As we were back in Poland we both felt we may as well travel South through Poland, rather than cross into Germany. We love the brilliant Polish roads – not too much traffic, great surfaces for mile after mile through the forests.
Our campsite in Kobylanka was on what appeared to be an old park, just us and a few tents and a few hundred years of rust and rot in the facilities block! We were both very much at the stage of its too hot, not just a bit hot, way too hot. At 36 degrees we were both cooking, so much so we hit the beach on the lake for a dip – like bath water and very clear, too clear as you could see the fish swishing around your feet . A perfect sandy beach but the walk out was endless, after a good five minutes it was still only knee deep but never has a body of water been an inviting to a body.
The Polish do swimming lakes well, there is always a load of imported sand, cafes, all the blow up swimming aides you could think of and a general feeling of the seaside brought inland. We were feeling a lot of love for the campsite and village until the campsite loud-speakers burst into the Polish national anthem at 6am – we dreaded looking out the window in case everyone was up doing star jumps, luckily there were just a few hundred cyclists getting ready for a cycle marathon. We also saw our favourite campervan to date on the site – what it lacked in room it made up for in character and the French owners both strung up a hammock each to while away the afternoon and evening.
Our next campervan??
Driving down the S3 Southbound we were somewhat stunned to spot a colossal statue of Jesus on the edge of the town Swiebodzin. At 33 metres (108 ft tall), the crown alone is 10 ft tall, it stands on a mound so the whole thing stretches up over 52 metres (172 ft). The town residents paid for the construction with donations totalling over €1 million. It’s all very impressive but, if it had been me I wouldn’t have built it right outside a Tesco supermarket and I wouldn’t have piped cover music of Michael Jackson’s Heal the World ringing out around the site – both things detract immensely from what is a very beautiful and simple structure.
It is incredible to see, more so when you consider a small town of 22,000 residents found the money to pay for it. Built in just 5 years it was completed in 2010 and is now the largest statue of Christ in the world (yes, it beats Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro by 3 metres). The grounds are still being landscaped and what appears to be a small hotel being built. There were very few tourists there but sure at it matures it will become a must see on the coach trail along with the Hill of Crosses in the North, Poland looks to have secured two of the iconic Catholic pilgrimages of the future.
It has been a week on excessive heat and thunder and lightning. Every night we have had cracking storms to watch followed by torrential rain, then by the following morning each day the sun has steamed the ground dry and it all starts again. It’s been too hot for our fridge which just couldn’t take the temperatures so we have let everything defrost and eating our way through a few odd mixtures over the next couple of nights to use everything up.
Beautiful house at our stopover in Przytoczna
Ending the week we are just an hour off the Czech border in the town of Bolkow. The area was once part of Germany but many towns were ethnically cleansed after WWII when the native German residents were expelled and replaced with Poles. Seems strange to think that not only has the town moved to a new country but that the people here are pretty much newcomers.
Here we found our cheapest campsite we have stayed on anywhere in Europe at £5 per night all in – and the all-in includes the town municipal outdoor pool being a few steps from our door. Oddly the campsites off the coast have been all but empty, it would seem holidaying inland in Poland is not de rigueur, so it’s just us and two other familys on the site. We have both had a swim in a pool, its old, it’s a bit cracked and worn (like us then) but when the mercury hit the mid 30’s this afternoon we weren’t even slightly picky and joined the town’s people for a dip.