I invite you to the next entry in the category: how to spend your vacation with only the weekend at your disposal. This time: Zielona Siódemka, the famous route from Warsaw to Gdańsk. However, we would not be ourselves if we had driven it normally.
equipment: road 99%
length: 413km (+ 5km to the station in Ustka or + 20km to the station in Słupsk)
distance: approximately 430 km (or more, depending on take-off location). Here is the version for a Varsovian who is bored with the neighborhood.
in one word: enjoyable
recommendation: definitely worth it
for whom: for everyone
when: I recommend avoiding the holiday and long weekend periods
shops and accommodation: are
transport: you can set off from Warsaw, and you can set off from Nowy Dwór or Działdowo using KM. The return from both Gdańsk and Słupsk (our version) should not be a problem with PKP.
- On Friday, after work, you set off from the Zoo Railway Station in Warsaw to Działdowo by the Mazovian Railways, then by bike.
- You spend the night in the vicinity of Ostróda (70 km)
- You are driving the Zielona Seven to Gdańsk
- You drive through Kashubia, Słupsk and Ustka
- Somewhere along the way you sleep
- In Słupsk you eat in Milkshake Bar and ice cream in Petrykowska. If you prefer something local you are in Herring Farm in front of Ustka.
- You sit down for a moment on the best cliff in the world in Orzechowo.
- You return to Słupsk, because at 4.30 PM and 6.30 PM you have trains to Warsaw.
End. You come home like from vacation.
The Green Seven - our extended version
The whole loop near Słupsk is completely unnecessary and it results from the fact that we would reach the station about 10 hours too early. We could of course spend those hours chilling on the beach, but you know how it is ... chilling harder than driving.
day I (74km / 355m): https://www.strava.com/activities/3913045805
day II (228km / 1521m): https://www.strava.com/activities/3917970453
day III (156km / 607m): https://www.strava.com/activities/3921805165
460km / 2400m
download .gpx (in the version without unnecessary wrapping: Działdowo - Orzechowo: 413km / 2000m)
3 words about the route
The tour is very, very, very good. Maybe not spectacular, maybe without breathtaking places, but it's enjoyable and drives very well. Traffic is usually light, asphalts are very good to moderate, but as a whole, I would describe them as "very good with a downside". Special words of appreciation are due to the Kashubian passage. If you plan to ride a longer section of the Green Siódemka - I suggest starting near Modlin.
What can / should be changed?
7 km between the villages of Zwroty and Morąg is the main road with moderate traffic. It is not very bothersome, but you can definitely avoid it (e.g. by Żabi Róg)
36 km between Elbląg and the coast is dramatically boring. Empty, even, but still boring.
And then it gets even worse, because the Stegna-Jantar-Mikoszewo section is a tourist drama at the weekend peak of the season.
There is a short terrain fragment in front of Lake Otomińskie, but you can go by road (if you want).
For 8 km after Żukowo you follow the main, crowded Kashubian road. Worth avoiding.
On Thursday noon we had every possible plan: we were going to Przemyśl, Masuria, the mountains, the seaside, Berlin, Nowe Warpno and everywhere else. How did it happen that the decision was made as it was made? I do not know.
Orzechowo is the best cliff in Poland, Zielona Siódemka (i.e. the Warsaw-Gdańsk route) has followed me for years, and laziness is getting bigger every month. It is probably the result of these very different factors.
We decide to move from Działdowo because
we don't want to leaving Warsaw for the 17th time is no longer a joy. By using the train, instead of cycling a hundred kilometers on the routes you know by heart, in two hours you are almost "on vacation".
Our plan is very simple. Instead of, like a decent Warsaw cyclist, getting up very early in the morning, ride 400 km at a time to Hel and return by evening train, we decide to try something new. It was a weekend where we decided to relax. Stand when we feel like standing, fall asleep when it gets dark, not fight against time. No ambition, no pressure, no anything (no Panda).
I am not undertaking an evaluation of the equipment I took as I have neither comparison nor conclusions other than that it "works".
The tent is Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Bikepack. Nice, because it weighs little, it is a double, it fits in a road lamb. I took the flysheet unnecessarily, because the nights were so warm that an insect net was enough. Michał does not use the tent at all.
The sleeping bag is a Cumulus X-Lite 200 and I only use it a bit because it's too warm.
The sleeping mat is Klymit insulated v ultralite sl and it is too small for me, so I fall off, but in the tent it doesn't bother me at all. I stole it from my girlfriend because mine is much bigger and heavier.
In addition, for a two-night trip, you do not need anything more than a bicycle, a powerbank, a small Decathlon backpack and some civilian shit.
How does it roughly look like?
This is the paragraph that you can skip if you plan to drive this route. You can also do it, and my goal is to convince you that you want to do this route. Or you just want to look at the photos while you are eating a sandwich with your other hand, or you are sitting on a boring one call at work.
The beginning is the classic, best Mazovia… even though Działdowo itself is no longer located in Mazovia. The roads are empty, side roads, very good asphalts, sometimes bad. The area is rather poor, very rural, the area around it starts to wavy. It's good, it's nice.
The sunset is coming. It is very good, practically all the time. I'm beginning to like the realization that we can stop pedaling at any time and a few minutes later I'll be lying in my sleeping bag, on the mattress, under the tent. I guess I could get used to it, although of course the trip itself ceases to be a classic bicycle trip, and starts a bit more of a tourist adventure. These over 2 kg of overnight equipment may not be particularly heavy, but it takes up a lot of space.
We spend the night somewhere in the forest near Ostróda. It's illegal, I know. We break down just before dark and wrap up early, leaving the place intact in the morning. Maybe even a bit better, because the trees are watered (and yet the drought) and the mosquitoes are fed. I have some concerns about leaving the bike leaning against a tree and attached with a rope for PLN 30, but Michał makes me realize that if someone finds us in the middle of the night in the forest, he will cut our throat sooner than he will try to break the rope from the bike. Sleeping in the woods is cool - I've seen it in the movies. It is a pity that these were horror films, not tutorials.
In the morning, we set off on empty, smooth and pleasant roads. Exactly what we expect. They end somewhere beyond Elbląg, when suicidal thoughts begin to appear in our heads. First, boredom, then the crowds on the coast.
I know that I am generalizing, but a seaside tourist is, according to my observations, the worst tourist of all. A person who goes naked and sweaty to Żabka, takes 4 beers, vodka and chips, pays with a hundred cash just taken from a roll of cash and drives away with a screech of tires across the pavement and over curbs. True story.
Then there is the ferry in Mikoszewo and it gets a little better, because we take the bicycle path to Gdańsk, which just like Prague looks like a great crown-party. So we quickly run away, a bit surprised by how long it takes to go up to leave it. The entire ride through the city can be considered comfortable in this version. Certainly more than through Elbląg, which may have a path all the time, but it was marked out by some laughter.
Kashubia seems to have gone downhill somewhat, but it turns out that it is not. It's 9/10 as far as the area goes - they even have a ski slope. Lakes, hills, animals, roads ... and even Kashubian drivers, who always choose to overtake a cyclist in the shortest possible time (by treading the gas to the top) are not so persistent here. In general, during the whole trip we had a chance for two headlamps and one pushed into a ditch.
We will return to Kashubia, that's for sure. This is one of those places where you drive to your destination and you realize that you don't want to go to that destination anymore, like Slovenia on its way to Croatia.
We spend the night don't-know-where. At some mine that hopefully doesn't work on Sunday. The sunset is even more spectacular thanks to the fact that we spend the night on the hill. We probably have 60 km to Orzechowo, and since we have a train only at 6.30 pm, it gives us a lot of room to show off.
Analyzing the area, we find an attraction that cannot be missed: the largest Trojan horse in the world. What can I say: if someone likes Trojan horses, they will surely be delighted - otherwise, you don't have to. If you could enter it through the backside and not from the side ... it does not matter, however, because it is closed on Sunday morning. It is worth noting that it is twice as large as the previous largest Trojan horse in Poland, which stands somewhere in Silesia.
We reach Orzechowo - a forest, normally empty road, blocked by hundreds of meters long snake of parked cars. It doesn't matter, the cliff itself is usually empty and the beaches are entered from its side. It is the best cliff in Poland, situated on the route of the best bicycle single in Poland (Ustka-Rowy). There is a chance that I am exaggerating, of course, but I can.
We had here chillbut still we cannot. Just like sunbathing, sunbathing and relaxing, it turns out to be a much more difficult activity than simply riding a bicycle. So we go further to the obligatory points of Słupsk, which you can read about in the entry about Słupsk. Of course, you could get there by train from Ustka, but why not.
In the evening, check in at the railway station in Słupsk. Our train is first 11 minutes late, then 40, then 120, and that's how it grows. The previous one, driving a similar route, already has 176 minutes. Apparently, the traction has broken somewhere, but whether it is serious - nobody knows.
We're reaching the state we've been looking for all weekend. We spread out on a piece of grass on the platform and lie idle. The minutes fly, we have nothing else to do. The lack of specific information on how long the train will arrive on the platform means that we cannot go too far away anyway. We spend so much time lying on the grass and watching the local trains pass by and the sky pass by. To make it even better, the passing trains shake the ground so much that our lawn acts like a massager. Target achieved.
I recommend it. Especially since September is coming, so it will still be warm and there will be fewer people.