Welcome to Poland!
Rural Poland was a blur. First, it was a blur of beauty and then it was a blur of suffering. 140km in one day is fine for many riders, but not for me, at least not yet. I am still working up to those longer distances. The northern side of the High Tatras was great. However, they do not extend very far into Poland.
River rock at the base of this house was used in almost every house in the north.
As those beautiful mountains disappeared over my left shoulder, I was left with three thoughts pierogies, why are the bases of the houses all the same, and PIEROGIES!!! I stopped at two restaurants just over the border, but neither one was open. It made getting pierogies a little tough. I was left to just wonder why almost every house had the same river(?) rock base, no matter how different the top was.
I am not sure how, but this bird is keeping the cows in check, or they are tied in place (no fence).
When I finally got to a large town, Nowy Targ, in southern Poland it was near lunch time. However, pierogies were still not to be found! I went to two places that did not have them on the menu. I was pretty star struck. I did not realize any other foods were eaten in Poland, I mean, why would you? The third restaurant, I finally hit pay dirt. They were not the standard pierogies we find in the states and they were delicious. They had a few varieties and I wrote down all the ones that did not have meat for future reference. I can only imagine the meat ones are equally delicious.
They weigh your ice cream cone!
After getting my pierogie fix, I wanted to get some fuel for the road in the form of my daily ice cream. I chose the place with a line out the door. That is always a good sign. The ice cream was good. The flavors were fun, if not super creative. However, the best part was that you ordered your ice cream by weight. After they had piled on your flavors, they weighed it. They never took off, they only added. Brilliant.
The green goodness of rural Poland.
Some days it is good to be on the bike.
Somewhere in the blur of grassy hills, I found a terrible traffic jam. It went on for over an hour of riding. I quietly passed all the cars until I got to a bridge. There, I was going to wait with everyone else. One of the constructor workers saw this and flagged me over and around everyone. It was wonderful. I kept trucking passed all the cars that had been waiting long enough to just turn their cars off. A lot of me felt guilty, but a whole lot more of me was loving it. I need to find a way to have my bike be part of my commute back in the states.
This beautiful butterfly almost became roadkill.
Another wonderful Polish valley.
When I figured I could make Krakow in a day, I had a slight tail wind and figured I would have mostly a descent with a few hills to Krakow. I was wrong. I was only left with rolling hills. Those lovely rolling hills were beautiful, but, combined with the distance, they worked my legs over. I think I was moving slower than an old man as I rolled into Krakow at sunset. I think my best thought of the day is how much the rolling hills reminded me of Pennsylvania . . . which might be why so many Polish people chose to settle there. Duh.
I do not think I have ever seen Fred Flintstone so effectively reused.