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16/10/10 – Katowice – Just outside of Oświęcim – Landscape hills and cow food

October 21, 2010
  • 42km travelled
  • 19km/h average
  • 37km/h max speed
  • 2hrs 15 minutes spent in the saddle
  • 1609km travelled so far

Weather: Overcast and cold


  • 11.75 zloty (10 found on the floor +1.75 for returning the beer bottles)

During the night we’re joined in the hostel room by an inebriated character, who we later find out is called Greg – or the noisy drunk.  He spends most the morning writhing around on the floor moaning and spurting all sorts of indistinguishable nonsense.

So to escape we hit the free coffee, toast and wifi in the breakfast room.  Unlimited bread we hear, the onslaught begins and we manage obliterate almost and entire loaf, hogging the toaster for a good 1/2hour.  Breakfast time internet searching tells us that Auschwitz is very near by so we toy with the uncomfortable idea of paying a visit.  We’re drawn to its historical importance but is it just morbid to visit a place of such inhumanity?

Heading back our room we meet the writhing wreck now called Greg.  He pops open a fresh bottle of wodka and divulges that he had a big one last night, no shit sherlock.  Greg works in Ireland and has sick parents so didn’t want to disturb them so found his way to the hostel, quite considerate really, i’m growing warmer to him.  He tells us that Polish air is now alot cleaner since the EU paid or part-paid for them to clean up.

We set off with the intention of going to Auschwitz.  Lots of bon fires line the way out of the city and combined with feeling not so good from the levels of pollution and generally quite drab environment, Auschwitz is not making us feel any better.  We stop off for lunch and decide to leave it till tomorrow as late afternoon is fast approaching and we need to be in a better place mentally to have that experience.  Cheese, chip, mayo, tomato and cucumber sandwiches ensue alongside a stick or two of Aldi’s finest chocolate.

On our search for a suitable place to set up camp we stumble across some huge landscaped hills, set just off the main road.  It looks like there’s a path up so we explore.  Such an oddity, i’ve come across nothing that resembles a landscape park in Poland so far, this ones quite a gem – Deep orange grasses contrast the grey landmass.  Smiles shine as we find a way up to the top which gives us a great view.  As we totter up the hill, overlooked by a couple of local mountain bikers dressed in serious gear, we must have looked quite strange nervously making our way up.  Their friendly enough and love the idea of a 10month holiday.  Its not a holiday, its a challenge!





Sash making his way up under the watchful eye



Whose this guy?



This place was pretty special


We find a campsite just close to the the railway line, perfect freight train viewing distance.  We explore the area excitedly and make some videos.  Its strange how a few hills and a train track can make you feel so much happier.  I live for this stuff.


Camping? Why thankyou



Room with a view


Set up camp and i cook up the root thing i found, which we now know is white/sugar beet and is used to feed cows.  The cow food was joined by some tinned tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, rice, carraway, cheese and chilli.  It was very sweet but went down well.  A warm meal at the end of the day, whatever it is, provides many things and not all taste based.

We discuss our trip projects after dinner.  Travelling this way fuels creativity no end, and  even if its silly little things like documenting eclectic bus stops, taking a picture of our face each day or mapping each campsite, these projects will become rich bodies of work which further ingrain this experience.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Nick permalink
    October 22, 2010 10:15 am

    Keep the spirits up guys! Randomers (like me) are enjoying following your journey from gloomy and cold UK.

  2. veiovis permalink
    October 27, 2010 3:54 am

    Hi all,

    have anyone got any news ? I’m wondering where are they right now and doubt on that what is shown on the “where are we now” map.


    • October 27, 2010 8:10 am

      morning vieovis,
      the where are we now map is still right – we are still in krakow! we are leaving this morning though. Hopefully we will update the blog in our first few days in Slovakia

      • veiovis permalink
        October 27, 2010 7:21 pm

        Hi Sash,

        ha ….I have been living in Kraków for last 11 years and still have not enough, so I understand why you still here 😉

        Regarding map – please check it becouse It shows that you (ok, a little silly but probable interpretation): flew from Kraków to Istanbul, gone through Turkish seaside and currently playing in Beirut – or it is just your route plan for the first km’s in Asia ?


  3. veiovis permalink
    October 27, 2010 7:42 pm

    One comment:

    I consider myself as a member of your “fanclub” …so one of the recipients of your blog but in my personal opinion, soon It will be more difficult for you to update the blog in such “full version”. Try to imagine one week, full of adventures without internet connection 😉 – can be difficult to write everyting. I expect “only” some hard news and information that everything is ok with you 🙂


    P.S. I have one colleague in Turkey, he is currently in Sweden but I can ask him to support you when/if you’ll be in Turkey.

  4. veiovis permalink
    November 8, 2010 10:18 pm

    It looks that you are not going to Wiena? C’mon guys – let’s give us any news, although you are still in EU.

    Regards, veiovis

    • Julian permalink*
      November 8, 2010 11:24 pm

      stay tuned veiovis, we’ve been working hard on the blog today so we will have some updates tomorrow.
      kind regards.


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