Much better ride today for me - only 80 Kms promised at the morning briefing and only 80 Kms actually ridden. Bit of a stormy day, starting out with a fair amount of rain and blustery winds coming from all directions. First day, though, that we have managed to find a place to stop for a coffee en route, right along the northern shore of lake Jez. Dargin.
Late morning the rain finally stopped, but tons of huge puddles everywhere and the road continues very rough and uneven, plus four more kilometers of cobblestones. Very hard on the road bikes – I’m delighted that I have my trusty old Kona Kilauea mountain bike with me – it’s a real sturdy beast for these roads and I’m really glad of it having good suspension. Two riders got broken spokes today.
Our lunch stop today was set up at Gierłoż just up from the entrance to ‘Wolfschanze’ (Wolf’s Lair) which was Hitler’s big fortified Eastern Front military headquarters during WWII and we took the opportunity to do some of our first “real” touristing. It was fascinating wandering through there. We saw the remains (time has taken its toll and the old buildings have not been maintained) of the conference hall where Col. Von Stauffenberg placed his bomb in an attempt to kill Hitler in July 1944. We saw also the ruins of the bunker that was Hitler’s residence. Unfortunately, the place is packed with thousands of visitors so it was hard to get a real ‘feeling’ of the place, but nevertheless it held a certain morbid fascination (for me) to be there where so much modern history took place.
As we rode on the weather improved a little more and we hear it’s supposed to be much better tomorrow – dry and warm. Now that would be really nice………. Oh, and only 76 Kms to do! Yee hah!
Reszel, our destination today, is a lovely little town of about 5,000 people. We are at a nice little guest house with a real coffee shop next door but one. The food in the restaurant below our room is not too bad, either.