We left Poznan for a four hour drive east to Warsaw, the capital of Poland. It was very cold and an hour before we arrived snow had begun to fall. The main roads remained clear but side roads collected 10 cm of snow. Our camp site was 15 k from the city centre.
We chose a sunny day to visit the city but the temperature remained below freezing all day. It was so cold I was forced to buy fur hat!
The old part of the city had been restored after heavy damage during World War II. Despite its communist past, Poland remained a deeply Catholic country and we admired Warsaw’s gothic churches and neoclassical palaces – one palace was home to the Polish President. The wide squares in the old part of town were surrounded by pastel painted buildings. We didn’t stray from the old city so avoided seeing the ugly buildings of the Soviet bloc era and the modern skyscrapers further out of town.
The temperature that night dropped to minus 10 degrees and, although we were warm enough in the van, the icy conditions caused our boiler freeze valve to release all our water (a safety device). The next morning we had no water so poor Tony had to spend ages refilling our tank with 120 litres of water taken from a distant unfrozen tap using our small watering can – definitely a blue job! After that we left our gas central heating on all night to keep the water in the system above freezing point.