Zakopane 2008

Zakopane Travel Blog

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The day began at around 8am when we took the coach from Czestochowa to Zakopane, this took about five hours because of the traffic but hey, we got there in the end!  We didn't have any accommodation booked so on arrival in Zakopane but had heard that there are private rooms available for rent at between 40 to 50 PLN per night.  As soon as we stepped off the coach we were swamped by hoards of locals who had spare rooms available at reasonably cheap rates.  We went for a little old lady, who gave us a room for about £12 (pppn) which you can't argue with.  This was a double room, containing a double sofa bed, and had the availability of refreshments (she gave us a kettle - couldn't find the tea, coffee, milk, sugar etc).

  For anyone on a budget, I'd definately recommend this type of accommodation and in a way I felt better giving away my Zlotys to a local.  Next time, I'd stay in the same place.  After dropping off our gear (which consisted of a ruck-sack!), we made a short bus journey (about 10 minutes) into the mountain range (the Tatras).

Ok so you're probably thinking I never walked all the way up that mountain?  You're right, we took the cable car instead.  I made the mistake of downing several Okocims and kielbasa sausages on arrival in Zakopane, and the alcohol gave me the determination needed to climb into the cable car, therefore, effectively, climbing up the mountain.  However, with the amount of time it took to reach the top, and realising how high up we were, I was forever grateful for the invention of the cable car!

It wasn't as cold as it looked from the bottom, I felt fine in my shorts and beloved Wanderers replica shirt.

  It was only the beginning of June and the weather was fantastic.  The summers of Polska are far better than the ones we get over here in the UK.  Of course it was a bit cloudy but coats and jackets weren't needed.

And so began the descent.  Our descent took four hours (plus an extra hour for the Black Lake), but it was a trek well worth it.    There were a few scary moments but I've only got myself to blame, I mean, who treks down a mountain partially covered in snow in trainers?!  I only slipped a couple of times!  Thirty minutes into the descent we got to the spring, it was such a great feeling being able to drink this water, so fresh, of course, we filled up our bottles!  I was constantly amazed at the wildlife on the way down, a blue slug (can anyone explain why it was blue?!), a few deer, lots and lots of flowers!  Apparently, there are bears up there too so be careful (although I didn't see any).

  The hilghlight was halfway down on seeing a sign for the Black Lake, apparently thirty minutes away.  When you get to this point you might be thinking no way, let's juts get back home but you're missing out big time.  The black lake is, or was at that time, a tranquill area, a clear lake surrounded by the mountain-sides.  As it was the beginning of the holiday season, the number of other tourists in the area wasn't all that that much.  As we arrived at the bottom, we realised that we'd missed the last bus back into town (I think they stop running at about 8pm, but may run for a bit longer in the high season).  So we were face with yet another trek back in to town!

We didn't bother going back to our room becasue it was quite late anyway.

  Instead we headed straight for the main street, Ul Krupowki, full of shops, pubs and restaurants.  We ate at Karczma Zbojecka which is located in the basement of a building.  Zbojecka offers local food and cuisine, and on tis particular night had a band playing traditional folk music.  There is a place accross from Zbojecka, can't remember the name of it but it looked better!

Our second day in Zakopane we just spent walking up an down Ul Krupowki picking up souveniers for friends and family back home.  All the souvenier shops sell the same sort of stuff and I found that they all offered different prices.  For example, a pair of sheepskin slippers cost 25 PLN at the bottom of Ul Krupowki but in a different shop at the top, the same slippers cost 35 PLN!  Therefore, if you have the time, shop around, you may get a bargain!  Don't be afraid of asking for discount, we got a good deal on some stuff (I really hope my mum isn't reading this!!!).


Aquedita says:
You have no idea how much I love the mountains. And, of course, I love your photos as well ;)
Posted on: Oct 10, 2008
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photo by: kamja