In to Poland but Ooops No Polish Dosh 15 Comments

Jo & Stork

In the middle of the night, a coughing drunk woke us as he constantly fell off his bike. Poor thing, he tried to work out how to keep his balance without falling off but too much beer made it an impossible task. Well, there is one thing for sure, he will be bruised tomorrow.

After breakfast, we head towards the Polish border, weaving in and out of tiny Lithuanian villages. I can always tell when I like a country as I get a sad feeling when its time to leave, a feeling of wanting to stay a while longer. Thankfully, the country of Belarus (not in the EU) is in our way, so we have to wiggle south around it, which gives us more time in Lithuania. A few more villages and Lithuanian countryside before we tootle over to Poland. Its funny, if you look on the map it looks like we are squeezing our way in to Poland with Belarus on one side and Russia on the other. The border crossing was quiet, like most places around Europe. We drove through with no checks or questions asked.

The Park

Little Park on the way to Polish Border

We headed to the first major town in Poland, Suwalki, so we could stock up on…everything! We pulled up at the Lidl, yip a Lidl and got all excited. One slight problem we had no Polish currency. Oops, I’d forgot to top up the caxton card and with no wifi we couldn’t get any cash. Without cash we couldn’t buy a data card, we were stuck. Fortunately, we had spotted a McDonalds on route, so I grabbed the iPad and walked back to town.

At McDonalds, I logged on and topped up with PLZ currency….back to Lidl for a massive shop. Poor Craig, I’d delayed his Lidl experience! We stocked up with everything and anything, it was so cheap. We stocked the freezer, the fridge and all the cupboards for about £50 that includes washing powder, cleaning products, beer and wine. Vin was bursting at the panels and we were happy campers.

After several hours in Lidl it was time to find place for the night, so we drove over to the lakeside. Situated just a few kilometres out of town we spotted the Eurocamp listed in camper contacts. At £8 per night for a really big camping plot, lovely gardens and facilities we parked up.

Suwalki Camping

Suwalki Camping

The next day the sun was shining and we were so comfortable, we opted to put our feet up and stay put for 3 days. It was a pleasant change.

During the 3 days a few campers came and went but on the whole we had the campsite to ourselves. Most people arrived late at night and then set off again first thing in the morning. It was nice to chat to folk albeit very brief. Mac n Tosh on the other hand were pleased to bark goodbye as it meant they got the site to themselves and run around the site without their leash. They had loads of fun chasing each other and playing leapfrog over the bushes.

We did the obligatory weekly washing and clean, in between sun bathing, cycling to town and odd walks here and there. It was nice to just chill and acquaint ourselves with a new country and work out a few key Polish words. The town of Suwalki is nice but not loads to see but we did find a Tesco’s and of course, we nipped in to check out the goodies. It was just like being in England with an identical layout and plenty UK brands. However, with a full van after a massive Lidl shop we had little room left for any extra’s. But it was good to browse and buy just one of two home comforts.

We had plenty BBQ’s and even made some homemade flatbreads. The breads were yummy, its been sometime since we had flour and yeast and able to make, so a lovely homemade treat. In addition, we pulled out the canopy, sat outside and did normal stuff that we feel we have not done for a while. Basically, chill and do very little.

Old Believers Church

Old Believers Church

Around the corner is a huge cemetery named the seven faiths. As the name suggests its the burial ground for 7 different faiths, so its a rather large. We walked around the outside with the dogs and noticed how each faith had its own section, own gate and in some faiths, its own church. The outer fence may unite but internal barriers segregate. In the far corner, a small locked Russian cemetery with a message “key at town hall” but clearly rarely visited.

Alongside, the Orthodox Old Believers. The gate was open but the small church was boarded up and the grass overgrown, hiding all the tombstones and monuments. The Old Believers are a small group who fled Russia in 18th century with roots stemming back to Moscow. Whilst their numbers are declining there are still one or two areas in NE Poland were this religious group can still be found.

For our final evening we had a real treat. We are located at the side of the football stadium, which is home to many a music festival and concert at weekend. Tonight we experienced a Polish pop / religious band that had the crowds going wild. We joined in with Mac n Tosh enjoying a howling dance off.

As you might have gathered we don’t have any wifi connection and struggling to find, so currently pinching hotspots as and when.

Arena Stone Art

Football Arena Stone Art

Our Bumble Verdict: Suwalki, lovely campsite to put your feet up and enjoy the surrounding area and get acquainted with new country but the town doesn’t have lots to offer.

Our sleepy spot: Suwalki campsite which is part of the football ground stadium. Massive individual plots and well maintained grounds. 40pln, which is about £8 per night.

Paid Camping GPS position N054.093062, E022.915908

Route: Druskininkai to Suwalki, Poland

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15 thoughts on “In to Poland but Ooops No Polish Dosh

  • Robert Ellis

    Well you are back to civilisation again ,it must fell great after being trapped in the Baltics ,I thought Poland was in the EU so you could use euros ,but apparently not according to what you have said ,you can learn something everyday .The only Polish I know beside Metal Polish is Dizen Dobry ( good morning ) Yak Samos ( how are you ) Diseku cl ( thank you ) I got those of a Pole who came in the Pub ,If you say it like if spelt it they should understand it ,good luck ,In one of those glass windows I saw Peanut ,he’s at the foot of the saints ,Funeral went OK yesterday ,Mum seemed great ,so you’ve no worries there Uncle Johns not to clever ,I think he’ll need help shortly ,Mums okey Mandy’s ok ( I’m struggling ) going down to Wales Saturday golfing for the w/ End ,Keep on enjoying Luv DADxxx Mac n Tosh woof woof xxx

    • Bumble Crew Post author

      You dafty, we weren’t trapped in the Baltics we went there by choice!

      We tried a bit of Polish but with our strong northern accent it didn’t quite have the same tone, lol. We’ve been thinking about Peanut quite a bit, no idea why but he is in our thoughts, still miss the little fella.

      Good luck at the weekend

  • james and karen and molly the collie

    Hi few miles ahead of you in Slovakia, ws glad to leave Poland the driving standard is awful so many near misses with cars overtaking on blind bends trucks overtaking where they not allowed to.
    be careful

  • Barriie Clarke

    you would need the “Russian hammer to knock that nail in lol. Bet Craig back with Santa when he saw the lidl Karen who had the spinners is in Spain she got broke into and took everything even ripped the safe off the wall. Beau had another sloppy do again but seems ok today. thinking of you both keep safe love Michele and Dad

    • Bumble Crew Post author

      Craig loving Lidl!
      Another friend had their motorhome stolen from Barcelona and reading the forums, there seems a few events in Spain as of late?
      Poor Beau…too many treats lol!

  • Tony

    Hi from rainy lancs, avid reader of your fantastic blog, a good, balanced, warts n all blog….we thought you were going to pack it all in after ‘homer’ , what a nightmare ! Keep blogging, you make us smile, a lot.
    We are about 18mth off getting our first MH after living on a boat for the last 3 years.
    Really enjoy your dads comments, almost as much as your posts….’trapped in the baltics’….classic.

    Tony and Max