But, there was no time for sightseeing yet - we had to catch a bus to Zakopane. When breakfast is included at a hotel, I definitely take advantage. One new experience was spreading lard on a piece of bread instead of butter. Needed salt.
|It was too brisk to enjoy the hotel patio|
We packed some minimal provisions - rain jackets, 1L of water, my Polish phrase guide, some dried fruit and nuts, and some jerky. Upon arrival, we discovered that public toilets, especially in bus or train stations have a 1 to 2 zl fee to use. I've heard this is a European thing. I had a stack of 0.10 and 0.20 zl coins - I think it was maybe 80 cents total - the attendant didn't even attempt to count it, and let me in. I stuffed a small stack of paper towels into my backpack, and chugged water out of the sink to make up for the cost.
The next stop was the tourist info hut. I wasn't sure what to expect, but we had no idea what to do or where to go. I said we'd like to walk around, and the very helpful attendant freely gave us a tourist map where she traced a route to a mountain trail head, saying it would take about 4 to 5 hours round trip.
Oh, I didn't mention - Zakopane is a mountain ski town!
|On the other side of the snowcapped mountain is Slovakia|
|Picture does not give justice to steepness of the landing zone|
|Lots of selfshots this trip|
|Our trail followed a babbling brook|
|The path up to the lookout spot|
|Polish trail signs - I think there's a rule of having at least 10 letters in names around here. By the time I look down at my map I've already forgotten the trail name I was looking for!|
|Sustenance - tasty, but I would call it ham jerky, not bacon|
|Standing at the precipice - I had a wave of vertigo after I took this picture and had to sit down.|
|Beautiful view of the town|
|A cabin serving soup and beer - still 30 min walk from the town here|
On our way back into the city, we spotted small ski chalets (or whatever you call them here) that I thought had very cool architecture with detailed woodworking, so I started snapping photos. It turned out the style is specific to Zakopane. Man would it be cool to come back for a ski trip!
|The sport of fitness had arrived in Zakopane - Kerry by a Reebok ad (CrossFit humor)|
I gotta say something about the nature of art here. The fact that I was able to see how special the Zakopane architecture appeared, and then finding out that this style is recognized to be important by people who know far more about architecture than myself, says something about how intrinsic the definition of art is to us as humans. We should all be able to look at something and see it's value; it'sno matter of opinion. Opinion lies in whether you enjoy the artist's style or not. You cannot refute the fact that is indeed art. With this argument, I say that there are quite a few exhibits in the Tate Modern in London that are in fact NOT art, and these people throwing their garbage on walls need to get over themselves.
Back to the trip - of course by now we've racked up quite an appetite. But we were unsure how to proceed. It's 4:30, and we have a 2 hour ride ahead of us. So we either get something to tide us over unti we can find a restaurant in Krakow, or we just walk into the most inviting place we can find.
We opted for the latter, and after an entertaining stroll down the main street, Kerry found what we were looking for.
|Meat skewers and foil-wrapped potatoes everywhere|
And did we - nonstop polka played as piles of kielbasa and saurkraut were delivered to tables. For 58 zl, we got the sharing platter.
|Epic Polski meal time|
After the bus dropped us off, we decided to walk back to our hotel to freshen up, where I snapped a few pictures.
|Krakow's fashion mall|
|Wyborowa wodka break in the main square, under heated lamps|
|Miodula honey wodka|
|Rynek Glowny panorama at midnight|