Daisy transits into Poland, but will be briefer than planned.

We’ve realised that Gdansk/Danzig is going to be a bit of a stretch, so today, just into Poland along the Baltic coast (see maps below), we’ve turned south towards Szczecin, where we’ll park Daisy and do a two-day train trip to and back from the city that gave birth in 1980 to Solidarity and ultimately the end of Communism in Eastern Europe.

The Polish-German border is of course now completely open, with both states making so much healthier choices about partnership and travel than 52% of Brits chose to reject.

Travelling through Germany and now further east does drive home what a catastrophically unwise decision Brexit was, and how Britain’s political and media system has, on so many levels, failed us.

On which perhaps more later.

In the meantime, as ever, snapshots below of our continuing journey (one month in and approaching 2000 km in total) though not – we had other things to do than take photos – of the first and hopefully last two crashes of our crazy early 70s adventure.

Both in Swinoujscie, just into PL.

First I dropped Daisy when the front wheel slid out from under us in soft sand, thankfully at slow speed.

Then when dismounting at the railway station (to check whether Polish trains accomodate tandems – we were wrongly told they can’t), I caught my heel on the front crossbar, and we all toppled sharply over backwards.

Tailbone bruised, but could have been a lot worse…

Two misjudgements which won’t happen again, reminding how the brain learns, right hemisphere, from traumas small as well as big, so that you don’t go near that spot again where there might be sabre-tooth tigers. (I first wrote sabre-tooth spiders!!! Freud lässt grüßen/greetings from Freud.)

Every time I take the three of us (Daisy, Jutta and self) over railway or tram lines – literally every time – even 45 years on, I think of 1978 in old East Germany where we came a cropper (without crash helmets) on our wedding present Daisy1.

We were making our first really long and suddenly truncated tandem tour from Berlin to what should have been Bavaria, but turned out to be the town of Plauen just short of the then inner-German border.

Further spills allowing, as piece of Gestalt-closing, we’re heading to Plauen to visit the spot (probably a blue plaque on a nearby wall…)

But first, after our dogleg to Gdansk, come Berlin, Erfurt, Leipzig (where I studied in 1971 and still have close friends), Dresden (where Jutta’s Dad is buried), Zwickau (where our brilliant Pendix motor is made) and Chemnitz/old Karl-Marx-Stadt.

Goodness me, it’s been good to know that East Germany with its unnecessary name changes and obeisance to Moscow is no more. Talk about unlamented, at least by these two former residents.

The view from our Monday lodgings.

Compensation today – awesome Booking.com overnight, for little more than £30, with a view to the setting sun over the marshlands south of Swinoujscie.

And a totally fascinating visit before crossing the border to Peenemuende, where Nazi Germany’s V1 and V2 rockets were famously developed, killing and destroying in the UK and Netherlands especially in the war’s latter years but also laying the foundations for America’s space programme under the visionary and compromised Werner von Braun.

Jutta and I were seriously struck by the language of German press coverage of that programme at the time, on display in the museum and more than a little reminiscent of Kremlin-speak under Putin in relation to Ukraine and the West.

Note the headline – the V2 is not a weapon of terror. Just as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is not a vicious, unprovoked, above all unnecessary war.

2 responses to “Daisy transits into Poland, but will be briefer than planned.”

  1. Lieber Mark, liebe Jutta, ich genieße jeden Satz und jedes Bild Eures Blogs. Zum Einem kenne ich die meisten Gegenden, die Ihr durchquert, nicht, zum anderen erfreue ich mich an Euren Blicken auf unsere Landschaften und Besonderheiten. Viel Freude weiterhin bei Eurem tollen Erlebnis, Wilfried aus Bonn, im Augenblick Pak Chong

    Liked by 1 person

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