Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Travel  % width 13

In the footsteps of the 51st Highland Division (but by motorcycle)


TimCullis 1 | 4  
10 Feb 2009 /  #1
Hi guys, this is my first post here.

I'm sketching out a four week motorcycle trip to Poland for late May/early June 2009 and would appreciate suggestions on 'must see' places to visit. I had a look at the Michelin maps (set of four) for Poland and was disappointed to find they don't have the green edges for scenic routes. Normally I would try to incorporate many of these, so I'm running blind.

During WWII my wife's father was in the Gordon Highlanders and was a POW from 1940-1945 in Stalag XX-A in Thorn (modern day Torun), so obviously I will spend some time in the area.

As the Russians approached in Jan 1945 Hubert was marched along with many thousands of other POWs through blizzards 450 miles to Stalag XI-B at Fallingbostel on the Lunenberg Heath, so this will determine my return route which will be roughly Torun > Borzyslaw (Stalag Luft IV) > Swinoujscie > Hamburg.

My sketch plan for the outbound journey is
> Zagan (Stalag Luft III)
> Wroclaw
> Bledow Desert
> Auschwitz-Birkenau
> Krakow (Castle, Schindler Factory, Wieliczka salt mine)
> Kazimierz Dolny
> Canal Lift south of Elblag
> Malbork Castle and Stalag XX-B Marienberg
> Gdansk
> Torun.

As you might already deduce, my interests are general history, WWII history and natural beauty. I thought I would miss Warsaw in favour of Krakow. I'm planning to take a tent for fair weather camping so campsite recommendations plus details of cheapish accommodation are also welcome.

So... suggestions welcome.

Tim
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
10 Feb 2009 /  #2
Hello Tim, And welcome to the Polish forum. Good luck.
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
10 Feb 2009 /  #3
As a fellow biker living in Poland i can help you out with free camping at my old farm...not so far from Malbork , and maybe i can ask my friends ( also English ex bikers ) living near Zagan to let you sling a tent there....Lots of military history in Poland , and in my opinion a great place to tour on a bike....
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
10 Feb 2009 /  #4
my friends ( also English ex bikers ) living near Zagan

Hey wildro, how many english ex bikers live in Poland. Maybe someone should add retired british bikers to the list of minorities living in Poland . ;)
OP TimCullis 1 | 4  
10 Feb 2009 /  #5
Thanks for the links, Sean.

Wildrover, thanks for the kind offer. I'll be on a BMW GS but I might be with a Harley-riding friend! I've been reading some of your other posts and I guess you must be near Dobroslaw?

I'm getting really excited about this now and need to factor in a trip to Scotland to interrogate (!) my father-in-law about places he might remember. At 90 years of age he runs up and down the stairs several times each morning to keep in shape.

Tim
Harry  
10 Feb 2009 /  #6
As you're going to be up in Elbag anyway, you might as well head over to Ketrzyn and visit the Wolf's Lair (Hitler's HQ for most of the war). About 30km down the road at a place called Mamerki are the former command bunkers of the German army, which are a similar type to those at the Wolf's Lair but were not destroyed at the end of the war, so you can have a wander round inside them. If you're sick of camping, you can either stay at the former SS officers' barracks at the Wolf's Lair or go slightly more upmarket and stay at the villa Eva Braun used to stay at (she was not a fan of the Wolf's Lair).

When you're in Malbork don't miss the Commonwealth war cemetery. Or the one in Krakow either.
OP TimCullis 1 | 4  
10 Feb 2009 /  #7
Thanks Harry

With a combination of your feedback, other web sites (e.g. www gps-practice-and-fun.com/stalag-20b.html), Garmin Mapsource and Google Earth I've managed to tie down the Malbork and Krakow war cemeteries plus Mamerki. I've also located the two cemeteries in Torun.

Tim
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
10 Feb 2009 /  #8
Hey wildro, how many english ex bikers live in Poland. Maybe someone should add retired british bikers to the list of minorities living in Poland .

Ha , retired...i wish , never worked so hard in my life...and thats just keeping the grass cut on the farm....I guess there must be a few of us Brit bikers out here , but i don,t know of any organised groups....

Wildrover, thanks for the kind offer. I'll be on a BMW GS but I might be with a Harley-riding friend! I've been reading some of your other posts and I guess you must be near Dobroslaw?

I have got a Harley myself...and the location of my old farm is on the 173 route between Drawsko pomorskie and Polczyn zdroj...near a town called Ostrowice....you will be welcome , if its on your route....
Harry  
12 Feb 2009 /  #9
I've also located the two cemeteries in Torun.

What cemeteries in Torun? There are no Commonwealth war graves in Torun. Or at least if there are any, the information I have is completely wrong!
OP TimCullis 1 | 4  
12 Feb 2009 /  #10
According to gps-practice-and-fun.com/stalag-20a.html the cemeteries are next to forts XI and XVI, "British POWs were buried in the garrison military cemetery (we found cemeteries next to forts XI and XVI), while Russian POWs were buried in a mass grave in the forest near Stalag 312, between Glinki and Cierpice. About 14,000 men are buried there."

Although the cemeteries are undoubtedly there, it seems likely on reading the CWGC records on Malbork that the British war dead were moved there after the war.

I'm planning to visit all the sites anyway.

Tim
Noah - | 6  
25 Oct 2009 /  #11
Hi there

Can anyone tell me if there is a motorcycle training school in Gliwice that does the training in English. Because am thinking of taking my motorcycle training in Gliwice plus the theory and practical test to get a polish motorcycle license!!

Any information would be Very helpful. I do hold a British driving license for more than 10 years.

Thanks
Noah

My E-mail is noah.saleh@gmail
delphiandomine 85 | 18,266  
25 Oct 2009 /  #12
Any information would be Very helpful. I do hold a British driving license for more than 10 years.

Do you hold a valid EU residence permit?

If not, forget it.
Noah - | 6  
25 Oct 2009 /  #13
I am A British Citizen!!

Archives - 2005-2009 / Travel / In the footsteps of the 51st Highland Division (but by motorcycle)Archived