Category: Central Europe 2006

Bicycling through Central Europe: Prague

Hello friends

I picked a bag of fruit from the trees at my campsite north of Budapest, and rode into the city at midday.   The temperature was in the mid 80’s, the hottest it had been.  I promptly got lost in the bustling traffic.   It really is a problem entering a strange big city on a bike.  No matter how you prep with Lonely Planet, it’s not easy.  One, you don’t arrive at a bus or train station.  2, you are peddling, and you can’t read your maps.  3 you simply may be tired.   So I took the first good room I could get, and then began checking out the city. Read More…

Bicycling through Central Europe: Budapest

From Budapest, 7-31-06  (I am struggling with this ’Magyar’ Hungarian keyboard)

I just rode from Krakow Poland to Budapest in about 3 and 1/2 days.  Less than 500 kilometers, but I had to cross the Carpathian mountains.  As much as I enjoyed Krakow, I disliked riding on their bicycle unfriendly streets.  All too many times I would be riding on a rough bike path to find it abruptly end, only to begin a few blocks later.  I would be forced either to walk my bike, or swerve out into heavy traffic without any shoulder.  I am not comfortable with that.

I did purchase the necessary shifter part for my bike in Krakow, so I could manage without major handicaps.

Many parts of Poland appear to be opting for the US model of suburbanization.  I see some new homes popping up in rural agricultural usage lands.  I do not see this happening in Czech Republic, Slovakia, or Hungary.  In  the latter 3 countries, the governments have specific policies to preserve farm land.  Sprawl is out.  They have made important longterm decisions about how the land should be used.  These land usage decisions will have major consequences in a post peak-oil world. Read More…

Bicycling through Central Europe: Poland #2

Hello from Dwight in Krakow, Poland

In 1939, Poland had about 3,350,000 Jews.  At the end of 1945, Poland had 10,000 Jews.  Over 99.6% were exterminated.  No other country in captured Europe comes close to this proportion of genocide during WWII.  When some of Poland’s returning Jews tried to occupy their ancestral homes after 1945, they were promptly murdered by Poles.  There has long been documented accusations of Polish complicity in the identifying and rounding up of their Jews.   I have read accounts that the Poles were very reluctant to give shelter to hiding Jews.  I have had a few discussions with my Polish students over this topic.  Generally, they have stated that conditions under Nazi rule in Poland were absolutely brutal for everyone.  There was not much one to do.

Poland’s historical curse has been its being located between Germany and Russia.  All too often, they were the battlefield and the spoils of war between the two combatants.  Poland first existed as a country in 1919, AFTER they defeated a Russian army of over 1 million.   The Polish phrase ‘harvdt ducha’ describes Poland’s resistance to external domination.  “Silent Resolve”.

So what happened? Read More…

Bicycling through Central Europe: Poland #1

1.  Another victim of the ‘War on Terror’ —  I waited 60 hours in Prague for my bicycle to arrive.  While waiting, I toured the city mostly by foot.  Just as I have heard, the city is beautiful, well-preserved, clean, and with well-educated civil people.  Czech airlines had previously told me that they thought my bike ‘might be stolen’.  So I had to resort to ‘plan B’, travel by train.

And just as I was checking out of the hostel, by bike arrives.  I can see from the luggage that it is damaged.  As I examine it, I see that the bike containers have been opened, taken apart, and dumped back in.  In repacking them, they exposed the internal rear hub of the bike, and it was broken in transit.  Also, a small bottle of bicycle lubricant is missing.  That may have triggered the TSA alarm. Read More…

The Wild Years

Dwight Worker The Wild Years A series of autobiographical stories about Dwight Worker’s life, running from the law…before Lecumberri. THE WILD YEARS is available in paperback and ebook.

Escape from Lecumberri

Dwight Worker Escape from Lecumberri Only two people ever escaped from the infamous Lecumberri Prison in Mexico City: Pancho Villa and Dwight Worker. This is the true story of Dwight Worker’s amazing escape. ESCAPE FROM LECUMBERRI is available in paperback or Kindle.

About the Author

Dwight Worker is an American professor, activist, adventurer, and fugitive. He escaped from the Mexican penitentiary Palacio de Lecumberri in 1975 along with the book and movie Escape about the story

Throughout his life he participated in civil rights, anti-war, and environmental movements. In 1991, Dwight volunteered to serve in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Worker is a former professor at Indiana University, where he created the Information Security program for the Kelley School of Business before retiring in 2008 to farm, write, and travel.….READ MORE