Thursday, May 24, 2012


The sunshine returned today, and we were shuttled to the beautiful Niepolomice forest (an old Polish word meaning impassable)for our morning ride. The forest consists of 6 nature preserves, the largest being home of the European Bison, which of course we did not see.
Not having been on a bike for 2 days, I did not want to get too far behind, so I snapped this photo of Chuck while I was riding. Unfortunately, this was before we missed the exit from the woods and added quite a lot of woods riding to our journey.
I did make one stop though, as I passed, almost hitting these farmers and their wagon dumping a load of rock.
Finally arriving at the town of Niepolomice, we circled this beautiful church to finish in the town square.
There we met more of our group, and joined "team Chicago" for lunch, (Angie, Charlie, Ron and Danielle, here and Coleen our guide).
Susan & Russ stopped behind Barb and Angie before taking off for some extra km's of biking.
I took a quick walk around the surrounding area to see the castle, encountering first these 3 stone birds in the yard.
The back entrance to the castle was guarded by statues of knights,
While in the front yard this large knight in armor held his staff and flag up almost to the tree top.
Circling the building I realize the castle was now a beautiful hotel. Poland seems to be filled with them.
Continuing through the park towards the town hall I passed these twin phone booths, much prettier then anything you would find in our country.
The town hall was not a disappointment either with its brickwork and tall windows.
Returning to the cafe where we had lunch Chuck was enjoying his visit with our always smiling guide Coleen who was sipping hot tea to counteract her sore throat - the result of riding through the heave rain 2 days before.
Joanna, one of our 2 "guides in training" was on her cell phone making sure the arrangements at our next hotel were in order.
Chuck visited with Timothy, our other guide while waiting for the return of the rest of the bikers.
This ice cream shop on the square attracted us all, as usual.
Alan and Jim arrived with their cones.
They were shortly joined by Angie and Charlie,
Followed shortly by Russ and Susan, back from their extended ride.
We all rode the van, with bikes in tow to our next hotel in Wieliczka, next to the famous Salt mines.
That evening we joined Susan and Russ for supper at this restaurant for a traditional Polish dinner.

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