What a day!
We left our campsite near the town of Dzierżoniów soon after midday, heading for the A4, which would take us, eventually, to Trier where we are looking forward to a few days cycling along the Mosel, and quaffing a bottle or two of the region’s excellent auslese wines.
In the small town of Świdnica, we were stopped at traffic lights when the van ahead started rolling backwards. When the distance between us halved from about 1.5m to about 75cm I sounded my horn with one continuous blast – the van continued rolling backwards. It hit us at probably somewhere between -2 and -5 kph.
There was no noticeable damage to the Fiat Ducato Maxi, but our front numberplate had been torn off, the grill damaged, and the radar torn from its mounting in the grill.
The driver of the Ducato came out of his vehicle ranting at Clare who he must have thought was the driver of Amarillo. Not being able to communicate with one another, I dialled the only Polish number I know, 112, and got straight through to the police. I was able to give our location by spelling street names.
The police arrived but knew no English, and after a long wait, during which time a police photographer came to take pictures, and I had been breathalisef, we were beckoned to follow the police to the police station.
We were greeted by a young policeman who spoke English with a Scottish accent. He explained that the Ducato driver was saying that we had driven into the back of him, but that CCTV evidence from a nearby nursery suggested that he had backed into us.
We spent the next two hours at the police station giving out statements, translated into Polish, with no Scottish version alongside, so we have no idea what they might say, but are assured that they are not a confession to a brutal murder or similar heinous crime.
Eventually, released from the police station, we went to the nearby VW service centre where they fixed the number plate for free, but could do nothing about the grill or radar until 22 August at the earliest.
We have now found overnight accommodation in the Ibis hotel Walbrzych. En-route we discovered, unsurprisingly, that the cruise control is completely non-functioning. I’ll miss it on the long drive home to the UK, but at least we will have four weeks to get it fixed before we set off again.
Walbrzych is an old mining town, now being rebranded as a tourist attraction. I had an interesting walk with the dogs around the disused workings while thunder was rumbling in the background.