Well, that’s it. The ‘training’ is done (training that consisted of just riding a lot really). I’ve bought the last few bits and pieces I needed and it’s just 3 more days at work before we leave for Poland.
I spent Saturday afternoon in the sunshine, studying the guidebooks that cover the route from the Danish/German border down to Berlin. It’s about 700km of riding that will take 6 days to cover.
The guidebooks, like all maps, are invitations to future adventures. To some people they would just be colourful lines on the page. For me they are the scenery I’ll see next week. Those simple orange lines on the page will be the hard miles of pedaling. The clusters of grey squares are the houses in town whose character I will get to understand as I pass through.
What I really look forward to is the idea of arriving in places SLOWLY. These days it is too easy to jump on a plane and leave home and two hours later be somewhere that is completely culturally and geographically different. The most striking examples I have experienced of this are travels to Morocco and Iceland.
Flying to Poland is similar. The contrast is stark enough traveling from familiar England, with all the things I love and because of the familiarity, so many things I hate to a country interesting in so many ways but so different. But what lies in between, in that gap between the two?
Our trip will mean that the change won’t be so instant. The landscapes, the people, their lifestyles will evolve steadily over the days as we travel east.
Anyway, as a reminder, if you want to follow our progress across the continent, please take a look at our map.