Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Cross Town Traffic

It's true - the Polish really are terrible drivers. With the sole exception of Belgium (and elsewhere when it's Belgians doing the driving) we haven't witnessed such appalling impatience and blatant illegal manouvres anywhere else on our trips. Jumping red lights (not just going over them a fraction of a second late but having a look, thinking "oh well nobody's coming" and driving across), speeding, overtaking on suburban streets when you are doing the maximum, cutting up, beeping, flashing and generally being total, utter, ******* ***** (insert SJ Esau lyric here). I even saw - amazing!! - a guy in a tiny Fiat mount the pavement and drive along it 200 yards to turn right, rather than wait in the traffic queue. Kate reckons this is why First Bus was so keen to recruit Polish drivers for their Bath and Bristol routes. Those boys will stop at nothing to own the road.

And this was all before we got to Wroclaw. Arriving a 3pm we thought it would be relatively straightforward to find one of the two listed campsites as one was by the river and the other by the Olympic Stadium. Unfortunately we reckoned without the massive roadworks currently taking place, which of course made the already less than polite Polish drivers even less forgiving of two lost Brits attempting to navigate their way around. It took all of my Bristol-city-centre-in-rush-hour training to keep Sheena scratch free (touch wood). After consulting a map in a petrol station we eventually found one of the campsites. This nice riverside location was home to some not very welcoming New Age squatters and their even less welcoming, loud dogs. Hmmm.

Luckily some Germans turned up and being the organised types, they had a SatNav. Hurrah. After we telephoned the other campsite to check it actually existed, we had another fraught journey following a German caravan back across town through some very busy junctions and major roadworks to another, thankfully open, campsite. It was now 6.30pm. Perhaps sensing our urgent need, our new German friends graciously offered us some chilled Polish vodka which we very gratefully drank. We can understand now why the stuff is so popular.

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