We plodded on through Bydgoscz marvelling at the improvements in wayside service stations, continually checking the sky looking for any indication of rain but there was little wind and after meditating in a layby and eating Genoa cake and a tin of fruit cocktail we drove the last 40miles to Gdansk.
The cranes of the shipyards sticking out on the skyline reminded us of Lech Walesa and his struggle for 'solidarity'.
The road took us to the old centre where there was one parking space, outside the Hanza Hotel overlooking the old docks, into which I reversed.
A man came over and asked us if we were staying at the hotel. I nodded and we went to check in.
I have eaten some steaks in my time, not so many in the last few years as I try to lead a more 'healthy' life!
But the steak, a T-bone, was the best I have ever tasted! I seriously recommend this hotel. It cost £50(slightly off-season) for both of us, £12 for the meal.
We walked around the old town afterwards, mainly looking for film for Nathalie's camera, but the architecture is worth seeing.
In the morning, after a celebration evening in the room making loads of tea - always decaffeinated with the electric kettle I had brought along for such occasions, we took the hotel breakfast and headed on our way to Lithuania, just checking for anywhere open to buy film, but it was Easter, so....

I really enjoyed driving on the right. The road left Gdansk towards the East crossing the flat plain of the river Vistula delta, maybe 40 or 50 km wide, before we hit the eastern valley sides approaching Olczstyn. We stopped in a BP garage shop and cooked some pasta with Tuna. Managed to buy film here. I hadn't taken any pictures yet. I wanted to take pictures in Lithuania to add to my book to show comparisons to 1993, and Nathalie had only taken some of the campsite in Holland and a church near Eindhoven. Nathalie had to be my look out when we overtook other vehicles, a couple of close calls trying to overtake but the roads weren't too bad.
The 'Mazury' area starts here and the countryside is hilly with lakes here and there. The road winds through rolling forest areas, with ongoing road works every now and then as efforts are made to improve this vital tourist link-road. This goes on for 80 miles and not until Augustow does the road join the main drag from Bialystok to the Baltic States. The northern 'feel' starts to penetrate my awareness and remind me of the difference in 'feel' here compared to earlier.
Finally through Suwalki, the last town before the border.
Since leaving Calais 5 days ago we had not seen a single English - GB - number plate! Not on cars, not on lorries. I calculated,
going through Germany that out of all the lorries we passed 60% were German, 30% Polish and 10% others(netherlands, hungary, russia). I had to think why no English lorries? It finally came to me that the English don't need to travel across the Channel where they could never compete against the Germans and the Poles, plus all the other countries - including the Spanish and Italians.
Just send a trailer across the Channel and have a European driver with tractor unit to take it wherever. However, having said that, just stand by the M20 in Kent, or the M2, and note all the European number plates delivering goods in England!! They must have found it economical to take the ferry or tunnel.


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