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Week 3 into 4: Zakopane

Updated: Oct 13, 2019

September 29th-30th, 2018


Up at 4:30 am. I blogged for an hour and 15 minutes. Then, I packed the majority of my things. At 6:20 am it was time for an hour run. There were many drunk people out. The first couple I came across:

A young, tipsy lady with weak limbs from the alcohol loosely holding a four pack of beer. Her companion was also zonked but he was able to help her when she dropped the case. It had been slightly opened, thus the cans went rolling on the sidewalk towards the upturned dirt of Ulica (Street) Sławkowska.

I noticed today that the road work on U. Sławkowska is getting underway. There are now red signs on either end of the dug up street.

On Ul. Mały Rynek I gained some running company was joined by a young man who had the brilliant idea to try to run with me. He had set down his bag and bottle and got ready to run, but after three seconds he gave up because I just ran past him and his friend. I’m sure I got a lot of confused/questionable or contemptible looks because I only had a short sleeve and shorts. Towards the beginning of the run I ran past two nuns. It was an interesting juxtaposition for onlookers: a nun fully covered wearing an extra jacket over her heavy robes, and then a foreigner with summer attire. I got back, showered, finished packing and was ready to leave at 7:25, but I had to help my roommate take out the trash. Thus, we got to ticket hall around 7:47 am in stead of 7:45 am.

Found our bus and off we went at 8:20. Two hour ride to Zakopane. My ears were popping on the way there.

I love how much space is in between the houses. America does not appreciate personal living space for its inhabitants. In Poland the area is heavily forested. People do not mow all the grass. It is beautiful both long and short. The taller grass has weeds in it, but when cut short it is a super green.

We got there and had breakfast on API. I got Borscht and a cheesecake. More details later. Then we left for the hotel. It was beautiful. Two of the girls had an Al Capone room which was kind of funny.

The Zakopane bears were very entertaining during brunch. The one guy just did not believe in childhood sacrality and kept taking off his head. The children's faces were priceless as they tried to comprehend what was going on.

After stashing our stuff, we left for the Tatra Mountains. Here is a map of our route to the National park entrance:

I constantly fell behind because of the photography addiction I have suddenly acquired. It took us about 2 hours to get to Siklawica waterfall at the top, and 1 1/2 hours to get down. Best hiking I have ever done!

I ended up taking a lot of people’s pictures. My battery on my camera was close to dead by the time we got back to the hotel. How many pictures do you think I took? About 382.

The mountain pictures are the view from our balcony. We had some down time from 4:00 until 6:30 so I edited photos. And took more Balcony pictures. With a view like that, balcony should be capitalized.

For dinner we went to Karczma "Biały Potok" (White Stream). It was a quaint place made of wooden logs (basically a long cabin). There were wildlife mounts on the walls and a big fire in the fireplace. I ordered Mix Salat z Marynowanymi Polędwiczkami z Kurczaka, a salad with orange fillet sauce. It was good, but I was still hungry because I had them cut out the chicken. Suzanne and Taylor had gotten soups and then a big platter of pierogi with potato, ewe’s cheese, and dried tomatoes. They gave me their last one. The dough was like the dough I described in a previous post but a little firmer. The filling was heavy on potato (very good and rich), probably some margarine, and the ewe’s cheese was very mild. The cheese was slightly salty, a bit creamy, and probably white in color. I did not see it and I barely tasted it.

After that, I was still hungry so Anna and I went on a journey for a grocery store. We found the "Fickle Lady”, or Biedronka, (a grocery store with a ladybug symbol) and I got two rolls of bread and a pack of ten large crackers. The shape of the crackers was like the Wolfgang throw-aways: chocolate layer with a building insignia on top of a cracker. The cracker was hard to break. My roommate Anna calls it "Fickle Lady" because the store is a hit and miss as far as finding what you want. Prices are good though.

Sunday (15˚C)

Woke up around 5:55 to go to church. Sanktuarium Najświętszej Rodziny (Romanesque Revival Church of the Holy Family) was enchanting. It was smaller than St. Mary’s, but it was equally or even more awing. The crucifixion is what got me. The crossbeam was so elegant, but modest and Christ was on high. At the top of the aisle there were beautiful fresco paintings of shepherds and meadow-esque scenes. I loved this church. I said that the Latin one made me comfortable; this one felt like a home. The priest sang so well and acknowledged the people with an earnest look. He was not passive like many priests. The people at the 6:30 service were so sincere in their worship and prayers.The best part was that they had a screen with the lyrics to the hymns they were singing, including a prayer to the archangel Michael. I was overjoyed to finally sing the words and pray with the people and not just hum a tune. Anna and I were sorry to leave and visited this church again later in the day for more pictures.