I received a surprise email the other day from the group who came on the Sept 2010 trip. It’s always exciting to get some feedback about my trips and it keeps me on my toes! But it’s why I do these trips in Poland: to help people experience something they normally wouldn’t, to show that Poland is an amazingly complex country, and to enjoy some of the best cycling in Europe.
Before I copy what Nick had to say here’s a photo of us enjoying a beer at Lubiaz, the largest Cistercian abbey in the world. Yes, the world, and it’s located in a little known village near Wroclaw (SW Poland):
“Having cycled a bit around France I was looking for something a little different and came across Cycling Poland. Mmm…. Poland? Not top of my list but it certainly looked an alternative to France and so I asked a few friends if they fancied this as well.
The tour dates didn’t really fit with our plans but after talking to Neal, the guy organising the tours, he couldn’t have been more helpful. He arranged a bespoke tour at a time of our convenience. Neal also suggested accommodation before the tour and at the end organised our return to the airport in time for the flight home. In fact Neal and his partner Agata turned out to be the perfect tour guides. From the moment we arrived they provided guidance and support with Agata providing even better English interpretation than the official tour guides at some of the castles and churches we visited along the way. Of course Agata also helped with interpreting the menus and with the all important beer orders in the evening despite one member of my party’s impressive attempt at learning the language in 6 days!
We were out to enjoy ourselves and the weather was certainly a bonus. We stopped off for an impromptu swim in the lakes (to the bemusement of the local guys fishing); we enjoyed a nightclub in Wroclaw, giant chess with the locals in a bar in a sleepy village as well as pool and vodka sessions with locals in a small town. We had time for reflection in a monastery, peace church and the disquiet of a Nazi concentration camp. We had so much hearty food we actually gained weight on a cycling holiday! We also got to see a country that wouldn’t normally be on my radar. Mostly (and conveniently) flat we found Poland to be relaxed with a nice atmosphere. The part of Poland we toured was rural with great views and not part of a recognised tourist trail. I loved the houses with curvey, dorma windows and every house had a (more often than not friendly) dog of indeterminable breed it seemed. Neal adapted the tour to fit with our fitness levels and cycling ability. We had a great time and have already started recommending this to others. Still, don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself, you’ll love it!
Nick, Nick, Richard, Richard