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I am free - Hello Poland. Need advice about travelling in Poland.


FrankPark 1 | 4  
9 Feb 2009 /  #1
First post, hello everybody.

I have had enough of work, I'm out: time to see the world. Free at last.

After a Google, I got lost in the dense, but interesting, threads that are the Polish Forums. SeanBM's page describing the charms of Kracow were convincing enough to put it on a destination list.

I entertained a romantic notion of 'life on the road': sleeping in the car between hotels when the whim seemed appropriate. But, I understand the temperature in Poland can plunge to -30C this time of year. I may get a good nights sleep: an eternal one !

Does it get that cold ?

Further reading suggests driving in Poland is challenging, unless you have a snowplow with reinforced suspension.

Is it really that bad ?

Is it possible to find simple accommodation as one wanders ?

So many dumb questions, so little time.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
9 Feb 2009 /  #2
Hello FrankPark,

And welcome to the Polish Forum.

Does it get that cold ?

Yes but not often, still even minus 15 would be difficult in a car.
Places to stay are many and varied, some are inexpensive.

Is it possible to find simple accommodation as one wanders ?

Yes but I advise to find a place during the day light hours as I am sure you know.
There are many "Pokój" (rooms) "noc leg" (accommodation).

I also recommend Zakopane.

Maybe the Architecture thread (click here) or the wildlife thread (click here) will be of interest to you?.

There are many threads perhaps you could tell us what you like

And please feel free to add any relevant information to these threads.

Where are you from? (I know that can be a tricky question). Wales/London?

If there is any thing further I can help you with, just ask :)

Good luck
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098  
9 Feb 2009 /  #3
First post, hello everybody.

Hello

I understand the temperature in Poland can plunge to -30C this time of year. I may get a good nights sleep: an eternal one !

Yes but it doesn't happen rapidly and occur only at dawn. You can notice -15C in the evening already.

Further reading suggests driving in Poland is challenging, unless you have a snowplow with reinforced suspension.

Snowplow isn't necessary but winter tyres would be a good choice ;)

A little advice for you. Don't stop suddenly before pedestrian crossings unless you want to visit a body shop. In fact pedestrians have "right of way" but when in Rome, do like Romans do ;) If battery is dead in the morning feel free to call a cab. Borrowing electricity is very common and cost about 20zł. Make sure you have -30C antifreeze coolant.
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
9 Feb 2009 /  #4
Further reading suggests driving in Poland is challenging,

It can be....but i am a Brit who has lived in Poland for five years , and much of my travel has been on a motorcycle...they ain,t got me...yet....!

If you are really going to sleep in the car get yourself an ex army arctic sleeping bag , that will keep you warm enough even at minus 20...I have to tell you tho from experiance that sleeping in a car is not comfortable , unless you have a 4 x 4 that has room to lay flat and not curled up...Its actually colder to sleep in a car than it is to sleep in a tent , but a little more secure....If you stop to get some kip , parking in a layby where every passing motorist can see a Brit alone and a long way from home is not so good an idea...again if you have a 4 x 4 you can drive a bit deeper into the forest....if they can,t see you , they can,t do you any harm....
frd 7 | 1,399  
9 Feb 2009 /  #5
Does it get that cold ?

I'd say it's around 0C in the southern Poland right now.. there's a fair amount of roadside hotels, pretty cheap lodging here and there, and you shouldn't have any problems with finding accommodation in bigger cities, that's of course, if you stick to the beaten track.

unless you have a snowplow

yeah, and remember to take a rifle against all the polar bears.. That's kinda going over the top, we've got a thaw here right now, it's more muddy then snowy, winter tires should be enough

have a nice trip
OP FrankPark 1 | 4  
10 Feb 2009 /  #6
Many thanks for the helpful replies.

I have followed the links supplied, and a few more: I am soaking up information like a wet sponge.

I read secure parking is advised in large Polish cities, I presume that is NCP-type pay parking. Does that mean general parking is risky ?

One of the many reasons I left London was the hassle of driving or parking a car there. I was hoping parking in large Polish cities would be easy, please say this is so.

There are many threads perhaps you could tell us what you like

I like to talk, walk and look at things. My clubbing days are over, they left me with a bad back and a sore throat. I am usually tucked-up in bed by ten with a good Scotch, a pipe of old shag and Barbra Cartland.

Where are you from? (I know that can be a tricky question). Wales/London?

I moved from London to Wales two years ago, not the best decision I ever made. I regularly return for a bit of peace and quiet.

My soul is in Dudalk (The Republic), my heart is in London, my head is in North Wales and my balls are in Brighton: Penelope has promised to return them ASAP.
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098  
10 Feb 2009 /  #7
I was hoping parking in large Polish cities would be easy, please say this is so.

;)

Olsztyn is rather small city but finding a non-payable parking space near the city centre between 9oo and 16oo is MIB.

Look for guarded payable parking places or underground parking places near shopping malls. One hour costs 2zł.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
10 Feb 2009 /  #8
please say this is so.

This is so.

Ah look, parking is a problem in every big city in the world.
Places like Krakow are no exception.
I recently drove across Europe, I found inexpensive places to sleep out side cities and took buses/trams/trains in to the cities.
This way you don't pay for parking, you don't worry about theft so much, you get to see more and it all works out cheaper.

I like to talk, walk and look at things.

There are many walks for example south of Krakow Walks up the Beskid mountains (click here)

It is easy to travel here and given the exchange rate at the moment, it should be cheap enugh for you.

When are you planning on travelling around Poland?.
OP FrankPark 1 | 4  
11 Feb 2009 /  #9
peter_olsztyn:Snowplow isn't necessary but winter tyres would be a good choice ;)

I just had a look at various Polish webcams and views looked bright, sunny and snow-free. Perhaps the worst of the snow is over now, or is it ?

Ironically, I have been unable to get of Wales, over the past two weeks, because of the snow in England. A blanket of snow, about 5cm, brought the whole transport infrastructure of the UK to a slithering halt.

While many stayed in bed and watched TV, there were some intrepid, conscientious workers who braved the elements and struggled to work: according to BBC local radio many of these were eastern europeans, mainly Poles !

wildrover:much of my travel has been on a motorcycle...they ain,t got me...yet....!

And I hope they never do.

My motorCycling days are sadly over. I had a series of very close misses in north London, the shocks had unexpected side effects, one: an acute fear of heights. So I am not sure about flying now, hence the driving option.

I have slept in the car a few times in service stations when tired during long journeys. I have an Octavia estate: not to uncomfortable.

wildrover: parking in a layby where every passing motorist can see a Brit alone and a long way from home is not so good an idea

I understand a car with UK plates could pose a target. I presume for honest/acquisitive crime not anti-UK crime for its own sake.
I'll bring my blow-up brown bear and leave him in the driving seat.
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
12 Feb 2009 /  #10
I understand a car with UK plates could pose a target

No . the fact you are a Brit won,t be a problem , the natives are very friendly , but if you are parked in a quiet lay by with a registration number that says you are from another country , and possibly with more money than the local baddies can earn in a month you may become a target of beggers and thieves out to make a fast buck.....I have camped alone all over Poland , and into the badlands of Russia , Belarus , and Ukraine , and i never had a problem , but then i had a 4 x 4 which meant i could drive into the forest a few meters from the road and camp in peace , i worked on the principle that if nobody knows you are there , they ain,t going to do you any harm...

If you are going to leave your car unatended , i suggest you pay a very small fee and leave it in a guarded car park , you can find them in most decent sized towns....Other good places to kip are service stations hidden in among the truck drivers , these guys sleep in their cabs , so at least you are not alone as you sleep..

I did six months of driving a small truck in Poland , and slept in all kinds of places , never had any problems , apart from naughty ladies knocking on the window once or twice , but they don,t bother you if you are asleep.... a blow up brown bear , now that sounds pretty kinky , but it might work on scaring people away....!
OP FrankPark 1 | 4  
12 Feb 2009 /  #11
SeanBM: Ah look, parking is a problem in every big city in the world.

Yes, I guess the days four wheel freedom are over. Driving to Paris in the early eighties was a joy, I could practically park under the Eiffel Tower.

SeanBM: When are you planning on travelling around Poland?.

Driving there now might not be a good idea at this time of year.
I might fly to somewhere in Poland soon and leave the European tour to late spring.

I have read booking a holiday online without a UK passport sends some sites into a spin, I have an Irish passport, we are all Europeans now so it shouldn't be a problem.

I will be in London next week and book something in a travel agent there.

I am not sure about the thread etiquette here on the Polish Forums, if I have anymore questions do I just add to this thread one or add to an existing thread, say the SeanB's kracow thread ?

For example: is it possible or pleasant to walk from Krakow to Myślenice ? I like urban walking.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
12 Feb 2009 /  #12
Driving there now might not be a good idea at this time of year.

I would advise winter tyres as someone else I think suggested already.
Summer time is much easier, it gets fairly hot here.

I have read booking a holiday online without a UK passport sends some sites into a spin, I have an Irish passport

I also have an Irish passport and it is absolutely no problem.
They are probably British travel agency sites and therefore you might just be a round peg in a square hole in their system.
It happens often with computer programs designed for the natives of Britain.

I will be in London next week and book something in a travel agent there.

You can find inexpensive plane tickets on line ranging from 40 Euros (if you are very lucky) to 150 Euros return (if you are not so lucky) return.

There are a whole host of low cost airlines to various parts of Poland.

if I have any more questions do I just add to this thread one or add to an existing thread, say the SeanB's kracow thread ?

Well the idea is to add to existing threads, if your query is relevant to the title and first post.
Therefore the next person looking for information can find all the relevant info in the one place.
If by chance you do not see a relevant thread, you start a new post.
It may take a while for someone to reply.

This is my first and only forum, it took me a while to get to know the ropes.

is it possible or pleasant to walk from Krakow to Myślenice ? I like urban walking.

The walk from Krakow to Myślenice is a rural one, it is about 35 Kilometres along the zakopanska dual carriage way.
But there are probably nicer alternative routes. (bus costs 1 Euro).

For Urban walks I recommend Krakow and Nowa Huta, both very interesting and different from each other.

(Nowa Huta is a communist built satellite city built around a steal works factory, so industrial communist and interesting)
frd 7 | 1,399  
12 Feb 2009 /  #13
from what I remember "Nowa Huta" is not a safest place for walks. I've been there few years ago and a friend of mine told me not to potter around when I'm alone cause there's a pretty big chance I'm gonna get beaten, has anything changed lately?
LondonChick 31 | 1,134  
12 Feb 2009 /  #14
An interesting way to visit Nowa Huta is to go on a Crazy Tour with the Crazy Guides (google them). They are really fun guys with a real passion and knowldge for Nowa Huta and communist history. They drive visitors around the district in funky trabants, and take them intyo cafes etc.
OP FrankPark 1 | 4  
13 Feb 2009 /  #15
I Thanks for the help.

I am off to London now, weather permitting, Wales is a diificult place to leave.
I live near the village where 'The Prisoner' was filmed, who has heard of Number 6 ?
I thought is was a populist fantasy, but, when you live here it becomes more of a documentary.

After reading the PF threads, I think a plane is the solution to my travel needs with a rented Trabbi at the other end, I look forward to a burn-up around Nowa Huta.

Go Trabii Go.
Lori 4 | 118  
15 Feb 2009 /  #16
I've had no problem booking hotels in Poland with a passport out of the EU. Of course, when I arrive I'm asked to show it, partially to prove I'm the person who has made and sometimes paid for the reservation in advance. I've stayed in five different Polish cities and have never received anything other than professional service at the hotel reception desks.

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