Warsaw

Cycling Europe Day 57: My Body Told Me to Properly Visit Riga – My Body Was Right

Listen to your body. I’ve learned that time and again over the years. People about you will always have brilliant advice on what is good or not for you. They will have objections on your lifestyle. They will tell you what to eat and how to exercise. We all have common sense and most of us already know what is healthy and what is not.

I live what I believe is a generally healthy lifestyle. I listened to my body yesterday and it told me I needed a rest. So I gave it a rest.

This morning my husband and I slept in. What that means is that instead of getting up at 6am we got up at 7am. We ate our breakfast slowly, even though neither of us are ever ones to rush through what we feel is the most important meal of the day. We then spent the morning walking around Riga, Latvia’s capital city, and, because I’m listening to my body, I then took a short but much needed nap.

As a rather frequent traveler, I’m surprised and ashamed about how little to nothing I know about the Baltic states. I am incredibly impressed with Riga. It rivals cities like Vienna and Prague in its architectural beauty, in my opinion, yet if you asked me three months ago what the capital of Latvia was, I’d ask you, “Where the heck is Latvia?”

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Cycling Europe Day 51: The Trials and Tribulations of Superman

Some days I have episodic moments / momentous episodes when I feel like superman. I think of superman in the gender neutral the way I sometimes think of myself. So I’m NOT going to say I feel like some fictional character called superwoman who never existed just to be gender-feminine. As I was saying, sometimes I have episodic moments or momentous episodes when I feel like superman. And then there are prolonged, chronic bouts when I feel like the world’s entire supply of kryptonite is being used to sap every last drop of life out of me. Today, about half the world’s supply of kryptonite was being used against me. I was fine, as I normally am, up until the 70th kilometer. And then it hit me. I was feeling drained, sleepy, and hungry. Yesterday we cycled about 70km and then did a lot of walking around Warsaw. I didn’t eat proper meals either. I had a burger and fries for lunch and a cake and tea later. That ruined my appetite for dinner so all I had later was a doner-kabab sandwich at night. I knew that not eating a proper meal to restore the energy spent that day was going to come back at me the following day. It’s not easy cycling when the energy is zapped out of you. But you have to carry on. Actually, you don’t. You could just as well get off your bike and cry by the side of the road. Or you could cycle till the next roadside hotel and call it an early day. But I never allow those to be options. In my head, my only real option is to get to my next destination or further. So I carry on. All those words just to say that I was fine for 70km and then I felt tired afterwards. I’ll be frank. I have absolutely no idea what to write about today. I frequently end up blogging about the thoughts running around in my head while I’m cycling. Ever since my husband joined me three days ago, I really haven’t had many of those. I’ve had Colin to keep me company so my thoughts decided to take a break for awhile. Nothing particularly interesting happened today either. We cycled 127km from Warsaw to a town called Ostroleka. I successfully and easily navigated us out of the big city onto a major road that we stayed on for the whole route. It drizzled sometimes. We stopped at a gas station to pee at 40km and at a roadside restaurant for goulash at 80km. Ostroleka was too small to have any decent hotels so we cycled back onto the major road till we found a roadside hotel that would do the job. We checked in, showered, had dinner, and now I’m sitting in bed writing today’s blog post. But you don’t want to hear boring details like those! So for today I’m superman dealing with a world conspiracy to sap the life force out of me. But I’m superman. Not even the world’s whole supply of kryptonite can stop me.

Cycling Europe Day 50: Warsaw – A City Worthy of Good Marketing

Poland really needs to better market itself as a tourist destination. If it is already

The mermaid is the symbol of Warsaw and is found on its coat of arms.

The mermaid is the symbol of Warsaw and is found on its coat of arms.

doing that, it’s doing a lousy job. Neither I nor Colin have ever heard much about Poland in terms of tourism. And even though the weather has been wet and overcast almost the whole time I’ve been in the country, I’m absolutely loving it.

My husband and I cycled a short distance today – 67 km – through almost constant rain to get to Warsaw. A decent part of that distance was on bumpy backroads and even some dirt roads. The rest was on a very busy, major road into the city. Because of all that, it was slow going.

Colin is having some difficulty with an old iliotibial band problem. It started acting up yesterday and it’s not getting any better. I think it’s a combination of all the weight on his bike, the fact that he has a tendency to want to push himself when this isn’t a push-yourself kind of trip, and evil eye.

Cursed be anyone who gives my family the evil eye.

We arrived in Warsaw and had enough time to walk around the old city. I am really really surprised by it. I have no idea where I got the impression that it would be a dodgy city. From what I’ve seen of it, it isn’t one bit. We cycled through the outskirts into an area near the commercial center of the city to our hotel. We then walked quite a long distance to reach the old town. I’m telling you, I’ve walked in many neighborhoods in Paris that have seemed dodgy to me. The many neighborhoods we cycled and walked through in Warsaw seemed nicely normal.

Warsaw’s old town is absolutely beautiful. It was completely razed to the ground, along with 85 percent of the city, in World War II. It was then rebuilt to resemble the former old town, and was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1980.

If I were alone in this city as I had been in so many others before it, I would have thought that I would have loved to be here with my husband. It is so romantic. As it happens, my husband was with me this time. We walked through the cobblestoned alleyways, hand in hand, and truly enjoyed ourselves.

If you have never thought of Poland as a tourist destination, think again. I am falling in love with this country and its people.