Hello Zakopane, hello rain
Poland Day 8. I’d seen the mountains, now I had to see a bit of Zakopane itself. I would’ve seen more if I wasn’t such a twit.
Given breakfast service didn’t start until 8am I had the feeling that things may not get underway especially early in this town. I checked out mid-morning, leaving my gear there until it was time to get to the station for my mid-afternoon bus.
Though dry underfoot, clouds were hanging low over the peaks and it was a grey sort of day so I was hugely glad for yesterday’s decision to do the cable car. I set off on my walking tour thinking I was going in one direction, it was in fact another but led me somewhere I wouldn’t have otherwise known about.
I walked a big meandering loop (not deliberately; something about that town just made me get lost!). What I saw of Zakopane residential areas pointed toward big villas; 3, 4 and sometimes 5 stories high. Many had a very weather-worn look about them often in overgrown sections. It feels like somewhere nature would take over in a flash if you let it.
I returned to busy old Krupówki St.
At the bottom of the street there’s an underpass that leads you to Gubalowka St where a small city of market stalls stretches all the way up. At the top you can choose to go further: Gubalowka Hill is a great lookout point over the town. The quickest way up is by funicular but owing to the queue I thought I would just keep on walking.
My information reference said it was a strenuous walk and they weren’t wrong. After about 20 minutes I reached a clearing and thought that was plenty far enough. Probably just as well.
The rain started when I was back in ‘stall city’. I don’t mind a bit of wet stuff but in my haste to get going, even though I knew the forecast was iffy, I left jacket and umbrella behind. Idiot.
My plan wasn’t cunning enough because the rain continued to come down with a purpose. Once lunch was finished I stood under the eaves for about 20 minutes before the rain lightened a smidge, then I bit the bullet. The main street has no pedestrian shelter which didn’t help matters. Looking bedraggled, I arrived back at the hotel to get the appropriate gear for my final walkabout.
I left for the bus station not having seen as much of Zakopane as I’d hoped, including the ‘most famous cemetery in Poland’. Rats.
Back in Kraków I found my hotel for the next two nights, an apartment spacious enough to swing a great many cats. One more full day here before starting my journey north.
Distance walked: 13.83km