We were not beaten by Stelvio, Mortirolo, Zoncolan, Trollstigen,
We were not beaten by driving a folding bike through the Valley of Death and the High Atlas,
We were not covered by the ascent to Wuling
... we were covered by the R10 tourist trail
We managed to squeeze the dog into the hotel for 3 days - shock, disbelief (and an irreparable loss). When you're sitting in Męcikale, it's not easy to plan a 3-day trip. On the one hand, it's stupid to hang around in the neighborhood that you can jump out of after work or at noon on Saturday (between morning and afternoon dog pissing). On the other hand, it's stupid to go to a place you are closer to from Warsaw, because it's like a waste of opportunity. The problem is that it quickly turns out that the capital is closer to everywhere - even if it is further away.
It fell on the famous R10. The route along the coast cannot be bad - especially before the season, because it's only the beginning of June. Mhm ...
As you probably remember from the previous post (Not Poland Gravel Race) I'm very good at planning. So it quickly turns out that we cannot get to Świnoujście with our bikes. So we go to Szczecin and from there we cycle. We sleep in Hotel Captain, because: it is close to the station, it is expensive, but the cheapest, it smells of the past, I get my bikes in a separate, locked room (which is a bathroom, but I remember many trips in which I would not despise sleeping in such a bathroom).
It is worth adding here that the trip to Polish is not cheap in general. By saying it's not cheap, I mean: REALLY it's not. To illustrate this, I present the result of the search for accommodation in Kołobrzeg, with the following criteria: 2 people:
So in Kołobrzeg we sleep in DW Rose of the Winds: because it is cheap, because it has a funny name, because it is close to Żabka and a quite good pizzeria: Portofino Pizza & Burger a nice connection between Kołobrzeg, where you have to go to the counter to order, and then eat with plastic cutlery, with a pizza that would not be ashamed of the so-called aspiring, multi-city Italian pizzerias. And the bikes sleep comfortably between the garbage cans and the stairs.
And this is just the beginning, because it gets even better along the way. On the way, we stop somewhere for a recommended fish - a classic: a tent, a garden, some side street. Set: paprika with bread, fish and chips, small cola and fish soup is PLN 120. Fortunately, you can go to Żabka next door. Do I recommend? I do not know, because I am ignorant of fish (with a small exception, which will be discussed in a moment) and I do not appreciate the broth with fish inside.
As you can see, our route is not very similar to the R10 and with the help of the description below, I will try to explain it.
Szczecin is very nice, that's how we remembered it from previous visitwhen we were testing and receiving some Canyon. The city will be especially appreciated by fans of the game Franko (#pdk). In order not to spoil this impression, after leaving the center, I recommend that you close your eyes and open only at the Zalew Szczeciński ... which, as it turns out, in the vicinity of Szczecin is not one at all, because it is Lake Dąbie. The route is a bicycle route, which is partly under construction and partly similar to riding the eastern embankment of the Vistula River in Warsaw. Nice, but a bit boring (if you came for an adventure).
The Szczecin Lagoon.
It gets really nice only at the actual Szczecin Lagoon and then the areas begin to resemble a bit Usedom - only people are gone. Instead, lots of horses and cows. Based on the instructions from Instagram, I summarize the statement that it was better to go the other side of the lake - along the border to Nowe Warpno and by ferry in Trzebież. Only according to the Internet, the ferry does not know when it sails, but it costs a million.
We practically avoid the whole of Wolin, and Międzyzdroje too, because it blows mercilessly in the face (the wind from the north by the sea - who could have expected?) And we want to get to the coast as soon as possible. On the coast there is a fast fish which makes us realize that one spiel fish for a few years is enough for us. For real influence, I will write this: we ate good fish in life 4:
- anything in the Herring Farm, about which it will be next and was in entry about Słupsk.
- herring sandwiches on the German side of the coast (e.g. Ahlbeck), about which was here.
- Swedish (though Danish) fish table in a bar in Borholm - entry here.
- Koran fish in a small restaurant at Lake Ohrid in Macedonia - entry about Albania.
The Polish coast is a strong case, and we are still before the holidays - it is clearly visible in the empty parking lots. In fact, the entire section to Mielno is equally strong. After that, quite a nice section begins, although along the plates at Lake Kopań, and then the route changes into a completely different route.
The coast route takes turns:
- pedestrian and bicycle routes
- flights through towns full of: kebabs; outlets; book fair; multi-dimensional cinemas; huge hotels under construction; classic holiday homes that contrast well with the ultra-expensive SPA; classic-seaside tourists, who can be said a lot, but it is not appropriate, because they are on vacation, so they can; stalls that look like traveling Aliexpress stands and, above all, colorful and machines
- pleasant forest sections
- sometimes dedicated bike paths, although in order not to feel like a human, they jump frequently enough from one side of the street to the other by means of what is supposed to be crossing the street, but when you (knock) a car on them, it turns out that they were not at all.
It does not change, however, that without reflecting from the R10, you see the sea sporadically.
Adding it all up, the sum of profits and losses in the human psyche quickly turns out to be negative. Maybe Polish is beautiful, the towns on the Polish seaside are maybe also beautiful, but thanks to the attack of plastic and melodies, you can't see it. Eyes, ears and nose wither quickly, and legs even faster, because it is not a bikepacking route of 200 km a day. There is constant braking, acceleration, passing, looking around here, and I believe that in the case of a pannier focused heavily on tourism, driving looks different.
We give up quickly. Supposedly, it is different after Jarosławiec. Asphalt roads turn into off-road roads. The places are a bit smaller, the people too - the views are completely different (you can't see the sea even more), sometimes some kind of pushing a bike ... but that's not for us. We lost to R10.
There is only one thing in the world that can save the day. A visit to the Herring Farm (which the R10 passes at a negligible distance), and then ice cream to Góra Lodowa / Petrykowska in Słupsk. This can end the day. And in general, it is so nicer, calmer and even the sun comes out. The world is happy about our decision.
On the third day, the bike does not go - the head has lost, an excess of impressions. We decide to return to Męcikał instead of attacking Hel or the Tri-City. The decision seems to be good, because the farther we move away from the R10, the better it is and the bike starts to ride more. There is a pathological, previously unknown situation in which the closer we are to the place where we live, the more we regret leaving it at all. You had to go around and go to the Tri-City while cruising around Kashubia ...
I highly recommend the R10. The route gives an unforgettable experience, especially for bikepackers, and allows you to feel like a real seaside tourist. I would have had different impressions if we had a week to cover the route, slept illegally in tents, passed through villages early in the morning, visited wax museums, museums, lighthouses, chill on the beaches furthest from parking lots, had an unlimited budget and indestructible stomachs. But it wasn't, not this blog. For me, a tourist ignorant, the Polish sea (west of the Tri-City) is limited to the cliffs between Ustka and Rowy.