Sunday, 3 June 2007

31st May / 1st June

31st May and 1st June

Prague to Wroclaw, Poland.
Arrival 51300km

An uneventful journey, although for the main part not on great roads. There is a motorway, but a 'vignette' is needed. Arriving in the city of Wroclaw, I was impressed by how green the approach was. Lots of trees and park space. The usual nasty looking 60's tower blocks on the outskirts of town. I eventually found the campsite programmed on Maisy GPS, however it turned out to be closed and derelict, so I'm guessing that it had been shut for a considerable time. Luckily I had another campsite address written down; slightly further from the centre, inside the old Olymic Stadium grounds. Kind of a strange campsite. Definately not originally designed for that purpose, it seemed like part of a sports field had been turned over to camping and the sloping grandstand area had some small bungalow huts placed on it. Showers and facilities were basic but OK. Transport was handy enough. I biked it in to town then bought some tram tickets and used those afterwards. The camping was also cheap at 37.50 zlotys per night (about 10 euro).

I got a map of the city from the guy at reception and headed in. It was a nice sunny afternoon, but not overly warm. I walked around part of the old city moat. At first I thought it was a canal until I read the notes on the map! I think I read somewhere that it is the largest intact moat in Europe. Inside the moat area is a nice city centre, a good number of old buildings and the usual crappy replacements. There's a lot of work going on digging up pavements and roads, lots of improvements on the way. The main square is a delight. It's huge, has a large 'Rathuz' town hall in the centre, and loads of restaurants and pubs around the edges.

I headed in for a few beers and discussed my travel plans for Poland with a couple of the locals who were friendly. "Why Poland?" they asked..... "why not?" my reply. They seemed to find it strange someone from Western europe would have Poland on their itinerary. I caught a taxi back to the campsite and for a change, wasn't ripped off. It was only about 5 euro.

After a long lie in, I headed in to town by tram and looked around the city some more. It's a shame I didn't have more time to devote to the place, as there seemed to be boat trips to go on and large parks to visit. Mainly, all I could get to see was the old centre. I stopped at a restaurant in the square and had dinner. Dirt cheap, 7 euro for it all and huge portions. The local beer is excellent too. I decided on an early night though, as I felt a bit wrecked and wanted to head off early in the morning to my next city stop, Krakow, via Oswiecim (Auschwitz).

Wroclaw (pronounced Vroswav) seems to be a popular destination for stag do's at the weekend, more than likely due to cheap flights and cheap beer!

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