Travelling to Poland during a global pandemic

Our first day of a four week trip - Wroclaw, Poland.

Finally!!! We arrived in Wrocław a few days ago. A long anticipated trip to our second home and we are here for four weeks. I am so excited to be here for many reasons but mainly because I have not stepped foot in this beautiful country since October 2019.

Kinga and the children came in February, during the school holidays but I was working and unable to travel with them. We were supposed to be here in April for Easter, but due to COVID-19, our trip was cancelled.

We have had every single trip and holiday cancelled since March and we were supposed to visit Las Vegas in July, North Wales in May, South Wales in July and New York City in October. So once all of these were cancelled, we were really hoping that flights within Europe would start operating again so that we could at least have one trip to Poland.

I'm happy to say they did and we are here.

We arrived at an empty East midlands airport on Tuesday morning. Told to allow extra time for travelling, we thought we would arrive three hours before our flight rather than the standard two hours. There were only two other people in the airport when we arrived and not one check-in desk was open. I had to question why we were advised to get there early but then again I was just happy to be travelling to be honest. We of course, had to wear our masks throughout the airport and all through the flight, then again at the airport once we arrived in Wrocław. It's not the most comfortable experience but if it gets me to Poland, then I am a happy man.

Above: East midlands airport and ready to fly

We arrived in Poland and I immediately opened my 'Vozilla' App. Vozilla is a company in Wrocław who rent our Nissan Leaf electric vehicles and you can pay by the minute. You just open the app, look for a car, reserve it, open the doors with the app and then drive to your destination. You can then end your reservation and the next person will take the car from there. It means if you only need a car for a shopping trip, or to get home from the airport then you only pay for the time you use it. It is perfect; or it used to be. I found out that Vozilla has closed so we were unable to drive home. This meant a bus trip and again wearing our face coverings for another hour.

Above: Rynek in the rain

Once we got home, we didn't waste much time. We went shopping for a few essentials, had a short nap as we had zero sleep the night before and Sophie headed straight on to the Osiedle to meet her friends.

Later that day we headed into the town centre and to 'Rynek' the old market square. The weather was awful and it seemed the English rain had followed us to Poland. We had already reserved one of our favourite restaurants whilst we were still in England and ate our dinner at 'Pod Papugami' in the centre of Wroclaw's main square. We really love this restaurant as they do fresh, seasonal food. They also sell a lunch menu which they serve until 5pm and I always have this. I rarely look at the menu, I just ask for the lunch deal. This time is was 'chłodnik' - cold polish soup with chorizo and cream of potato and vegetables. To follow, I ate chicken liver salad which was absolutely delicious and all for a total of 34zł around £7.

Above: Cold polish soup 'Chłodnik' perfect for summer
Above: Chicken liver salad with fresh fruit

Above: Wheat beer with Chleb ze smalcem

After dinner, we headed to another one of our favourite places 'Spiż' which is a traditional restaurant in the city centre. They have their own brewery and all the beer they serve has been made on site. Kinga and I dragged the kids there so we could remind ourselves of that taste we had missed so much. Kinga drank a 'jasne' (blonde beer) and I had 'pszeniczne' (wheat beer). Beer is always accompanied with 'chleb ze smalcem' in Spiż which is a flavoured fat or lard that has onion and some type of pork meat in (usually bacon) it is spread on bread and is a common companion of polish beer. I always have a slice with my beer but it leaves me wondering exactly how many calories it contains - after all, it is basically fat on bread.

Above: My 'small' portion of ice cream in Tralalala

We had to compromise with the kids of course, we had forced them into Spiż so that Kinga and I could have one beer so it only seemed fair that we take them for an ice cream afterwards - plus you probably all know that I have a major sweet tooth and Wroclaw has some top quality ice cream parlours. we walked the short distance in the rain to 'Tralalala', a cafe just off the main square that offers an abundance of flavours. I often go for the salty caramel flavour as it is one of my favourites and this time I had it with 'kokos' or coconut flavour. The ice cream went down well but my belly was almost bursting after all that food and beer.

We took the bus back home after the ice cream, stopped off at the shop for a few beers and then went to visit our friend Bartek for an hour or so. He has just become and uncle so he was keen to show us photos of his nephew. His Mum and Dad were there too - proud grandparents who we could see were overjoyed that they had a new addition to their family. Bartek and his family are like extended family to us so it was lovely to see them all on the day we arrived. After that, we hit the sack - home to bed as we were all so tired after getting up at 1:30am and not really getting much sleep.

We are really looking forward to the next few weeks here in Wrocław. So many nice things to look forward to and I'll be sure to share it all on Instagram, Facebook and of course right here on the blog. In addition, I have started a video series on YouTube; 28 Polish beers in 28 days. where I'm trying a different polish beer each day - just search 'the super commuting dad'.

Until next time, see you later.

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