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6th September 2004


BSAs Abroad

Looking for somewhere to stay on the Continental? Peter Twyman of the BSAOC recommends a classic bike friendly guest house, one which is a little off the beaten track...

I had booked to attend the week long 2004 BSA Owners' Club International Rally in Berlin, and thought that it would be nice to spend an extra week touring the area before or after the rally. One evening while I was looking through the RealClassic 'parts for sale' page I scrolled down to glimpse an advert for polish. I don't want none of that, I thought but -- hang on -- it said 'Poland.'

On looking more closely the advert was for holiday accommodation in Poland,in good English as well. I decided to send an email to this contact as it could be close to Berlin.

The reply came back the very next day, from Michael, who is English and is married to a Polish lady. I said that I would like to stay at the guest house but as we were riding temperamental British bikes I could not guarantee our date of arrival. Michael replied that it was no problem, if the guest house accommodation was full we would be put up in the main house. Great!

It's a painted green house and it's on the left (if you're coming the other way). This must be the place.

Several emails later all was sorted. We had a list of directions but no address, only the name of the village and the first green (painted) house on the left -- that's all we would need.

We set out from Ashford in Kent to Harwich in Essex. Talk about rain, I have never been so wet, it even surpassed the hail storm we encountered in sunny Otaki, New Zealand, where we could not see the kerb and had to dump the bikes in the middle of the high street. This meant that my previously waterproof boots did not dry out for over a week, I had to wear plastic bags over my socks to keep dry for the following days.

We didn't want to ride through all of the industrial, built-up areas of Dusseldorf, Essen, Munster and Dortmund, as we have been gridlocked in these areas before, so Harwich to Cuxhaven looked good. It was a chance to visit north Germany. This was a great change for me to visit another part of Germany, through Hamburg and up to the lakeside town of Schwerin. We stayed there for three nights at a campsite in Raben-Steinfeld -- we only intended to stay for two nights but due to another thunderstorm stayed on for another night

They do not speak much English up north, you can get by, but it is best to be able to speak a little of the German language. I did my best and it worked out fine.

My wife Theresa, who was riding a BSA A10 plunger, said we should find another campsite for the next day before riding into Poland. The rest of us -- myself, Robin and Wayne from New Zealand (who was riding Shaun from Kent's A10), agreed that we should try and ride the 270 miles direct to our Polish guest house. No problem. So it was a dry day, and we easily reached the German-Polish border town of Lubieszyn; no problem. Head up north to the Baltic coast, still no problem. We arrived at our destination at the seaside town of Mrzezyno by 7pm, where they were very surprised to see us. Still -- again no problem, as the two spare rooms were ready and waiting for us.

Polish drivers (pictured, left) queue up to get away from McDonalds...

The reception that we received from our hosts in Poland was overwhelming, and in the end we stayed for three nights. As the guest house was still in the final stages of completion, the rooms were great but the communal kitchen area was unfinished which meant we had to provide our own warm meals (takeaway or eat out). Never mind. The car was removed from the garage and our bikes were stored inside, there was even room to unpack and hang out our dripping wet tents to dry inside.

Michael the owner was away on business but his wife Ela was a blessing in disguise. We paid for accommodation only, this was cheap enough, but Ela insisted on providing us with breakfast in the main house each day, as well as a BBQ one evening. This was on top of the very large, local caught and smoked warm flounder (the fish!) that was presented to us as a free meal two hours before: we were stuffed that night!

It was very hard to ride away from such a pleasant guest house accommodation as this, within a short walking distance of the seaside town centre with its many bars and eating places. We had to, though, as we were booked to stay at the BSA International Rall, 170 miles away -- but that is another story which can be read in the BSA Owners' Club Star magazine. Those Polish and East German roads can be extremely trying on an old British classic bike, travelling at 35mph maximum on a motorway...

If you want more information about the guest house in Poland, please contact Michael at aviator@post.pl or for more info about the BSAOC overseas events try Peter at ptbsa@aol.com or visit www.bsaoc.demon.co.uk

Recommended Ride?

Why, when the bank phone me for a 'courtesy call' do they then proceed to ask me loads of questions to confirm my identity? They called, me heavens sake. Sigh. Click-brrrrrrrrr.

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