Going to the beach is not what it used to be; take the 405 freeway to the 10 and about 35 minutes later cruise the Pacific Coast Highway on a beautiful SoCal day. The beach has moved quite a bit for me now, 284 miles away to be exact, a 7 hour drive through beautiful Polish landscape on a one lane road we dare to call a ‘highway’. Curiously enough if you type in ‘Wrocław to Kołobrzeg’ in Google Maps its first choice is to route you through Germany where the drive is a 100 miles longer but 20 minutes faster because of their awesome highway network. Poland is years behind any western country when it comes to roads but I’ve complained enough about this already and have no choice left but to carefully travel through them.
Kołobrzeg, also known by its German name Kolberg, was our destination over the long May weekend. First of May is the Polish labor day and the 3rd is Polish Constitution Day giving us 4 days off to relax. The first weekend of May has also traditionally been the official BBQ season opener in Poland. Four season climate means harsh winters and cold springs that usually give in just in time for a May weekend BBQ. I wrote usually… and will explain this later.
Karolina has never been to the Polish sea border. She’s been to plenty of seas all around the globe and even swam in the Pacific in winter time, but she has never visited our very own Baltic Sea. So when friends of ours suggested a ‘beach trip’ we gladly took them up on their offer. Leaving at 4am was a drag but really that was the best way to avoid traffic and sure enough 7 smooth hours later we were freezing our ankles off in the ice cold waters of the Baltic Sea.
I completely forgot how cold ocean/sea water can get. Standing ankle deep for more than a minute was nearly impossible and my joints ached long after a short walk in the water. Karolina dipped her toes in as well and it was hilarious how fast she ran back to dry off in the sand. It was sunny throughout our trip but pretty damn cold and very windy. We walked around for hours, ate the traditional beer-battered fish and chips and drank cold beer along with it, traditionally of course. We took a hike up the local lighthouse which had a pretty good view of the beach and walked around the sea port which was literally right outside our single room apartment that we shared for the two nights we spent there.
Kołobrzeg has plenty of bicycle trails to offer but it was too cold and windy to rent bikes. There were also boats offering short sea cruises outside of the port but just looking at the rough sea made us dizzy and we didn’t feel like a Perfect Storm movie reenactment was the best idea. Instead we found a cozy bar with comfortable cushions and sipped on girlie drinks with pink straws while enjoying the beautiful view of the sea. Well, I had the only pink straw…
It was a great road trip. Upon our arrival back to Wrocław we awoke to a cold and rainy day that soon turned into a freezing cold and snowy day. Surprising everyone, especially those like me who already switched over to the summer tires on their vehicles, it snowed all day this past Tuesday with temperatures dipping well below freezing. From a cold but sunny beach to the freezing and snowy Wrocław, it’s a good thing we opened our BBQ season a couple of weeks earlier because this past weekend surely wouldn’t work.