Wednesday, 18 July 2007

On the road again

Compared to my last two road trips around Poland this month, my trip to south-west Poland was marked by blazingly hot sunshine and a heatwave touching +40C. Driving alone meant I could wind down both windows, crank up the stereo to max and bawl out the words to my favourite songs. Over 14 hours behind the wheel in two days, 850km (530 miles) travelled. Above: the road out of Warsaw, passing Okecie airport to the left

(Above:) The road beyond Belchatow, nice clear stretch. Playlist included Toots and the Maytals, James Brown, Miles Davis, Count Basie. Below: final destination, Wałbrzych, only 40 miles from Wroclaw though quite different in every respect. Lacking the self-confidence of Lower Silesia's capital, still hit by high unemployment, this drab former coal mining town still waits for things to come right. A bright spot is the special economic zone, which has attracted several large employers, like Toyota, to the town. Landscape this far south-west is not reminscent of the United States, the hilliness and architecture create a far more European look and feel. On the road back, I sunburn my left wrist. It is in the sun for seven hours!

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