Planning and departure
Due to the Corona, there wasn’t much to do with vacation in 2020. Fortunately, we had traveled to South Africa in February and had a big vacation this year, but nothing came of it with Egypt / North Sudan in July. So we thought: Why not just go for a little tent trip to the Baltic Sea? Not to the German Baltic Sea, but to the Polish part, because it is cheaper there. Only a few months beforehand there was also a huge 4-person tent on offer at the Aldi (which we also got hold of, although there was only 1 piece per discounter), which gave us the reason to plan the trip. We also invited two friends: René, who was our best man and currently lives and works in Jena, and Dominik, who is a student of media design at the Bauhaus University. At that time we were studying media informatics with René, while we met Dominik while playing cards in Jena.
After we all applied for a vacation and got all kinds of other utensils in addition to the tent (sleeping mats, sleeping bags, blankets, lamps etc.) it should be on Saturday, August 22nd go off. Before that we brought the cats back to Greiz on Friday. Here again, Iva’s fear of traveling became apparent, because she put it in her backpack as soon as she left the house and again on the train. That was very uncomfortable again, especially with the other passengers. In Greiz, on the other hand, both cats were immediately fine – it wasn’t their first stay there either. Instead of taking the train back, this time we took my mother’s car (a light green Skoda Fabia). So it should go to Poland the next day.
The evening before, however, we had two more problems that would have destroyed us most of the trip. First we forgot documents for the car, which are important for traveling to Poland. We were able to get these quickly with a lot of stress in Greiz. The other was bad news from René: Apparently there was a break-in in his cellar and he didn’t want to leave until all the locks were changed. After a phone call with the caretaker, it turned out that it was him who had broken into the cellar. After everything was clarified, however, it could start Saturday morning. Actually, the trip was planned with five people, as Jieun was supposed to come (but couldn’t because of his master’s thesis). But it quickly turned out that with four people the car was already packed to the brim. There was nothing left in the trunk and René and Dominik still had to take a lot of bags with them in the middle of the back seat or on their lap.
As you can imagine, the journey was quite boring. We drove a total of seven hours, including two stops, to refuel, to use the toilet, to eat or just to stretch our legs. Funnily enough, we once missed a motorway junction shortly before Berlin and were shown almost 30 minutes more driving time in the navigation system. But then we stopped there and suddenly we made up + 40min. Apparently there was only a traffic jam on the route, but it had cleared again after the stop. The last hour of the journey was then in Poland. We expected toll booths here, but since there were almost all construction sites on the coast, they probably haven’t created any here.
When we arrived in Międzyzdroje we drove straight to the campsite. Even if the campsite itself was quite neat, we had imagined it to be a bit freer and more wooded. It was between two hotel skyscrapers and you could drive into the Wiesenplatz via a gate – this protected the car, at least during the night, because it could stand right next to our tent. However, there were also many other campers there that day, which is why we had to turn around a bit until we could properly align the car and tent.
The tent construction worked out pretty well. It was good that we had brought a hammer with us, without which hammering the pegs would have been problematic. The tent consists of three parts: a large middle part, where you can put food and a large part of your luggage together, and two sloping outer parts, where two people can sleep in each and which are again protected from insects with a net. In the middle we were able to put a lamp on the ceiling, which provided some light at night, and outside there were small windows, so it was never too stuffy. Just a few meters from the tent was a kitchen with a refrigerator and a bathhouse with toilets, sinks and showers. Since the two facilities were apparently cleaned 1-2 times a day, they were always clean.
After we had set up everything and explored the campsite, we wanted to go to the beach to walk along it, and then go for something to eat, as none of us had a real lunch that day. The beach was really only a 1-2 minute walk from the campsite and, in contrast to other beaches, as we knew them from Peru or South Africa, it was quite clean and even had pleasantly cool sea water, which is why we could go barefoot there. After walking a few stretches of beach to the east, we came to a longer jetty that led out to the sea. At least here you noticed that this place was designed to be very touristy. At every corner there was play equipment, food stalls and souvenir shops. Even worse were the many tourists, many of them Poles and some Germans, who walked across the pier and through the shopping malls without masks and mostly huddled together. At the end of the jetty there was a landing stage for a Viking ship that could be used as a group along the coast. But since this would be quite boring and you will probably also be texted in Polish, we quickly decided not to take advantage of this attraction.
Back from the jetty on the mainland, we have now been on the lookout for a restaurant. These have gone a bit under the many takeaways, but after a while we found a fish restaurant where each of us had something on the menu. René and I just wanted something simpler that evening, which is why we only took Speggetti Carbonara. Nathalie and Dominik, however, each indulged in a fish fillet. On the way back over the main street to the campground we saw some buildings like an aquarium, a kind of dinosaur park and many closed shops. The next day we should find out what it was all about…