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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.

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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.

Krupówki Street

Krupówki Street

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.

Happily there were no disturbances

Happily there were no disturbances

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.

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Kasprowy Wierch is part of the Tatra Mountains, in the Tatra National Park

Kasprowy Wierch is part of the Tatra Mountains, in the Tatra National Park

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.

Altitude 1987m. The highest peak in the Tatras is 2655m

Altitude 1987m. The highest peak in the Tatras is 2655m

Two  main ski runs (serviced by two lifts) leave from Kasprowy Wierch. Both are designated black so it's not a place for the faint hearted - e.g. me!

Two main ski runs (serviced by two lifts) leave from Mt Kasprowy. Both are designated black so it’s not a place for the faint hearted – e.g. me!

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The Tatras span Poland and Slovakia and this ridge marks the border. There was a border control post up here during the early '60s

The Tatras span Poland and Slovakia and this ridge marks the border. There was a border control post up here during the early ’60s

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Cable car terminal and above it the highest building in Poland, a meteorological observatory

Cable car terminal and above it the highest building in Poland, a meteorological observatory

Two pairs of brides and grooms were up having photoshoots -  though for the sake of their guests I hope it wasn't actually their wedding day

Two pairs of brides and grooms were up having photoshoots – though for the sake of their guests I hope it wasn’t actually their wedding day

Walking trails go off in just about every direction

Walking trails go off in just about every direction

Me on the border

Me on the border

Now I'm in Slovakia!

Now I’m in Slovakia!

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

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Apologies Hayley. I am SO behind with your posts as I’ve had a very busy summer and haven’t had time to read any blogs for weeks. Poland! Wow you really do get around! Wonderful pictures and I’m intrigued by the buffet that you pay for by weight- jolly good thing that I didn’t discover that on my visit – poor Pete would have been bankrupted!

    11 September 2015
    • No worries Lottie! In terms of getting around, can’t believe it’s been a year now since Mike and I went to China. How the heck did that happen?! Hope a very busy summer also means a very good one for you.

      12 September 2015
  2. Great pic of you standing there. You look really healthy- from all that walking maybe? Just joking. But gee you were so brave to get on that cable car. I could not have done that at all. You’re really getting in lots of sight seeing and it seems that where you go there are lots of tourists. Poland is surely a pretty country.

    11 September 2015
    • Thank you! 🙂 I have in fact been feeling a bit off the last day or so with a mild tummy upset so I hope it goes away soon.The cable car was ok, I didn’t get the shooting pangs in my legs that I usually do when confronted with big heights. You’re right about tourists, now that I’ve left Krakow it will be interesting how busy other places are.

      12 September 2015
      • Gee, I hope you are now feeling better. Probably. got some sort of bad bacteria from food that you ate.

        12 September 2015

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