04 Jun 2000 | Back home in Brussels

Boulevard de Diksmuide

It was a pity that Harm-Jan learned only on Saturday that he had to be back at work on Monday at 12 in the afternoon. We decided to leave Warsaw at 6pm so that we might even be able to catch some sleep in some hostel along the way.
Robert told us that, at most, we would be able to drive an average of some 80km/hour to the German border. I didn't believe him and all went well until we were stopped by Police. I was driving 104km where I was allowed 60. Some haggling and explaining that we REALLY didn't need a receipt left us with gaining a cheap ticket but loosing all our Polish money. For the rest of the trip, some 5 hours up to the border, we stuck to the speed limit and drove an average 70km/hour.

Border

Crossing the border wasn't fun. Already some 25km before the actual border, trucks were waiting in line to cross. To avoid them, we had to drive towards oncoming traffic in the opposite lane...
Closer to the border, the 2-lane road became a 4-lane road with a divider in the middle. There was room enough to drive on our side of the road, although the waiting trucks where blocking off one of the lanes completely.
Only seconds after we started on the 4-lane road, cars were driving towards us, on our side of the road. This being really spooky, we opted to stop and first try and understand what was going on.

Turned out, we had to drive back to the beginning of the 4-lane road, and drive on the other side of the divider towards the border. This meant, again, driving towards oncoming traffic on their side of the road, without it being clear at all whether cars coming in our direction would have any notion of them having to share their side of the road with us! However, we felt we had no choice, turned around, and headed for the border again.
What the reason was for our side of the road being blocked is still a mystery to me. What was remarkable was, that when we drove up to the border on the opposite side of the road, many trucks were fully blocking the road on the right side of the road. Cars waiting for the trucks to move, in order to pass to get to the border by driving back again. However, the trucks blocking the roads seemed to do so in so much unison, that it seemed fully orchestered. I couldn't dare thinking of what would have happened if police hadn't stopped us earlier in the day and we would have arrived earlier at the border. God knows, we would have STILL stood there, waiting to drive back in order to get to the border...

And getting home? I handed over the driver's seat to Data after crossing the border and slept in the back of the car for the rest of the trip.

My Monday was pretty relaxed.

Tagged with: Germany Poland travel

About

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After obtaining an M. Sc in maths, Babak Fakhamzadeh started with an office job at a major blue chip company but soon realised he'd do better on his own. Babak is a traveling web guru with a penchant for doing good and a love for visual and experimental art. Together with Eduardo Cachucho, he won the World Summit Award in the m-Tourism and Culture category in 2012 for Dérive app. With Ismail Farouk, he won the Highway Africa new media award in 2007 for Soweto Uprisings . com. Check out Babak's CV.

Contact

Babak is currently in Brasil.
+55 219 6557 5388 (Brasil)

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