Cycling and Sustenance

Today we did about 50km by bike. Now I know, to some that is a nothing. But this was not like how the crow flies. I’m talking about rain sodden country paths churned by tractors. Paths so narrow that the leaves keep thwacking into you, and roots so old and shiny that tires side slip on them. It was tiring, and basically it went to build up an appetite.

Gratefully we hauled into a small old boat on a lake, grandly called a barque, for a spot of lunch just as the heavens poured their generosity on us once again. First up was foie gras  – goose, which was okay.IMG_2637

For the wife the starter was a lot better, tasty spicy chicken. Selflessly I helped her with it;-)

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Next up for me Lamb chops. Tasty but a cream dressing or even a gravy was substituted by the overuse of oil. But all in all tasty.

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For the apple of my eye sandacz, which was served with a very hot spicy sauce. Delicious!

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All in all a tasty repast which helped us back on our way, and which we burned off and arrived home, again just before the rain. All in all a beautiful ride and good vittles.

 

 

Further Southwards into France

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Went into Avignon by bus which was cheap, clean and let me have a good gander as I was not driving. I did ask, but the driver said, ”Non”. Avignon was home to the pope between 1309 – 1377. Well he had one advantage then, the walls kept people out. They are still an impressive sight. However Avignon was beset by hoardes of tourists, they swept all before them. Really it was too much. Souvenir shops for instance. A few tacky shops are okay, however Avignon had its fair share. Nice bridge too, but when will it be finished?

Took in Aix-En-Provence which was a combination of the beautiful and the slighty grubby gracefulness. Prices for food were bad. Basically what we will pay in Polish Zlotych cost the same in Euro’s. The best way to negotiate this thorny problem was to stop and buy fresh fruit and vegetables at the roadside stalls. Great food from under the provence sun, and far better prices. Even managed to get service with  smile.

Headin’ down we drove through the Camargue. This is one beautiful place, truly. Low lying and flat, none of those pesky mountain passes with inches to spare! Driving past rice fields and then the most beautiful white horses. There are plenty of places to stop take in this area. We alighted in Cassis. Cassis in the sun is great. A long sweeping esplanade with a great beach and a free pissoir in the car park. What more can you want! Although there were tacky shops the place had a wonderful feel to it. Just walking along the roads one could see it was well looked after, with splashes of colour from beautiful flowers thrown in for measure.

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Pottered around and went to the most unhelpful information lady in history. Her Gallic indifference and shoulder shrugs were superb and her English, well, bazik. Anyway we discovered that safaris into the Camargue cost around 120 Euro for the four of us. So no thanks. Eventually we plumped for the cruise which was about 12 Euro for an adult and discounted for the children. The ferry trip went up the mouth of the (Lesser/smaller?) Rhone and although we draw close to some beautiful views, it was all a bit distant. The chop on the sea as we took in the swell of the sea on the return trip was pretty cool for me. Onwards and along the coast…

 

Sweden and Back to Poland

Not stopped by a gate as in Sweden we loaded up and headed to our hotel. Which was in fact a hostel. A blues bar and club with a side line in well priced accomodation. With nowhere to store our bikes with the car the friendly staff arranged for us to leave our bikes in their shop next door. Big thanks for that, guys!!

Cycling. Their are many good cycle paths and we spent some time at the beach in Gdynia. The beach is good and a fine park for the children to play in, as well. Good exercise for me too, as I had to push anything and everything that could swing. No, I’m not a swinger;-)

Then cycling along the seafront which was super. A beach and rocks blocked our way. The next part was a little wearisome as we trudged up the steep roads to find the connecting path into Sopot. But once we found it we sailed along across and then down into Sopot. The party two of the Three Cities.  Food, super tomato soup, which is well priced and consumed along with gofrys and ice-cream then back we went. Such is the wildness of parts of the forest along the cliff tops, that a family of boars ran across our path. Wonderful!

Back to the Blues club for a well earned drink and more low calorie, high fibre food. To cycle around Gydina, Sopot, didn’t make it to Gdansk, was a real pleasure. The cycling was good, plenty for the children to do, and prices must be a dream for those visiting from Sweden. All in all a great trip. Next off to Malbork for camping, which we decided to do on the spur of the moment…but we haven’t a tent!

Gdansk, Trojmiasto, Three Cities

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Jet into history with Gdansk, Sopot and Gydinia, easy with two airports. Visit where World War 2 began at Westerplatte, back in 1939, not 1942;-) Go sightseeing around the town of Gdansk with its wonderful architecture with overtones of Amsterdam, and full of history and museums. There’s a zoo for those heavily into incarcerterated animals,  Gydnia with its tall ships, World War 2 destroyer and good restaurants which also happens to be clean and well cared for. You can even take a ferry to Hel, but in this case return! Or for those that like to party there is Sopot which is a full on party town, betwixt Gdansk and Gydnia. A place with a little something for everyone. Bedzie fajne!

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Pulpeta, Meat Balls in Sauce

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Yesterday was Meat Free Day. Today is not. Most of the time I get by on smoothies, rolls and enough cheese to gain me an honary diploma from Jerry of Tom and Jerry fame. But today I needed something else. Off to the local eater for large meatballs full of flavour and covered in lashings of wonderful creamy sauce. A tasty creamy carrot salad and a piece of passing lettuce that was recruited at the last minute. Very tasty. Now, where is that cheese?

Has Beans

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For many in the world going to a restaurant is a joy, a time for good food, good company  in amiable surroundings. So with so much taken for granted, the last thing you need is for the restaurant to take its customers for a ride. A local restaurant recently served the above dish. The menu boasted that it was ‘Salmon served in a spicy Thai sauce with white rice’.

So much for words. The salmon was dry and curling at its edges, the only moist part being that covered by the accompanying sauce. Ah, the sauce. From which packet it was poured remains unknown, and whoever’s idea it was of calling it spicy must have had all their taste buds removed at birth. It was bland, it would have won 1st place in the International Blandeness Competition on World Bland Day. You get the drift. And the beans, refried, rehashed, re-done and simply from crispy fresh beans the dirge that was served was more akin to ‘has beans’. The rice actually passed muster.

The restaurant’s prices are going up, the quality down, and the quality starved punters still go through the door, all but this partcular customer in future. Bon Appetit, Not!

 

Tourist View and Real View

The tourist view seeks the architecture, the sun, the glowing colours and the domes and delightful decay of an aging, atmospheric city. In this case Rome, as seen from a smal cafe in  a busy square. The coffee was good and the waffles pretty damn tasty!

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What the tourist sees, and the camera can edit, is the working day of a normal market, replete with rubbish/trash and a luminescent funky jacket and vegetable matter in the throes of early decay. Remember the good the bad, and wiffy along with the wonderfulness of selective memories and photo-editing. This is not the Disney Channel!

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