When we last travelled to Poland, I realised that we could take a (somewhat) small detour and visit the lovely town of Gorlitz. The reason being that the Europa Marathon was in Gorlitz, and of course I grabbed the opportunity of running it.
This is a somewhat unique race in that it crosses the border into Zgorzelec in Poland – just over the river, and then back to Germany – my first (quite literally) cross-country race.
Supporters – one of them gave me a mid-race beer
It was a tiny marathon; only 110 people ran it, so it was small and intimate; it was great running past the supporters because they would sit around relaxing and then burst into cheering and applause as I ran past.
It was also a beautiful route to race – a large part of the race was country roads and bicycle paths through woods and farms.
At the finish
I loved running this tiny marathon, and I’m somewhat amazed that it is not bigger. It was super-well organised and a lovely route. There are also a few other events (half marathon, inline skate races, unicycle marathons etc). If you have the opportunity go and run a marathon in Gorlitz.
A well-deserved brakwurst and beer at the finish
One of the nice things about Gorlitz is that there are very few tourists, and hence very few people trying to separate you from your cash as every opportunity. During our few days there we only saw two groups of buskers. The first group were working the outdoor seating at the restaurants; very typical gypsy-style buskers.
The second group weren’t busing for money; they were playing outside one of the university buildings – I think! At least they were running all their over from the building. They were really good…an loud. In the narrow streets I’m sure the whole town could easily hear them busking!
This coffee vendor at the Gorlitz fresh produce market made the most amazing coffee; and since I suspected he wouldn’t have tea we took our own teabag for Lois, and he was quite happy giving us a cup of hot water so Lois could enjoy her cup of tea while I drank my coffee.
Lois and I were thrilled to discover that the day after we arrived in Gorlitz was market-day, so it was the perfect time to stock up on some food for our few days in Town. It was a typical European market, with plenty of fresh vegetables, and of course cured meats and cheeses from the local producers.
I have mentioned before that one of the things we love about European travel is that markets; you really can do your fresh produce shopping at these markets.
Fresh produce for sale
Everybody in the town goes to market day; it is a very social and festive occasion, and clearly part of the regular social diary.
Fresh produce for sale
Plenty of benches to sit on while enjoying a coffee and freshly baked bread or (later in the day) a beer
Gorlitz is a lovely town in Germany; it is the eastern-most town in Germany, and the sister to Zgorzelec, which is the Westermost town in Poland! The Fat Tower is in the middle of Gorlitz. A long time ago it formed part of the city defences, but by now the town gas grown so much that the Fat Tower is right in the middle of town, and it’s not the only tower in Gorlitz; watch here for some pics of the other towers in the town.