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Zakopane, and a trip through the neighbourhood


Home -> Europe -> Poland -> Travelogue Poland -> 21 June 2003

Saturday 21 June, Zakopane, and a trip through the neighbourhood

The day starts with rain, but it is not really cold. We would like to take the skilift to a higher mountain from Zakopane, but it will be very cold there, now, so we decide to first drive around a bit and come back this afternoon. Hopefully it is warmer by then. Teije is stupefied by the changes in the village. He was here twice, in 1983 and in 1986. Then it was a touristic, but small village. Now it is a very large, extensive town with lots of new houses, hotels and pensions.
Tatra mountains, PolandWe first drive to the west, to the border and then to the town Nowy Targ, more to the northeast. This region is just north of the Tatra and the landscape is quite hilly, about 500 to 800 meters above sealevel.
In Nowy Targ we take a stroll on the marketplace. Several squares and streets are covered with market stalls. For parking on the parking lot we have to pay again, naturally. It is quite remarkable that there is almost no place where you can park your car for free. The Poles have really learned this well from their capitalistic brothers in the west. But here it seems if private companies cash in the money, not the local government.
The temperature has become very nice in the meantime and we continue our way to the east, also through the woodlands of the Pieniny national park. We see beautiful places and hamlets on our trip on these small roads. Many are just oneway and stop just before the Slovakian border.
Castle NiedzicaNear Niedzica we climb 303 stairs (yesterday more than 800 downwards, so we have some catching up to do going upwards) to a 14th century castle. The granddaughter of the last Inca king, princess Umina Atahualpa, married the owner in the 17th century. In 1946 a bundle of belts was found with knots in it, as the Inca's used in their 'written' language. This bundle was probably lost when the Russian army burned all the inventory of the place, but rumours say this was a testament with data about the hidingplace of the famous Inca treasures.
Then we drive in the direction of the Slovakian border and we find out that not all roads into Slovakia are used as border crossings. Sometimes there is a road with a gate that cannot be crossed, because there is no personnel. At the village of Lysa Polana there is a border that can be crossed but also a line with a length of 3 or more kilometers. That's exactly the place where we want to cross the border tomorrow. Hopefully they work late, today.
Tatra mountainsFrom this side we have a beautiful view on the Tatra mountainrange, although the highest mountaintops (up to 2499 meter) are hiding in the clouds.

The weather changes quickly a few times and we decide to skip the ski lift from Zakopane. It could be freezing up there.
Living statue House at ZakopaneInstead, we take some time to walk through Zakopane. The main shopping street reminds us a lot of the Ramblas in Barcelona, they even have human statues here. And lots of nice wooden houses, of course.
House at Zakopane A delicious waferWe have some soup and after another long walk through the town, Elisabeth takes a large wafer with lots of whipped cream and chocolate sauce on it. Delicious, as you can see.
Our motel at Zakopane, PolandIt is very busy in Zakopane, even though the Poles don't have their summer holiday, yet. Here is also a big market and we are told it is open every day, probably because of the many tourists. The economy is flourishing here and we take some time to spend our last Zlotys. Meanwhile the temperature has dropped quite quickly and we return to our motelroom early, to prepare for our trip into Slovakia.

 


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