I am back from a fantastic motorcycle trip covering many countries to the East and South of Poland that I had wrote about before going here. I went with three people – my boyfriend, Stanislaw, and friends, Justyna and Mateusz. The four of us were on two motorcycles and we girls were on the passenger seats. The whole trip was about the motorcycle journey rather than the destinations alone. We did stop at our points of interest for a day or two (and four in Croatia 😛 ), but it was really about relishing the journey as we passed along varied, stunning landscapes and big cities and pretty villages and so much more that make Europe so interesting.
The first day – we left Lodz at about 13:30. After half an hour or so of riding, I started to get comfortable with the motorbike ride. We reached Poland-Czech Republic border in about 4 hours, including toilet and fuel breaks. We were happy to have skipped traffic at so many places, otherwise it would have taken us probably 3 hours more. I think that’s one big advantage of riding motorbike over car, especially in Poland where traffic jams are so common. Before crossing into Czech Republic, we decided to have lunch in a cute Polish town very close from the border. The pizzas we ordered took longer than expected, as it looked like they was having a slow day and had to suddenly start fire for pizza orders, but I didn’t mind waiting on the little front yard of the restaurant, with the warm evening sun on my face, overlooking a pretty village church. After 1 hour, we were on our way. Our destination for the evening was Bratislava in Slovakia.
I am fascinated by borders – it makes me wonder about all kinds of things – how it came to be, how it divides what looks like the same landscapes to two different countries, how people on either side speak different languages and use different currencies and probably have different privileges. There is no border control within Schengen zone in Europe, so it was just a little board that said ‘Ceska Republika’ on the bridge above the river that divides the two countries. The scenery as we entered Czech Republic was gorgeous- vast green fields and rolling green hills on a distance as the birds fluttered on the twilight sky – I had nothing but time to observe all of this and enjoy.
In about 2 hours, we crossed the border into Slovakia, with only one fuel break in Czech Republic. It was already dark by the time we entered Slovakia and it started to get colder. Luckily I had brought a warm thermal tshirt with me which proved to be very useful throughout the trip. It was only 67 more kilometers to Bratislava, Slovakian capital, from the border. Justyna was particularly glad about that as she was starting to get really cold. Nothing to say about Slovakian landscapes as it was dark. We were all quite tired by then and just wanted to get a good night’s sleep.
We reached our airbnb in Bratislava by 10 in the evening – a bit longer than we had expected. We were anyway too tired to go out for beers as we had previously planned. What I found amusing was that the Slovak host talked in Slovakian and my group talked in Polish – and they (and I, to some extent) understood each other fairly well. Makes me happy that my basic Polish skills could be useful in a few more places too. Anyway, we retired to bed early as we had a trip to Budapest in the morning. Being a light sleeper, I was woken by car alarm going off multiple times at night in the neighborhood – which initially scared me as I thought our motorbikes were being stolen. But they were in fact coming from some distance, but it was still quite shocking that it went off multiples times at night and nobody did anything about it.
Kilometers covered on 1st day: 600
Hours on the road: 8
Total kilometers covered from starting point(Lodz): 600
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for follow-up stories on the trip.
Update: Read part 2 of the series by clicking here