Well, here we are. October 15th – exactly four months after leaving our London flat, we are in Warsaw.
As we had planned, it took us six days to drive across Europe – with stops in Brussels, Cologne, Hannover, Berlin and Poznan. We drove for 200-300km per day, all on motorways (including the new one in Poland – it wasn’t here the last time we traveled the country), at speeds the van hadn’t dreamt of… we think something may have gotten broken again, but we made it through all in one piece, and now have the winter to figure out if, and what, to fix.
We stayed with family in Brussels, with friends in Poznan, and on campsites in Germany. It was cold, windy, rainy, and for the last night in Berlin we had a fierce thunderstorm above our heads competing with airliners landing on a nearby Tegel airport.
We didn’t do much sightseeing – it wasn’t that kind of a trip; we did eat, though (and drink) in some of our favourite places, even if it meant standing 2 hours in a queue in Berlin for Mustafa’s legendary Gemusekebap. We did stroll around Brussels and Cologne for a bit, but that wasn’t our first time in either of them. We still need to go back to Cologne to visit the Roman Museum – it was already closed by the time we got there, and it looks like a full day trip anyway.
The campsites in Germany are of a completely different standard than the English ones. I’m not saying better – just different. There’s a very 70s working class holiday vibe in them; the one in Cologne is probably the best of the three, right on the Rhine; there’s fantastic Autumn going on in Europe right now, and there is no better sight in the world than autumn trees reflecting in the water (those who’ve been to Kiyomizudera in November will know what I’m talking about); Germany had plenty of that on offer.
We got into Warsaw on the last moment; the night before it was already frost on the ground, and first of the winter fogs, dissipating as we entered the motorway for one last time. It’s still Indian Summer in Poland, but it feels like the snow might come at any moment now, and we’re not fit to face the winter – not just yet, at least. So ,like a Great Heathen Army staying the winter in Repton, we’ll be in Warsaw, waiting for the spring thaws, before moving on.
This is definitely not the end of our journeys. Next year – next trip! And until then, we’ll be posting more summaries of last year, things we forgot to mention, tips, and whatever else we can think of – only not as often as before. So don’t go away too far!