The Poland tour was new to us and was very much billed as a historic tour more than one with great roads and scenery.
And so it turned out to be, although scenery is in the eye of the beholder and the architecture we encountered was extremely beautiful and fascinating.
Out tour started with a UK to Holland crossing, this was the fastest way to start our trip to our first night in Germany.Our first stop was the Mohne dam, this of course was one of the dams breached by the RAF in the second World War by the famous ‘Dambuster’ squadron. From here we completed our journey to the second dam breached which was the Eder. An overnight stop at an excellent hotel with one of the best buffets I have enjoyed, washed down with a few beers ended the day perfectly.
A brief visit to the Eder dam in the morning was followed by a visit to a small museum nearby where we saw pictures and memorabilia around the breaching of the dams. From here it was to another museum on the old West/East German border, I visited this some years ago and it seems to be expanding, but for me it is interesting to see the original wire fence that separated the two countries still in situ. The day finished with a ride around the Harz Mountains, we were rather shocked to see that much of the woodland has disappeared, and were told that this was due to the unusual weather (temperatures and wind) that the region has experienced over the last few years (global warming) and also a pest that is attacking the trees.
More history the next day as we visited Colditz Castle, we were lucky to get a guide who was born in Bradford after his parents had escaped Poland during the war but had moved back to Germany. He was very funny and informative and made the tour worthwhile. I should add that the temperatures were constantly in the 30’s C so walking in motorcycle gear or even riding for that matter was not the most comfortable. Thankfully a beer garden at our next hotel offered shade and refreshments before an evening meal.
2 night stay here, so on our day off, everyone took taxi’s into Dresden to look around. It’s a beautiful city, which of course was mostly destroyed by bombing in WW2 but was rebuilt back to its pre-bombing splendour. We had a boat trip before walking round and escaping the heat in the transport museum.
Straight forward run to Krakow the next day, we were amazed by the sheer number of lorries, something which stayed with us for the next week on our travels. I am not sure where they were going or coming from , but I have never seen numbers before.
We had a 3 Nights in Krakow. Our first day was an organised tour to Auschwitz, we had an excellent guide who made the visit very interesting. It us obviously a very sobering experience but one I am glad I have done. Unfortunately the visit to Birkenau was spoilt by torrential rain.
The rain brought cooler temperatures at last, and we had a good ride through the Tatra Mountains and Slovakia. It was great to see some hills at last and looks like an interesting country perhaps for a revisit.
The Czech Republic surprised me, I have heard that Prague is beautiful, but I found that the countryside was pretty with immaculately clean villages and excellent roads. Our day ended in Brno, home of many a GP.
Long run the next day to our overnight stay in Rothenburg, thankfully the cooler temperatures made riding easier, but we were disappointed to find the hotel in the middle of renovations. They did not mention that, when we booked! However, Rothenburg is always a lovely place to visit and we were eating out anyway. We returned to a great steak house we found a few years ago and had an excellent meal.
Slightly frustrating ride the next day as we came upon diversion after diversion and even when we were a few miles from the Luxemburg hotel even that road was closed. You always get there in the end, but it does nothing to help you when it’s a long day.
On the final day we plotted a route through Luxemburg and across Germany on some of our favourite roads, thankfully traffic free, before entering Holland to find another motorway closed. Thankfully the sat nav got us out of that one and we arrived in Europoort at the right time to board,