14 January 2009
Poland Cycle Chic
A big Cycle Chic witamy to two new members of the cycle chic family. Upstairs we have Warsaw Cycle Chic with a brilliant example of everyday European cycling.
Downstairs we have Krakow Cycle Chic, featuring all the everyday cycling news from... not surprisingly... Krakow. They're both newish so they'll be getting more content as the months pass.
Add to the Polish potpourri Lodz Cycle Chic and you're off rolling.
Which reminds me of a week I spent in Warsaw back in 1992. I had heard that the Soviet Intourist office in Warsaw, and only Warsaw, could be bribed to issue visas to parts of the Soviet Union that were previously impossible to get visas for.
I was working as a travel writer and journalist at the time so I was the first one to make the overland journey from Europe to China, travelling exclusively through the then Soviet republics, now countries in their own right, of Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakstan.
Travelling third class [illegal for foreigners] but armed with conversational Russian and the all important phrase, in Russian, "I'm from the Baltics" to explain why I didn't speak better Russian. Worked like a charm and it was an amazing journey.
Back to Warsaw... I stayed in a high-rise block of flats in a 'bed and breakfast' with a lovely older lady with whom I could barely communicate and remember watching reruns of Dallas dubbed into Polish, but dubbed with one, monotone male voice who merely recited the lines for the all the characters and with the original sound just audible enough to catch snippets of the real actors. All while drinking excessive amounts of tea and eating bread and sausage.
Okay, okay... back to the cycle chic...