That was a real bike adventure! Not the one like mine. Can you imagine that? Bike trailers made with their own hands, packed with stuff for the whole way. I can only try to imagine how it was like. Hard-boiled agges, preserves in glasses, probably a few loafs of bread packed. The whole instrumentation – gas cooker, pots for cooking. A tent, sleeping bags. Well, everything.

And leaving Poland back then – that must have been so exciting.

Rafal’s mum says that the longest bike trip – the one to Rome – lasted for six weeks. From Zywiec to Rome is about 1,5 thousand Kilometers. That gives some 500 Kilometers a week. Quite a lot, I would say.

Quite a lot, especially when you ride an old Polish bike with old inner tubes, which break every few Kilometers. When the bike patches and the glue are of Polish, communist quality. When the hand-made bike trailers are rolling after the bikes.

But I also think how much satisfaction must have been there. And how much joy! That reaching the destination must have really meant a lot. It has not been an adventure only but much much more. Such a real crossing of the borders, entering a completely different world.

Rafal’s brother was 13 years old back then. I was 13 years old in 1996. And going abroad seemed to me someting unconquerable. What would it have to meant in 1980?

Just have a look at those pictures!

Katowice, 9 October 2015

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