Today, I really wanted to go for a bike ride, but I am locked out of my account with Veturilo bike rentals. I have to say, that I have to change my recommendation about using this service to; don’t use it under any circumstances. I sent in an email asking for help, and got one back telling me that they would get back to me in 14 days. I guess they are going to keep the credit I put in the account. That makes my half an hour bike ride as expensive as three bus trips.
So today I had to walk, since I wasn’t about to open another account with Veturilo. It is a shame: since those bikes were better than most rental bikes I have used. It was one of those days with nothing much to do. I didn’t need to go shopping for much, and that could wait until after my walk. I have already gone to all the museums that are free on Wednesdays. Wanting a new walk, I looked at Google Maps and noticed that there as an interesting little fort west of where I am living. I liked the looks of the moat.
Studying the map, I decided to take the shorter route. As I headed out of my neighborhood, I was surprised how quickly the city fell away and I found myself in a very sparsely occupied area. It is nice that in that suburban area there are no single family homes. The apartment buildings are fewer and more spaced out. Large areas of green space are everywhere.
When I turned off the main road onto the road, which leads to the fort I began to get nervous. The road and sidewalk were in disrepair. An occasional dilapidated commercial vehicle went by, but there were no passenger vehicles. At points the vegetation grew so far over the sidewalk, that I had to walk in the road.
I was surprised that such a desolate area could be so near to city center. Then I began to see the first single family houses, which I have so far seen in Poland. They were all boarded up. Where these officers housing from when it was an active fort?
I saw an weathered sign nailed to a tree, pointing down an overgrown path. I wasn’t about to go that way. It looked like a good place for Zombies. I later found out that the sign read, “Community Garden Fort Bema.” Just before my overworked imagination got the best of me, I saw a new modern building with passenger cars parked around it.
The park fitted more with the desolate road in than with the new building. The moat looked very stagnant, and the lazy attendant at the boat rental shack, looked like the sort of guy who the protagonist in a Zombie movie asks for directions only to be directed right into a Zombie nest.
The Fort was in complete ruin. The outside walls were earthworks, with brick structures visible on the inside. There were paths worn into the earthworks. I could seen bike and tennis shoe tracks in the dust.
The footprints in the dust were all rather small, indicating that this is probable a place where young kids hang out and get in trouble. The entries into buildings were all blocked with metal gratings, but many of these had been broken into. I saw some boys down near one of the buildings, so I decided to leave.
I had no desire to walk back down through the deserted area. I climbed up one of the paths over the top of the fort to see if I could find the other road I had seen on Google Maps. As soon as I was over the top, everything changed. I was in a nice park with adults walking dogs, riding bikes, and eating ice cream. Suddenly all thoughts of Zombies were vanquished.
As I went toward the bridge over the moat, I walked past two women. When I got to the other side, I looked back and saw that one woman had pulled on a long red dress over her shorts and tee. She was posing, showing off her gravid belly, as the other woman took photos with a professional camera. Baby’s first photoshoot I guess.
This side of the fort had all the things I have come to expect of a Polish park. Signs explaining the historical import and a canvas tent selling drinks and ice cream. I hesitated for a long moment, wanting ice cream, but reminded myself how good the ice cream near my place is.
The road leading from the park was very different from the one I had walked in on. The buildings were new and well maintained. The sidewalk was spaced far enough away from the road to drive Google walking directions crazy. The sidewalk went along side a sports complex and the community gardens.
As I got to the main road, Google walking directions failed me completely. I had to turn it off and just follow the map myself, without verbal cues. I even with that, the directions were trying to get me jay walk across a very busy highway. By that time I recognized the way I had walked, in and ignored the route on the map.
Seeing the monument above I remembered that I had seen a cemetery nearby, so I changed my route. I wanted to check it out and see if it would make a good blog post. It did indeed, but it was too sombere for this post, so I will save the cemetery for its own post later.
After spending far more time in the cemetery than I had planned, I realized that I was too tired to walk over to the big Carrefour to do some grocery shopping, so I headed home. I stopped at a fruit stand on a corner near my place and bought a kilo of strawberries for 7zt. The last bunch I bought were 6zt for a half kilo.
Dinner cheese, strawberries, and Cava …