Posts by: Paul

Message from Gordon Brown

You recently signed a petition asking the Prime Minister to “Encourage people to cycle by removing VAT on bicycles, tricycles and human powered vehicles and on all cycling parts and spares.” The Prime Minister’s Office has responded to that petition and you can view it here:

High Tatra Mountains, Slovakia

I walked out of the pension and turned right. I walked up the hill, past two small churches and several hotels and pensions, to the cable car station, where there are a load of snack bars, a tourist information office, and bureau de change, and the ticket booth for cable cars that go up the mountain, which is where I was going. It had clouded over but it wasn’t raining like it was yesterday. In my bag I had my waterproofs, just in case, along with my camera, a bottle of water and some sandwiches. I bought a ticket to…

Srara Lesna, High Tatrys, Slovakia

The food in Poland was generally not that good, slabs of dry boneless meat with potatoes, though I’d taken to having salad, but it was always in a salad bar and seemed to have been sitting there for days. But on the last night in Krakow I ordered ribs, potatos, cabbage and pickled cucumbers, and apart from the fat on the ribs it was quite good. All the restaurants in Zakopane had unvarnished wooden furniture and fittings, and always a group dressed up and playing traditional mountain music. I went to the hospital yesterday to have the stitches in my…

Zakopane, Poland

The main pedestrianized street of Zakopane, whose name I forget because I don’t know how to pronounce it, is full of people walking up and down not seeming to be going anywhere, many of them going there with ice creams, binoculars, cameras and pushchairs. Most of the shops are restaurants, either fast food burger kebab type places, or grills, where you can have a slab of meat, a kilo of potatos and salad. Neon lights opposite say “Cocktail BAR Morskie M Oko Sam — AR”. A sign in a shop says “WAKACYJNY SZOK CENOWY !!!” In another window it says…

Zakopane, Poland

A week in Krakow is more than enough, particularly if you’re staying in a hostel that seems to have been set up to cater for the stag party crowd: groups of between 5 and 20 British and Irish men. The hostel laid on a booze cruise 3 nights a week (90 zlotys to eat and drink as much as you like) and a notice in the bar challenged people to drink as many different vodkas (they appeared to have more than 20 types) in an evening. Away from the hostel, the main square of Krakow is entirely circled by outdoor…

Krakow, Poland

Polish bread can be quite solid, unless you go for sliced bread, which I will now after slicing my finger this morning and ending up in a Polish hospital. The taxi driver took me to one place, which was a bit like a hospital, but not really. It was a back entrance. A guy with short cropped hair was standing outside smoking a cigarette. When he’d finished his cigarette he went in side, put on some surgical gloves and peeled the toilet paper off my finger. Blood dripped on the floor. He bandaged up my finger and told the taxi…

On the train from Vilnius to Warsaw

I took the bus from Palanga to Vilnius. It cost 51Lt. Now I’m on the train to Warsaw. 67Lt. I have 10Lt in my pocket. The rest of my money I changed into Polish Zlotys. The woman in the bank seemed to find the way I said Polish amusing. It took a while buying the train ticket, queueing at three different tills before I found one that would sell me the ticket, and then there was a load of paper work and a phone call. It was about a ten minute wait.

Swimming in the Baltic

It’s a warm sunny day. I’m sitting at a table outside a restaurant, on a terrace with a fountain. A man takes a photo of his son wearing a red baseball cap side on, like a ten-year-old rapper. There are roses in the fountain. Birds search for food beneath the tables. I’m in Nida, on the Curonian Spit. My phone rang just now. There’s a party in Vilnius but I’m not going. I took a walk through the pine forests to the Baltic, having just gone to the tourist office and secured a room here for tomorrow evening. Tonight I’ll…

Paluse, Lithuania

Sitting in the cafe in Paluse, eating what was described as roast chicken with stuffing but isn’t quite, a guy arrives and asks in Lithuanian if he can pull over a bench and sit down. I understand what he means and say yes in sign language. I’m sitting in front of my laptop, trying to catch up on the news. Britain has a new Prime Minister. The guy, in his late fifties or sixties, sits down and says some things that I don’t really understand. I stare into the screen of my laptop, even though the new prime minister story…

5 of 23
123456789