Poznan, Poland Becomes My Second Home – Bicycle Touring Pro

Poznan, Poland Becomes My Second Home

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After my bicycle tour in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, I flew back to Poznan, Poland and stayed for a few days in the same small studio apartment I had rented several months before. It was great to be back in a familiar place again… and to be back in a place as wonderful as Poznan.

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I stayed in Poznan for about six days and then flew to Paris, France for my week-long bicycle tour with Active4Adventures in the Loire Valley. Then I flew back to Poznan after the Loire Valley bike tour was over, and I spent another week and a half or so in Poznan before flying back to Los Angeles.

In the photo above, a pigeon sits on the window sill out side my studio apartment. Below are some of the old, beautiful, multicolored buildings that exist throughout the town.

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I drank a lot of Rooibos tea when I was in South Africa, so I was excited to see it for sale in Poznan upon my return.

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On my first day back in Poznan, I went shopping for new clothes at one of the many local malls. After my time in South Africa (and after being on the road for more than 13 months at this point), I need some new clothes. Almost everything I had in my possession at this point was either dirty, stretched out or had holes in it.

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I ended up purchasing a new pair of jeans, a new cycling jersey, two new pairs of shorts, and two new T-shirts.

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After a few days in my first studio apartment in Poznan, I moved to a new (and much larger) 3-bedroom apartment near the center of the city. I had a wonderful view from each of the apartment’s eight main windows.

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One day in Poznan, I spent almost the entire day trying to find a bicycle box to fly my bike back to America. The first three bicycle shops I visited didn’t have a cardboard bike box to give me, but I was able to find a bicycle shop on the far side of town (near the airport) that had a bunch of bike boxes to give away. The only downside to this was that after finding the cardboard bike box, I then had to carry it all the way back to my apartment in the center (about 5 miles/8 kilometers away). To do this, I folded the bike box in fourths and then carefully balances the box in my arms while slowly and carefully navigating my way back to the center on my bike. By the time I reached my apartment, I was drenched in sweat.

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I also bought a few books while I was in Poznan. I bought three “How-to learn Polish” books and another fictional book called “Marina,” which I hope to translate from Polish to English over the course of the next year (in an attempt to learn to read and maybe even speak a little Polish).

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On the evening of June 21, I attended Poznan’s Noc Kupaly (summer solstice) celebration with my new friend Ariadna (of Help, I Have Nothing To Wear), and saw thousands of lanterns launched into the night sky. The event itself was quite magical, but it was  made even better because I got to share the experience with Ariadna. While the lanterns were being launched into the sky, we took photos of the event and afterward watched a traditional folk dance, followed by a walk across town while eating soft serve ice cream cones. Ariadna is a much better photographer than I am, so be sure to click here and check out her photos of the Noc Kupaly event.

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On my last day in town, I ate dinner with Ariadna and her friend Artur, and then together the three of us went on a bike ride around one of the city’s local lakes. It was a great way to bring my time in Poznan to a close!

After saying goodbye to Artur and Ariadna, I returned to my apartment, packed up my bicycle and all of my belongings and then prepared myself for the long flight home. The next morning, I carried my things down to the street and hailed a taxi. I drove to the airport, checked in for my flight, and 13+ hours later I was back in Los Angeles. My 2012-2013 bicycle tour of Europe and Africa was finally over.

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