The former synagogue in Zamosc
The manager at my hotel was right, there isn't anything Jewish here
My choice of route today was to go to Chelm and then on to Wlodawa, or to take a short day and go Lublin. I started out intending to go to Chelm, but the road there from Zamosc was not open. Moreover, the road to Lublin was new construction - SMOOTH - and the wind was strong from the east. That meant it was a side/tail wind going to Lublin and a side/head wind going to Chelm. I decided that both my knees and my crotch would be happier going to Lublin. Since, even going with the wind and only riding about 100, somewhat hilly, km, my bad knee was bothering me before I got to Lublin, I think I made the right decision.
The ride out of Zamosc had a long hill to climb and then descended into construction. I had to wait about ten minutes to get through a one way section at the end of the construction, but the actual one way section was downhill, so I was able to keep up with the cars and trucks going through it. Even after the construction, the road was good and the shoulder, although no longer smooth, wasn't bad. The countryside was nice and the ride moderately hilly.
Just before Krasnystaw, I had a second chance to go to Chelm. I stopped, looked at my map, and turned west, away from the wind. I suspect that, if I had headed to Chelm, I would have stopped there because of my knee.
The ride to Piaski was really nice, with bigger hills and great views. I stopped for lunch at 'express bar' which was really a restaurant. This was just before a big descent to Gorny. Lunch was OK, and the descent was fun. Climbing up the other side of that valley helped clear my head from the effects of the .5 l beer I had with lunch ;-).
In Piaski, the the road from Zamosc to Lublin joins the road from Chelm to Lublin, and the result is a four lane divided expressway. This didn't have much of a shoulder and was the next to worst riding of the day. The worst riding was coming into Lublin. The shoulder was lousy and the traffic was fast and several times multilane roads merged together with the road I was on merging from the left. Traffic was not heavy, so these merges were easy. As usual, what would have been a hair raising ride in the states as merely a time to be careful here. Still, I was glad when I saw a street to the Centrum that was blocked to regular traffic because of construction. I took it on my bike and had almost no traffic till I was in the Centrum.
I went to a McDs they have several here and the one I saw coming into town looked exactly like about 1000 McDs I've seen in the US. The one in the Centrum was disguised, but as soon as I went in, I knew where the toilets were because I had been in that 'same' MsDs in another European city, or maybe (?) it was a city in the US.
I used the toilet and had a nice yogurt and fruit based desert. Then I went to a nearby internet cafe to check my mail. I couldn't find one in Zamosc and my hotel there had wireless service, but you had to pay for it and, probably because of language issues, get information from the staff on how to do that.
Since I wanted to be near internet access, I checked out the two hotels in Lublin's Centrum. The first one is pretentious four star. The second one fancy three star. Both offered internet access and everything else including airconditioning. This is my first airconditioned room of the trip, but its cost is less than two other rooms I have stayed in on this tour that were not nearly as fancy or as nice, but were in more expensive countries.
As I rode today, I was thinking about how exotic the place names sound, and how mundane traveling in Poland really is. Usually someone at hotels and restaurants knows English, but even when they don't, It doesn't cause much of a problem. The hardest thing, perhaps, is not being able to have casual conversations with people, like the bicyclist I met yesterday, who I'd like to be able to talk to. when dealing with food and shelter, a few words suffice and often they can be in German. Even with no common language, it isn't hard, although sometimes it is an adventure ;-), to get what I need.