The bicycle map of Poland is filled with new routes. Many regions of our country saw the potential, that bicycle tourism brings with it and has focused on its development. Being infected with cyclosis and tourism in general, I observe this trend with joy and test it, what is squeaking in Polish cycling grass.
It squeaks, honking.. ba - it almost thunders a lot.
Loudest recently about three regions (although I would like to read the official research): Eastern Poland, thanks to the Green Velo trail, Małopolskie voivodship - thanks to the network of routes developed there VeloMałopolska – 8 routes dedicated to bicycles with Velo Dunajec and Velo Wisła at the forefront (my entries from the tour here and here) and the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. And the common denominator of these projects is use for construction (though to a different extent) EU funds - bravo.
I hardly knew West Pomerania at all. How is it easy to check on the official side they exist here 4 (although part of the episode is still under construction) long-distance bicycle routes over 1000 km. You can even check kilometer after kilometer what stage is the construction at?, download route track and flyer – maps in pdf.
So, that the unknown attracts the most - I turned my two wheels here with interest. Take a look at the new one, try it out - and evaluate it.
Jaroslawiec – Mielno - Kołobrzeg - Grzybowo a taste of the Eurovelo seaside route 10/13 at the beginning of
August. Hot weather. Man dreams, to jump into the water.. The holiday season is full on the Baltic Sea - and I unexpectedly found myself in the central part of the Polish coast. What am I doing here? I don't like crowds after all.
The aura was right (summer is finally here!) and - surprisingly - the wind too (strong eastern blew, it is usually west or north) – I couldn't miss the chance, in order not to twist a little along the coastal route, Velo Baltica (old name R10). This is the Polish section of the European routes of the Eurovelo network running along the coast of the Baltic Sea – Eurovelo 10 (around the Baltic Sea)/ Eurovelo 13 (The Iron Curtain Trail), which – anyway, in line with the great interest of users - it was built (almost..) and pampered fastest. That route, whose logistic and landscape values make it, that it beats the peaks of popularity and I have an impression by following forums about cycling, that he ran over her (or must) every Polish pannier. I also beat over 100 - a kilometer section from Jarosławiec to Grzybów near Kołobrzeg.
A day and a half of pedaling satisfied my curiosity – from the border with the Pomeranian Voivodeship (which lags behind the reconstruction of the R10 route) I am guided by a well-marked road - usually DDRs, i.e. roads dedicated to bicycles.
High season (what was to be expected) it is difficult to get through crowded coastal towns – almost everywhere a person on a person and a bicycle on a bicycle, places to stay and camps filled to the brim. Traveling along the coast in the most crowded week of Polish holidays is not a good idea - I felt like it, but I will come back out of season.
So I do farewell to the sea in Kołobrzeg. To tu, in this beautiful city on the Baltic coast, the southern route begins The Old Railway Trail - one of the four main cycling routes, which are built in Western Pomerania. Arose, to connect the central coast with towns in the south of the voivodeship. The route begins at the Kołobrzeg pier – there is a clear marking. What a wonderful coincidence…
City, which is in such a place must have an interesting history. I've only been here once before, and this is one of the largest cities in the region and a showcase of the West Pomeranian coast. For several hundred years, Kołobrzeg was outside Poland and was changing hands - the Danes, Pomeranian dukes, Prussians .. He performed and fulfills many functions – it was a fortress, port, it is too – the largest in Poland! – Spa (brine baths). For me, Kołobrzeg has always been associated with the Festival of Soldier Songs (someone still remembers it?), historic lighthouse and pier.
The former no longer exists, and the seaside promenade and all the attractions there are crowded with visitors.
During the, when my bike is "doing" in the bicycle service (unexpected need to replace a tire and great customer service and service at Bajkgaraż) I'm going for a walk in the Old Town. There is a large mix of architectural styles here, but no wonder, because, like Warsaw, the city was almost completely ruined at the end of World War II.
One of the few surviving buildings is the neo-Gothic red brick Town Hall building in a rather unusual horseshoe shape with a turret in the center, renovated, beautiful. Unfortunately, is right after 16 and Tourist Information, which is located there and first place, which I most often try to visit after arriving in a town is closed. Short office hours for such places as needed by visitors, especially in the season they are incomprehensible to me.
The Old Railway Trail - no 15
The route starts in Kołobrzeg, but I spend the night in Grzybowo, and from there an elegant bicycle link leads through Pępino (although there is also a section of over a kilometer, which must be traveled on the road without a separate bicycle path) - the route is popular, I pass a lot of cyclists.
Through the fields, through the meadows, through the forest paths not narrow at all, mainly on the embankment of the former narrow-gauge railway - on this section in the basin of the Parsęta River – carries cyclists The Old Railway Trail. This way, trains to Gościn ran for several dozen years as part of the Kołobrzeg Narrow-Gauge Railway, Kołobrzeg, Gryfic and Rymania. Kilometers of track, created in the nineteenth century, liquidated, the development of other means of transport has made, that they have lost their raison d'être. See the route on Komoot.
And this is how the idea for a bicycle path was born – from Kołobrzeg to Karlino you go practically all the time on a separate and marked bicycle path, largely leading along the former narrow-gauge railway track. Such routes are dedicated to bicycles, separated from car traffic – in a word, comfortable and safe is still a novelty with us.
In my hometown, on the route Sochaczew - Piaski Królewskie in the Kampinos forest, there was also a narrow-gauge railway running almost until the mid-1980s. The line was abolished, but the tracks were not collapsed – the queue was turned into a tourist attraction - a museum. It is organized there in the summer season, mostly on weekends, so-called rides. Retro train (There is also such an offer in Western Pomerania - the Retro railway on the Gryfice - Rewal - Pogorzelica route). And I would probably prefer this route. And preferably both.
In the vicinity of Pobłocie Wielki and Karścino, Rżyska is lined with windmills. Apparently he has to get a good deal here. It is one of the largest wind farms in Poland - 46 windmills. Such a windmill is a decent construction - almost high 140 meters, including tower height 100 m, propeller diameter 77 m. I read on Wikipedia.
The harvest is in full swing. The sound of tractors working late in the evening, dust and dust from under their wheels and the smell of stubble will accompany me to the end of the journey.
This is why, what's cool on the local trails is a fact, that they often run through the forest, are judged by trees. There are no mushroom driving "slowing downs", because it's too dry (I always tend to search), but there are raspberries on the road, blackberries, apples - please help yourself.
I find ruins of a palace in Karścino, but a few kilometers away in Lubiechów, a neoclassical palace with 1835 the year is gaining momentum – it is now in private hands, freshly restored. When I look at the pictures of the ruins, who was here 10 years ago, until it does not want to believe.
Lubiechowo is also a station on the route of the former narrow-gauge railway - now there is a resting place opposite. Three large sheds, well-kept surroundings – nicely trimmed grass, a board informing about nearby attractions.
The bike trail ends in Karlino, The best way to go through the forest is the several-kilometer section to Białogard, because the provincial road connecting these two cities is very busy - in the future a separate road for bicycles will be built here, but meanwhile you have to deal differently. The suggested detour through the forest along the Parsęta River turns out to be a pretty cool alternative, although at the end I have some doubts which way to turn.. at least a temporary signage could be used.
Karlino, Karlino.. Does anyone else remember what the city of Karlino was famous for? Late 1980 During the year, during exploration drilling, the largest eruption and ignition of crude oil in Europe took place here, the flame lasted for over a month and the name of the town Karlino appeared in many news sites around the world.
In Karlino, I ate dinner and continued on my way – I regret the most, that I missed the historic half-timbered granary - when you are in Karlino, be sure to see it, it looks very interesting in the photos.
The heat did, that the municipal swimming pool in Białogard became the first place, I got acquainted with in this town - shower, water, bubbles in the jacuzzi.. great feeling, but, so that you can wash yourself in advance. Pretty, a modern sports facility has just 3 years, there are no crowds, when traveling, I try to locate and use swimming pools.
Białogard surprised me positively. In the center there is a large square with renovated tenement houses and preserved fragments of medieval buildings, restored town hall with a characteristic oak tower with a clock, a fountain and the Gothic Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary dominating this space, which is on the pilgrimage route of Saint James. A wedding was just taking place there. There are also fragments of the city's defensive walls, especially the High Gate.
Railway lines from Poznań converge in Białogard, Kołobrzeg, Gdańsk and Szczecin. Good access, you can plan an interesting trip. Well, I would do that anyway.
Before leaving the city, a nice meeting with the cyclist, who made a trip here from Kołobrzeg that day. We eat a box of cold tiramisu dessert over coffee, which I could not resist in Biedronka, an hour of talk passed quickly, it was almost 4pm…
Białogard - Rąbino - Połczyn Zdrój
I left in the afternoon, when the sun reaches the most pleasant ceiling during the day and the surrounding hills take on a warm color. Yep, the afternoon hours are by far the most photogenic.. This section runs almost entirely along local roads and is well signposted. It is quietly, cars rarely pass me by. Behind Gruszewo, the route runs through the forest for several kilometers. In Rąbin, I go a few hundred meters and look for a palace.
- there you have to enter this gate says the asked clerk in the store and adds:
– like pani, this building was supposed to no longer exist. Here, post-German property after the war was not looked favorably upon. But they came, there was a colony center, then school for a long time, but new 3 years ago they built, there at the exit, you will see - big, pretty. Now there is a library there, a common room and several apartments ..
I went to watch. The register of monuments specifies the former palace, as "an eclectic building with an octagonal tower". The building is really interesting, although you can see it from afar, that it is stripped of its original character. There is a turret at the entrance, the round green in front of the front is certainly a remnant of the driveway to the palace entrance. It must have been nice here once, and now as if there was money, one could make a miracle of it, even like this one, which I saw in Lubiechów. I share my thoughts with the seller, when I go back there to take some water.
– Sure, that one could, but the commune would have to find housing for families, who live there now.
There are windmills in the vicinity of Jezierzyce, golden fields, dust from under the wheels of combines in the light of the setting sun. Summer is leaving. Somewhere on these rżyskach I stay for the night and in the morning, the smooth ribbon of the cycle path, still smelling new, which runs along the road 152 and it starts near Wardynia Górny, I drive into Połczyn Zdrój.
“However, the healing spring struck in the month of May 1688 r. from a fairly high hill, not near the forest. This source beats unevenly, sometimes harder, sometimes weaker; brings minerals with it, but in varying amounts, more abundantly when it overflows more strongly, what can be derived from the color, and the smell .. " so reported the event, which became the beginning of Połczyn as a Spa or health resort, an eyewitness - pastor Joachim Titel (let me quote. for Wikipedia).
Just to be exact, the Old Railway Trail turns in the suburbs of Połczyn-Zdrój - but how to avoid one of the four West Pomeranian health resorts, and also one of the most interesting places on the trail? Besides, it is known - you can eat something in the city, if not dinner, it's ice cream, and if someone came in the evening, this is where to stay (in addition to hotel options, cheap PTSM hostel). It's a pity though, that the authorities did not take care of entering the city - a kilometer must be or shared with a fairly busy road, or to roll on the sidewalk.
The discovery of peloid deposits and then brine made Połczyn-Zdrój one of the largest health resorts in Poland. Spa treatment flourished for decades until today. As I read the list of treatments offered in sanatoriums in Połczyn - and there are more of these treatments 50 – with the use of mud, hydrotherapy, massages, baths.. I give you my word, I would be able to use it for a day or two ...
Mid August, the heat is pouring down from the sky and it lasts the most holiday of Polish long weekends (although this time it is actually quite short). There are a lot of walkers in the spa park, although it is partially excavated, revitalization is underway. It will definitely be much nicer here next season.
In place of, where Grunwaldzka Street turns into a pedestrianized promenade, two buildings facing each other, built in a similar architectural style of red brick, stand out – is the building of primary school and post office. Both were built in the second half of the 19th century and both have not changed their function to this day! There aren't many walkers at this time, but in front of the ice cream shop there is quite a large queue of people waiting for something sweet and cold.
The tourist information, which is fortunately open, I'm buying a map of Połczyńska Switzerland and Drawski Landscape Park. Buying a map of the region, border provinces with a miracle. Seriously, Until the end of the stay, the miracle did not happen - maps were not even in bookstores or at gas stations. What a bad luck, that I did not buy a map in Warsaw - I sensitize future visitors.
– Eh, so we miss this connection! The lady from the tourist information office first praises the bicycle path, and then draws attention to the negative consequences of the liquidation of tracks. Now, when someone wants to get to Połczyn-Zdrój, he has to combine it.. some minibuses.. we are cut off from the world by this liquidation of the queue..
Well, these are just such local dilemmas. The narrow-gauge railway does not exist these days - it is for a slow means of transport, in the age of car communication also unprofitable, but convenience, that the railway offers in general, it is undeniable. However, as I found out about the needs of the inhabitants of Połczyn Zdrój, they were not forgotten – the voivodeship self-government planned a line deviation in the STH Railway Concept 404 running through Szczecinek to Kołobrzeg and Koszalin, so that it covers Połczyn-Zdrój. I keep my fingers crossed for the quick implementation of the plan.
Route Połczyn Zdrój - Złocieniec
I think I heard about him the earliest. The section between Połczyn Zdrój and Złocieniec received laurels from bicycle enthusiasts on bicycle forums. This episode counts less than that 40 km and it is one of the first investments of this type in Poland – was established in the 90s.
When entering this part of the route, I meet a cyclist, who looked at the map placed at the entrance to the path. As it turns out, is from Gościno and goes to Stary Drawsko.
– They posted these maps only this year said. Interesting, I haven't ridden that way yet.
I'm going for it. That's more than 30 km of uninterrupted asphalt ribbons leading along the outskirts of the Drawsko Landscape Park and through the area known as Połczyńska Switzerland. Picturesque moraine hills, forests, interweaving colors of nature. Probably due to the fact, that it is the oldest part of the Old Railway Trail, trees often form a canopy of branches over the path, and it feels like driving through a green tunnel. There are several places to rest - benches along the entire route, shelters, some investments are only a few months old. In the vicinity of Połczyn Zdrój and Złocieniec, I pass a lot of cyclists and inline skaters.
Siecino Lake is the first lake in the vicinity of the bicycle route and the village of Cieszyno situated above it, where there are several beaches, the bathing areas and campsites seem to be a great place to stay. Private accommodation is available under the roof for those who prefer comfort, resorts, modern cottages by the lake in the Cieszyno Water Park, hotel in a former palace, and finally - the building of the old railway station, adapted for accommodation services, next to the bicycle path, called the Old Railway Station.
Swimming in the clear water of the lake (First class cleanliness) it is the perfect end to a hot day. As it turns out, however, by the lake, which is a quiet zone, a disco is planned on Saturday night - so I run away and set up a tent near the Old Railway Station, ending the day with nice chats with the guests who live there and, using their kindness, I recharge my equipment.
To the south of the village of Cieszyno and at the same time a few kilometers to the north of Złocieniec, the bicycle route crosses the place where it was supposed to pass “Berlinka” – a motorway connecting Berlin with Konigsberg. You can still see the concrete blocks that are the foundations for the viaduct over the railway track, which was here. It is a very interesting story, unknown to me before. The construction of the motorway began in the 1930s and was carried out on several parts, e.g.. Berlin - Szczecin. Work was also carried out during World War II, where forced laborers were employed, m.in. prisoners of war - special labor camps were created in the area, in which they were accommodated. The highway was never completed – in 1943 r. construction was stopped. The work was advanced, in many places earthworks were carried out prior to the concrete pavement, can be seen - though overgrown but visible – heaps of earth. I am also looking for the run of the Berlinka after leaving Złocieniec, near the "Western Lakes Trail" cycling route behind Złocieniec, but there it is difficult to see its course. It is worth paying more attention to it, is an important fact in the history of Pomerania. I even found a cyclist's report on the Internet, who followed the construction route of "Berlinka".
I do a little research in my head, to make a loop the next day in the central area of the Drawski Landscape Park around Drawsko Lake (third in terms of depth in Poland), however, somehow the next morning I give up the idea. I'm just thinking, next time to make a base in the area for at least a few nights and get to know it better - it's beautiful and interesting here, and even mysteriously J.. Who can, let him seize the opportunity.
Sunday, you can hear the sounds of the mass from the speakers of the church in the central Złocieniec square - so I will not go inside, but you can see, that it is a historic building in the Gothic style. I bounce off the city tourist information door, the note on the door informs, that over the weekend 15-16 August is closed. Another pannier comes after me. We have bad luck.
There is no trace of the castle in Złocieniec, while in the place of the castle park there is now the so-called. Żubr Park with a historic hornbeam alley - an alley, over which hornbeam trunks and crowns have created a green tunnel - it looks very beautiful. Park however, though you can see, that it was revitalized, unfortunately looks quite run down. Still, there, that construction work is ongoing in the area, there is a chance, that something will change for the better.
At the hornbeam alley I meet a nice family with three children, whose sight of my bicycle distracted attention from the beauty of hornbeam trees. An interesting conversation begins, the statement is made, that the crisis of masculinity had brought about situations such as women's solo travel.. Questions about solo traveling and the surprise caused by this fact happen to me quite often also on Polish roads, and I would like to, that no other philosophy would be attached to women's travel, simply, let everyone travel like this, as he prefers and likes, there is infrastructure, Its safe, there is a desire - it is to get in and go.
In Złocieniec, I changed the direction of travel and the trail - with the wind to the west along the Western Lake District Trail, but that's about it next entry.
In the region of West Pomerania, approx 1100 km of bicycle routes. 85% financing the construction of bicycle roads is secured by EU funds under the Regional Operational Program 2014-2020