Toasted one side

Sorry, couldn’t help it. Another 100 miles today, driven by a glorious tailwind westward out of Poland into smooth-roaded and copiously-cycle-tracked Germany, to the Scharmützel Lake (see pic) just short of Berlin, where ended the day with a magnificent swim. Riding constantly west for the past week in what’s now a very warm, sunny early […]

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The Older and Nicer Line

YES YES YES…. 100 miles (and a bit more) in one day. Picture above of the bike computer to prove it (and honest, I didn't just let the counter run over from yesterday.) My friend Clive had challenged me to the ton, so with a rip-roaring tail wind, flat flat flat western Polish countryside and […]

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Germany and its complex past

Replete in Wroclaw/Breslau with an awesome meal of ribs and Silesian cheesecake, it's Germany's and Poland's complex and bloody history which loom large today. Last night's conversations with my formerly German hosts (mother Helena and daughter Monika in the delayed photo above, outside the impressive tourist barn the family has rebuilt with its own hands) […]

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Auschwitz and Kraków

Seventy-four miles today from Krakow to unlovely and industrial Katowice in southern Poland via Auschwitz, which bothered me. Tourists in their hordes, and history presented in blacks and whites. Very bad Nazis and very good everyone else. Including (for much of the museum text dates back still to Communist days in Poland) good Soviets, good […]

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These Languages…

Now well on the way towards Krakow, having crossed tiny but tall Slovakia in two days. Where, in the shadow of the High Tatra mountains – rising as suddenly out of the land as Scotland's Cuilins seem to do from the sea in Skye – special thanks to Milan and Melania Oravec for their exceptional […]

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Into Slovakia

My mobile evidently didn't like Northern Hungary. But it feels entirely happy and reconnected in Slovakia. So, the blog resumes. I wanted to put up a photo of shop-owner and -keeper Zoltan at an awesome bikeshop near Salgotarjan near the Slovak border (yes, bicycle in Hungarian is Kerekpar, nothing you can get a handle on) […]

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A vendeglatoim – my hosts

Goodbyes are tough, but there comes the time to head home. Stay well Adél (with the helmet) and Ákos (with the crossed hands), Ági and Gábor. You've been the most formidable, patient and generous hosts – even if “my hosts” in Hungarian, a first person plural possessive, is a grammatical cliff-face to climb. Vendéglátoim! I […]

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The blog and the journey resume

The blog resumes, as does the journey. What a three weeks it’s been in Budapest. I can understand 10 times more spoken Hungarian than I could a month ago, and can make myself fluently but spectacularly ungrammatically understood. Pretty useless skill outside Hungary, of course, but fun. I can talk to my bike in Hungarian […]

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