Climbing into the Clouds

Zakopane Travel Blog

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Lousie, Guy and Si on our way to the top of the Tatras...
After arrival and thoughts of Auschwitz behind us, we wandered out of the Bus station in Zakopane, not for the first time having less chance of finding our hostel than Burnley had of knocking Chelsea out the FA Cup at the Bridge. What can I say - miracles do happen... Our plan was to blag it once we got here, again using my phone's internet to look up the directions to the hostel. My battery was very low this time and we just about managed to jot down the name of the hostel, and the road it was on, before the power cut out. We dived into a taxi and somewhere between 25 - 30 seconds later, we were there.
The peak!

The log cabin hostel was set with the Tatra mountains behind it. Our lovely host, Kasha, ushered us through to the reception room where a grand piano dominated the room, comlpimented by a Singer sewing machine in the far corner. After settling in we hit a local bar with Ozzie's Josh and Lindsey (whom we'd later travel to Prague with, but that's another story...), Rochelle, and young siblings Louise and Guy. Josh and Lindsay had been here for a few days already so Si and I coaxed Louise and Guy into joining us in heading up the Tatras, hopefully to see the 'Eye of the Sea', aka Morskie Oko, a beautiful lake surrounded by waterfalls and mountains. This, I was really up for. Unfortunately though when morning came and we rang through to the TIC from the hostel, it turns out they had shut the road leading to the lake the previous day for 2 weeks to refurbish the roads in the area.
Above the clouds...
There was another way round but it would have meant trekking for 8 hours to get there, staying over in a log cabin, then trekking back the next day, which time simply did not permit us to do.

I still wanted my outdoor fix and so pursuaded Si and the Ozzies to hike to the peak, a three hour walk climaxing in beautiful views, provided there's no cloud cover that is. The long hard climb was still wirth it, even if we could only see other nearby peaks emerging from the cloud around them. After some soup and a cup of tea in the restaurant at in the cable car station, we strolled a bit further round from the peak to the Slovakian boarder where we each took turns in standing half in Poland and half in Slovakia before taking the easy way down.

Shattered after that we all fancied another sauna and so were pointed in the direction of 'Aqualand' by the our kind hosts.
One foot on Poland, the other on Slovakia!
Frankly I would have experienced more heat standing naked at the top of mountain than i did in the Sauna at Aquaworld, but the steam room was more than adequate for a good sweat. The pool there had flumes and jacuzzi baths dotted around, like some kind of Polish 'centre parcs' which we took full advantage of before heading back to the hostel and grabbing some food in a nearby restaurant.

Upon departure the following day I had realised I'd lost my jacket. Fortunately 'Aquaworld' had it, I'd left it in the changing rooms in my excitement to sweat with a gerbil. Unsurpisingly it's not the only thing I've lost thus far on this trip. I left my comfy shoes and iPod charger in Estonia (subsequently significantly boosting their economy), and my towel is somewhere between Latvia and Lithuania. I'm pretty sure that's it so far, though every time i pack my back (despite picking up souvenirs and gifts in each country) it's getting easier and easier to zip shut...
JeAr says:
LOL u are so random! 'complemented by a Singer sewing machine in the far corner' LOL :P

i think i lost 3 items during my trip, too... i also 'lost' lots of money on bars drinking to my heart's content :D

so, did u/will u add slovakia to your 'countries i've been to' list? :P
Posted on: Nov 18, 2008
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Lousie, Guy and Si on our way to t…
Lousie, Guy and Si on our way to …
The peak!
The peak!
Above the clouds...
Above the clouds...
One foot on Poland, the other on S…
One foot on Poland, the other on …
photo by: kamja