Coincidences? I don't think so - the forth day

fot. Ewa M. Kaczmarek
I got up very early in Białystok along with my father. I was tired but was also too stressed to continue sleeping. The most stressful thing was that I had an amazing day yesterday but I can’t write an article about it since no one wants to let me use his or her computer. I was also worried about the that fact that I didn’t know where to go today and where to stay overnight. As the day developed I realized that there are no coincidences in life. I ended up… taking part in a wedding ceremony in an Orthodox Church, only because I got lost.
The morning was strange. I felt very insecure. I opened one of the last articles on and read my friend’s comment that she regrets I don’t go through Olsztyn. My first idea was to go there. I decided that I check the distance and if it’s no more than 180km – I go there. But it was 217km, a little too much. My father suggested that going back to Augustów is pointless but said that I should decide. He pointed out that the road Augustów-Białystok is dangerous and uninteresting. He said that I can go round Białystok and make some extra kilometres. I decided to do it.

I left Białystok and headed east. To be honest, it wasn’t the nicest time on my way. I feel that my trip doesn’t make sense. I like the awareness that I’m getting closer to the destination and this day I was going in the exactly opposite direction. But the views and silence spoke for themselves. Podlaskie voievodeship is beautiful. It’s also well invested. There are good roads, a lot of bike lanes plus the traffic is very diluted. It helped me find balance after the stressful morning when I still kept in mind that I don’t know whether I have a place to stay overnight or not.

Small villages in eastern Poland are amazing. Life is slower there, people are easily approachable, and nature is stunning. It’s like a paradise to pass those places by bicycle, but I’m not sure if I would like to live my live there. Isn’t it a little depressing if you live at the end of the country where the roads aren’t very dense and you have a border right next to your village. I don’t like borders, so it’s probably not a place for me. But on the other hand, nature’s healing influence on people is very sensible there, especially when cows start posing to take a selfie with you…


At some point on my way I met another cyclist. That was something, because there are not many people there- only cows, storks, birds, squirrels and horses. We stopped with that cyclist on the crossroads and started talking. He said that he is going to Białowieża (which I knew was at the end of Poland) so I assumed I should take a right to get to Hajnówka. After 10km I realised that I confused the roads and I went back in the direction of Białystok. I was afraid that I would not manage to get to Warsaw tomorrow. 

I got to Narew. Coincidence? I don’t think so. When I was entering the village I heard an accordion. There was a wedding there in an Orthodox church. I dreamed about seeing such a thing (I was always interested in the Orthodox Church ceremonies but I only had the possibility to take part in a burial of Valentin Rasputin). But, I didn’t feel like I should interrupt some private ceremony with my presence. I decided to continue. I approached two women on the street and asked them for the directions to Ciechanowiec. They insisted that I stay and see the ceremony. I briefly put on longer clothes and stayed for the wedding. It was very interesting for me, but again, this is a topic for another story…

As I already mentioned, people in eastern Poland are very open. Right after the wedding one woman invited me home. It started raining. A coincidence? I don’t think so. I was to wait until the rain stopped and we had a nice conversation. It came out that she graduated from… Russian philology… She told me a lot of stories about life, customs and coexistence of Catholics and the Christians from the Orthodox Church, the language situation in eastern Poland, the job market and so on. I left Narew about 6 p.m. afraid that I was far from my destination (my undefined destination). But, I was glad I could have a close encounter to the Narew community.


After cycling for the next 3 hours I got to Brańsk. I wanted to continue to Ciechanowiec but it was dark and I was tired (I couldn’t believe I was tired. I spend 1 hour today in the church and 2 more only talking to that nice woman, but yeah, I was exhausted). In Brańsk I badly wanted to go to bed. I stayed in the first hotel I saw on my way – Gościnieć Brański. It was fancy but I felt that I could indulge myself. But to be honest, even though the hotel was comparatively elegant, the relation between the price and quality… leaves a lot to be desired (greetings to Alicja Wira, who taught me this expression). I’m just saying that if you ever go to Brańsk you shouldn’t stop there. All in all, I showered, and I had nice white towels and fresh sheets. I felt like a princess, but it was a pity that I didn’t manage to find a computer again. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Without a computer, I could have gone to bed earlier!