How to show that Poland and Switzerland have more in common than you might think? By getting on your bike! Marcin Płachno, Director of the Foreign Office of the Polish Tourist Organisation (ZOPOT) in Vienna, responsible for promoting Poland in Austria and Switzerland, decided to use his own example to prove that the slogan “united Europe” is not an empty phrase, and passion and curiosity about the world can overcome all schemes and travel habits. Over the past six days, he cycled 954 kilometres on his bike to get from Zurich to Wrocław. And this is not the first such challenge this year!
On 18-19 September alone, the Kursaal Bern AG congress centre hosted the 3rd Polish Host and Technology Forum – a strategic initiative of the Polish Embassy in Bern, which brought together distinguished panellists representing the technology and innovation sectors from both countries in the Swiss capital.
were promoted during the Forum by Director Płachno on behalf of the Polish Tourism Organisation, together with friends from the Lower Silesian Tourism Organisation. In addition, after the end of the first day of the Forum, an exhibition presenting UNESCO monuments located in Poland was opened in the heart of Bern.
Only in September, as part of the Poland Soul Travel project (www.polandsoultravel.com), Krakow and the Kłodzko region were visited by groups of journalists representing media such as aboutTravel.ch and the “Salzburger Nachtrichten”, and during a meeting in Zurich, ZOPOT Vienna established a long-term partnership with the RailTour company, which offers attractive rail excursions to various places in Europe. We have already written about the fact that major cities in Poland can be reached relatively easily by train here, but knowing the Swiss love of train travel, the potential for cooperation is much greater!
Such a gesture was the second cycling journey this year of Marcin Płachno, Director of ZOPOT Vienna, which built bridges across borders and seemingly distant worlds. The official started the journey by road bicycle from Zurich to Wrocław on 20 September, to reach the capital of Lower Silesia after six days of a demanding route through Germany and the Czech Republic. This was already the second sporting challenge for the manager with extensive experience in organising sporting events – in the spring of this year, he cycled from Vienna to Krakow for a similar purpose.
Further stops were made in the cities of Ulm, Ingolstadt, Prague and in Lubawka on the border between Poland and the Czech Republic. The detailed route can be viewed here.
ZOPOT Vienna arrived in Wrocław on 25 September at 3 p.m. Poland’s third-largest city, beautifully situated on the branches of the island-forming Oder, is one of the most interesting places for a weekend city-break in the country. A vibrant and young metropolis with a long history, it impresses with its Art Nouveau tenement houses, parks and museums, and above all with its relaxed atmosphere, where post-German heritage mixes with the contemporary cosmopolitan spirit of Poland’s leading cultural centre. You can read more about Wrocław’s attractions here.
We answered without hesitation: the wild nature, the thousands of lakes in the north and the extraordinary diversity of the landscape, the inspiring and very different cities such as old Kraków, the rich Baltic port of Gdańsk or Warsaw, intriguing with its contrasts. The healthy, organic produce and cuisine of the regions, in many places still successfully resisting global industrial production. Beautiful guest houses run with passion, the most interesting of which are recommended on the website of the Poland Soul Travel project.
A passion best exemplified by the unusual trip of the director of ZOPOT Vienna from Zurich to Wrocław. Those 954 kilometres will remain in the legs of our hero for a long time. But the boundaries that were crossed thanks to this expedition – above all the psychological boundaries – add up to an important experience. Because to want is to be able to!