on plane, how off plane to hotel.

I'm thinking of getting a Brompton next year to do short haul Euro touring/sightseeing.

Re: Poland

Posted: 9 Oct 2017, 1:07pm
by Kernowboy
I'm also interested in how your flew with your Brompton, although I cant get on with a Brompton (had one and sold it) I am considering an Airnimal Joey for an upcoming tour to Thailand

Re: Poland

Posted: 9 Oct 2017, 1:14pm
by Cyril Haearn
What about language, do many speak English there? :wink:

Polish is one of the most widespread foreign languages in the UK, +1!

*The White Lake* by John Borrell is an interesting account of life in Poland

Re: Poland

Posted: 9 Oct 2017, 6:09pm
by Des49
John Holiday wrote:Just enjoyed a week visiting Poland with my Brompton, mainly around Gdansk & Warsaw. Excellent cycling infrastructure, with priority when crossing intersections with lights. Any driver turning across the cycle lane gives way.
None of this 'Cyclists dismount ' rubbish!
At many of the lights, they even had an adjacent handrail & footrest to perch against!
Lots of ladies cycling and hardly a helmet or lycra to be seen!
We can but live in hope of seeing such facilities in UK.
Also excellent network of public transport, trains,buses & trams.
People with disabilities might struggle, however, as not many lifts or ramps & lots of stairs.


Sounds like you had a great time and were in the right area for facilities.

I was in Poland early this year, mainly in Koszalin (without a bike, though the sub zero conditions and loads of snow and ice wouldn't have made for good road cycling). I kept thinking about cycling there and certainly in that area the thought would be off putting. The standard of driving was absolutely appalling, mixing it with normal road traffic in either urban or more rural roads would make me very nervous.

Usage of dash cams in cars seems much higher than in the UK and must give them some distressing footage all too frequently.

Re: Poland

Posted: 11 Oct 2017, 8:59pm
by John Holiday
Flew from Manchester to Gdansk (with Ryanair! ), with the Brompton in a suitcase as Hold luggage and the front bag as Carry on. Obviously, that presents a problem of where to leave it, but was using public transport &staying in hostels.
With regard to driving standards, I felt that respect for cyclists and pedestrians was much better than in UK, but only have Gdansk & Warsaw to go on . Travelled by train from Gdansk to Warsaw by train, a trip of 250 miles for a very reasonable £10 equivalent.
Have made numerous trips with Brompton & find it great for seeing much more. Even rode it in Istanbul on way back from Northern Cyprus.
If only longer tours, use Thorn Raven with Rohloff in heavy guage polythene bag,which rolls up into panniers.

Re: Poland

Posted: 11 Oct 2017, 9:09pm
by John Holiday
With regard to language, experienced little problem as most of the younger generation have some English,
I think that you may have a bigger problem in rural areas & with older generation who haven't learnt English.
All very friendly though.
Much more of a problem trying to decipher the signs!

Re: Poland

Posted: 12 Oct 2017, 7:48am
by Steve
John Holiday wrote:Just enjoyed a week visiting Poland with my Brompton, mainly around Gdansk & Warsaw. Excellent cycling infrastructure, with priority when crossing intersections with lights. Any driver turning across the cycle lane gives way.
None of this 'Cyclists dismount ' rubbish!
At many of the lights, they even had an adjacent handrail & footrest to perch against!
Lots of ladies cycling and hardly a helmet or lycra to be seen!
We can but live in hope of seeing such facilities in UK.
Also excellent network of public transport, trains,buses & trams.
People with disabilities might struggle, however, as not many lifts or ramps & lots of stairs.

Very different from my experience 6 or 7 years ago. The ride from Gdansk airport to get to the east of the city was awful- no room on the roads in many places with fast traffic and big lorries, so took to the pavements but these were not well paved. Perhaps the city centre is better. I was very glad to get beyond the city.

Re: Poland

Posted: 12 Oct 2017, 11:19am
by Bmblbzzz
Having lived in Poland for several years in the early 2000s, it sounds as if the cycling facilities have improved incredibly. As for driving standards, if you're walking or driving they seem dreadful and you'll feel that you get no respect. Note this includes driving. Yet for some reason I don't entirely understand, Polish drivers tend to be much more careful around cyclists than is normal for Britain.

Re: Poland

Posted: 12 Oct 2017, 11:50am
by Sweep
Bmblbzzz wrote:Having lived in Poland for several years in the early 2000s, it sounds as if the cycling facilities have improved incredibly. As for driving standards, if you're walking or driving they seem dreadful and you'll feel that you get no respect. Note this includes driving. Yet for some reason I don't entirely understand, Polish drivers tend to be much more careful around cyclists than is normal for Britain.

Maybe years of polski fiats have pumped some italian into them. In my experience italian drivers often treat pedestrians with utter contempt but are good in general with cyclists.

Nowt so strange as folk.

Back to poland - must go back, haven't been since the communist era and then i wasn't on a bike.

Re: Poland

Posted: 12 Oct 2017, 1:54pm
by whoof
Bmblbzzz wrote:Having lived in Poland for several years in the early 2000s, it sounds as if the cycling facilities have improved incredibly. As for driving standards, if you're walking or driving they seem dreadful and you'll feel that you get no respect. Note this includes driving. Yet for some reason I don't entirely understand, Polish drivers tend to be much more careful around cyclists than is normal for Britain.


I did a tour that finished in Krakow about five years ago. I found the drivers to better than those in the UK, the only ones who I've found in Europe who are anything like as bad as the UK are the Swiss.

Many of the campsite had kitchens of some sort in them.

In restaurants often dishes were a large lump of meat cooked in one way or another with the option of potatoes and cabbage as an extra. Krakow had some mleczny (milk) bars which are good value canteen style cafes that had a reasonable choice of food. .

Maps were a bit poor. What is drawn as a road going straight across another can turn out to be a junction with the crossing 1 km away. If the road isn't straight it can be a case of tossing a coin to try and find the correct direction.

Re: Poland

Posted: 12 Oct 2017, 2:05pm
by Bmblbzzz
Good maps at 1:100,000 scale are available from Oddział Topograficzny Sztabu Generalnego Wojska Polskiego, which is literally the Polish Ordnance Survey. You can find them in bookshops, tourist information centres and outdoorsy shops.

Cabbage and potatoes are never mere options in a Polish (or Czech, or similar Central-Eastern European) meal!

Re: Poland

Posted: 12 Oct 2017, 3:31pm
by whoof
Bmblbzzz wrote:Good maps at 1:100,000 scale are available from Oddział Topograficzny Sztabu Generalnego Wojska Polskiego, which is literally the Polish Ordnance Survey. You can find them in bookshops, tourist information centres and outdoorsy shops.

Cabbage and potatoes are never mere options in a Polish (or Czech, or similar Central-Eastern European) meal!


For me they were. I opted in for the potatoes and out for the cabbage.

I once had a piece of oven baked pork with a sauce made with hot tinned fruit cocktail (salad).

Re: Poland

Posted: 13 Oct 2017, 8:25pm
by delilah
John,
Poland is on my list. Could you post short details of your itinerary and hostels?
Thanks

Re: Poland

Posted: 14 Oct 2017, 7:07pm
by John Holiday
Flew Manchester -Gdansk via Ryanair & stayed in La Guitarra hostel near river. Rode along coast to Sopol & beyond. Caught train from Gdansk to Warsaw & stayed in Oki Doki hostel. (Not the similarly named hostel in Old Town ).
Then bus to Modlin airport & returned to Manchester by Ryanair.
It was just a 'taster' for what I hope will be a longer tour further south at later date.
Hope this assists.