Day 504 Suwalki – Lodz (Poland) / motorbike GS Dakar RTW overland adventure traveller

  • Left – 9.45am
  • 21st August 2015
  • Miles rode – 255 (408km)

The day started great, I got up late and had a fabulous breakfast, eggs, breads, hams & salami, cheeses, jams, fruit & coffee. Poland knows how to do breakfast.

The great start quickly deteriorated as I found myself riding along straight new roads with traffic for most of the morning.

The afternoon was dull motorway riding and at 2.30 I found myself on the Warsaw Inner ring road, I knew I was well and truly in Europe when I passed two McDonald’s within a few hundred metres of each other and all around were retail parks with well known shops. I was felling pretty depressed about my predicament when off to my left I saw something in my peripheral vision, I sensed it was massive and dominating. I couldn’t resist the urge to look and as I did I nearly went into shock! I thought I had planned my return home with meticulous care, get MOT sorted on the bike, meet friends and family at the pub, find a job & home, how could I have been so careless, I felt foolish that I had forgot to prepare for what I had just seen! I looked again and the size of it was beyond belief, the blue walls lulled me into thinking it wasn’t so bad but the near fluorescent yellow reminded me that something sinister was within. I carried on but felt compelled to look again! It was bloody IKEA.

I was consumed with images if scatter cushions and candles of all sizes! How could I have not prepared myself for such a obvious threat! And then like a bolt of lightening hitting me I remembered ‘flat pack furniture’. Every man lives in fear of his girlfriend or wife uttering the words “shall we go to IKEA this weekend darling?”

Two hundred metres further down the road and there was a massive traffic jam that went in for miles, what is it about IKEA and traffic jams! I really don’t want to be here I thought.

Another hour or so of motorway and I arrived in Lodz, the third largest city in Poland and not only did I lose my depression I was smiling. Lodz has to be one of the highlights of my short Eastern European travels, its historic and beautiful and has Europe’s longest pedestrian street, ‘Piotrkowska Street’ at 5km long. Shops, bars, restaurants and happy people. Along the same road 7 guys had created a fantastic urban night time experience with a bar, club & open air cinema in a massive derelict building. I had to stay, sample some beer and talk to the locals.

It’s all about the people.

I love Lodz.

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