What does the region of Lower Silesia (Dolny Slask) and the Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) have in common? It is the territory of the Barycz Valley Landscape Park, where one of the largest complexes of fishponds in Europe is located, and thus one of the most important sanctuaries for water and mud birds. We have decided to check whether the Barycz Valley by motorcycle is as attractive as we have heard, and by the way we have visited American Cars Mania.
By road 380 towards Twardogóra
We started from Wrocław at the early morning, heading the road to Oleśnica. Then we turned off from the S8 route to the road 380, leading towards Twardogóra. Our unplanned stops are slowly becoming a tradition, this time we were stopped by the church in Grabowo Wielkie. Maybe it is not very old church, because it was built in the middle of the 19th century in the place of an former wooden church from the 16th century, which burned down during a fire in 1850, but it charmed with its dignified simplicity. In the past, it used to be Evangelical, which was indicated by its façade, today it is Roman-Catholic.
Carp and his friends
After a short stop, we continued along the road through the village of Goszcz, which we will certainly visit in future, as we wanna see the von Reichenbach’s Palace. At last we reached the true area of small furniture companies – Twardogóra. In Twardogóra we met Mr. Carp, who, as it turned out, has his 30 colleagues scattered all over the Barycz Valley as part of the initiative called the “Colourful Carp Trail”. We did not have a chance to say hello to everyone, but we managed to visit some of them. Carp from Twardogóra lives right next to the half-timbered church of the Holy Trinity in an adjoined recreational area. He has an excellent company there – monument of Hercules, who one day traveled from Goszcz to Twardogóra. He owes his journey to the students of the boarding school, who one night decided to move Hercules. Probably they conspired with Mr. Carp.
The Barycz Valley, a motorcycle trip through the land of birds
Right outside the village of Wielgie Milickie the first ponds begin, and belive us that it was worthwhile to get a few kilometers bothered. A beautiful view of the waters surrounding the road from both sides will make an impression on everyone. We do not know whether this is a picturesque combination of clean water with greenery at the shores, a multitude of fauna that can be seen and heard at every step, or something completely different. But in this place, where you have the impression that time is no longer important, there is something really magical.
When you are in the Barycz Valley, try drive throught the dyke connecting Nowe Grodzisko with Stawno or at least cross the dyke. We had little doubts whether the ban on entry of cars also applies to motorcycles, but there was no barrier at the entrance. The condition of the road surface leaves much to be desired, but believe us, the wonderful views and contact with nature fully compensate for this.
The town of carp – Milicz
Still impressed by the wonderful views we arrived to Milicz. This town, which remembers times of Boleslaw III Wrymouth, has a lot of attractions to offer us (here were also friends of Mr Karp). The first and the most important, and for sure the most tasty, was coffee and delicious cake in the Family Confectionery located next to the church of St. Andrea Bobola, one amongst six so-called churches of grace. We recommend the confectionery and warn you that you can get salivation.
There we met also Tomek from Jarocin on his GS, who came for a small “something” to the mentioned confectionery and was so helpful, that he served as a guide to more hidden corners of Milicz, like a classical palace from the end of 18th century, surrounded with beautiful gardens. At the end we had a suprise – a convention of vehicles with origins reaching from overseas – American Cars Mania, which has been taking place for several years, but for this event we reserved a separate post, which you can find here.
The Hatzfeld’s Palace – Swedish assault base
The next destination of our expedition was Żmigród. This section of the route will definitely appeal to all motorcycle fans. You will find there both beautiful, freshly asphalted, long straights roads in the midst of beautiful forests, encouraging to unscrew the handgrip and check what our machine can do, as well as a series of good corners, maybe not as sharp as in the mountains, but well-shaped enough that even a beginner of two wheels will not have much trouble with dynamic exercises in countersteering.
At the very entrance to the city, you should stop by the beautifully restored and secured ruins of the baroque palace and gothic residential tower, which you can enter and admire the surrounding views. The castle was built in the 14th century on the left side of the Barycz River. Over the centuries it belonged to three families: Kurzbach’s, Schaffgotsch’s and Hatzfeldt’s. In 1560, the Kurzbach family added a four-storey defensive residential tower. In 1642 the castle was taken over by the Swedish commander Torstenson. It was then strengthened and the residential tower was increased by one storey. It served the Swedes for 8 years as a fortress and base for attacks on Silesia Region.
The Baroque palace, whose ruins we can see today, was built after the abolition of fortifications at the beginning of the 18th century. It’s surrounded by a beautiful, well-kept park with orangery, guarded by a friend of Carp. On the lower floor of the palace there is the Park Restaurant, which tempted us with its charming surroundings, but unfortunately we do not recommend meals. Dice broth and dumplings flooded with a fat effectively discouraged us from eating it.
We finished our trip at this moment, heading for Wrocław at last stage, but maybe one of you would like to extend it by Wołów, Trzebnica or Lubiąż, it is also worth to visit the very centre of Żmigród. What do you think? We liked the Barycz Valley by motorcycle. Peace, quiet, beautiful landscapes. What more do you need?