I ♥ Polska – Zakopane

That will probably be the last post about Poland for a little bit.

A year ago I’ve decided to be a pain in the ass for my dad and join him in the car journey from England to Poland. 982 miles and 19 hours later and I was able to admire beautiful Polish landscape next to the highway… Not as if it was any different from English, Dutch or German landscape… basically looked the same… but it was Poland!!!

Finally: gherkin soup, Krupnik – the most disgusting vodka in the world, friends, familiar toilet seats, my crazy cousins, my never-stop talking grandma, lake in the middle of the town, empty street and soulless bars – yes ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about my hometown – Mogilno.

The very next day, probably still on a alcohol (all those Malibu and milk cocktails mniam mniam), after eating 2 portions of huge schnitzels, potatoes and other Polish delicatessens, I headed off with my partner in crime, Maciek to Zakopane… without a map or satellite navigation.

Zakopane welcomed us with the shit loads of rain. But it didn’t stop us from conquering Gubalowka – the easiest mountain to climb on Earth. Since we didn’t want to pay 18 zloty (around £4) for cable car to the top of the mountain, we have decided to climb it. Unfortunately for us we only had trainers so we had to go back to the flat to get out climbing shoes. We walked 4km and we were already dead. We had to get a bus back and we managed to get to the top. Maciek was out of breath couple of times and I thought that I will have to use my knowledge of first aid. At the top we looked at each other and decided to go back with the cable car and pay 12 zloty. What an idiots we are!!! Anyway, at least we did some “serious” climbing.

Koscielsika Valley was our destination the next day. We have decided to visit Mrozna Cave as well. After 20 minutes climbing up the rocks we finally reached the entrance, where we were greeted by two lovely National Park workers. The route through the cave is 510 metres long. It took us around 30-40 minutes to walk to another end. It’s quite a pleasant walk but I suffer a little bit from claustrophobia and some parts I actually had to crawl. Of course I had to bang my head on the rock, I lost my balance, my head was spinning but hey, fun times…

We were also advised to see the Krakow Ravine, also called Dragon’s Den. The path was extremely rocky but the view was worth the pain in our feet. The 5.5km walk took us to the gorgeus Ornak youth hostel. We topped up our energy level with some soda drinks and chocolate biscuits and head back to the parking, that took us around 50 minutes.

Waking up at 5am is no fun for anyone. Well not if you are about to go and see the most beautiful and magical place in Poland – Morskie Oko. The walk itself is around 2.5h long. Again we have done it in 1.5h. It’s really enjoyable – fresh air, mountain views, forests, rivers, school trips ;). We were really lucky with the weather as well. By the way if you skateboard, I would recommend to sneak the board in and just skateboard the whole way. I was speechless when we finally arrived at Morskie Oko (Eye of the Sea). I couldn’t take my eyes of it.

We climbed up to Czarny Staw (Black Lake below Mount Rysy). We didn’t expect the snow to still be there, especially when we were wearing trainers. I ended up having half of my leg inside the snow, but it was all fun. I couldn’t resist and I had to drink the water from the lake. Purity ahhaha!

To summarise:

  • If you ever going to visit Zakopane, which is by the way the most beautiful spot in Poland, you should definitely visit “Czarny Staw” restaurant on Krupowki street. They have the best potato cakes I’ve ever eaten. Served with sour cream and sugar it’s just a heaven for a mouth.
  • Zakopane is a lovely little town surrounded by the Tatra mountains. It has lots of traditional wooden houses, food and of course the dialect adds to the magic of this place.
  • The town is the winter capitol of Poland and we had to see The Great Krokiew, a ski jumping venue… It’s worth seeing it, if it’s not for the sport, then it has to be for the view.
  • Koscieliska Valley is a must see place near Zakopane. Its gorgeous views are filled with breathtaking mountains, forests, rivers etc. Simply just nature and fresh air.
  • Morskie Oko is located close to the border with Slovakia.

Onward and upward,

Tsaritsa Katarzyna

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