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.
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.
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.
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.
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