A mountainous day
Poland Day 7. Today I went south for the night to grab a short visit in Poland’s winter capital and see some mountains.
With my bus not leaving until after midday the morning was spent sorting photos and determining the packing impact of all the little bits and pieces I’d been acquiring (gulp). When I got to the station I received an email – which was handy as the surly woman on the info counter had no idea – advising the service was running late. More time for photo editing! Eventually the PolskiBus arrived, a modern double-decker with wifi and seatbelts. It was a comfy and enjoyable two hours through green countryside.
It was a nice day on arrival and I trudged off in search of my hotel (initially in a big circle until i worked out what the map app was doing its best to tell me). I’d forgotten that I was staying just off the main street – a pedestrian zone, excepting the odd service vehicle and Zakopane’s version of horse and cart rides.
Zakopane is a ski resort but is popular year-round due to the walking trails on offer. I’m supposedly visiting at a quieter time of year but lordy I’m not sure I’d want to be here when it’s proper busy. I walked back and forth trying to work out where the hotel was before clicking I had to loop around the back – and there it was, next to the ‘gentlemen’s club’ as comments online had promised.
It was already 3pm but since it was a nice day and the forecast for tomorrow wasn’t as good, I headed back out for the main activity planned, the Mt Kasprowy cable car. Walking to the cable car station takes the best part of an hour, I didn’t have much time to dilly dally but I didn’t want to muck around looking for taxis either so I set off in basically a straight line from town. Finally I came across a taxi rank about half way along so I got a lift the rest of the way.
One brilliant thing about that time of day is no queues. I bought my return ticket straight away and the car had just arrived back from the top so my timing was perfect. It’s a two-stage ascent and took about 10 minutes.
I hadn’t had lunch so I dived into the cafeteria for one of the staple offerings over here, a hot buffet that you pay for by weight. Then I set off exploring. It was cold but not such that I had to fish out hat and gloves.
I stayed up for the allotted 1 hour 40 minutes (for those wanting a return ride) – with more hours left in the day I would have contemplated the two hour hike back down to the cable car station. Instead I just walked back to town from the bottom. Given the earlier meal, dinner was peaches and Nutella sachets back in my room with a Formula One replay in the background – complete with Polish commentary.
Distance walked: 12.90km