Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

tatras mountains - Zakopane

Posted by Hippo Bean at 10:16 PM
Didnt know the Tatras in Poland were the highest of the Carpathian mountains. We first made a stop in the pedestrian street in town, lined with souvenir shops and cafes. We took the cable car up the hill but the view was hazy and there wasnt anything much to do up there. Disappointed. Zakopane's weather was rainy as opposed to the heat of Krakow. They said Zakopane was located between 2 mountains and in the rain. We checked in to the Grand Nosalowy Dwor Resort hotel in midday, after a few hours ride from krakow. This hotel was one of the highlights of the trip as it looked very picturesque from the hotel website. however, there was a lot of construction in the area and we were put in the new modern wing which turned out to be the Residency Nosalowy. My room on the 4th floor was big with an awesome view of mountains and a modern bathroom. But I had hoped for a more rustic room in the original hotel. With nothing much to do, I signed up for the tour experience 'treasures of zakopane', which took us to see wooden churches (they call these the ABC tours - another bloody church), the Jaszczurówka Chapel had special stainglass that was painted in the back first. there was a gallery in the basement that contained beautiful intricate stainglass created by students. next we stopped at one of the traditional smoked sheep cheese wooden shepherd's hut. had wanted to buy some but they only came in huge chunks. This cheese was indeed delicious but it's soft and since it's the beginning of the journey, i didnt want to carry that much cheese around for 2 weeks! Lunch was the local perogi, meat, potato and mushroom dumplings, very tasty and a borscht style beats/onion stew, super tasty, with wine and local apple pie in a mountain ranger restaurant. the weather threatened rain, the sky was dark with clouds when we got on horse carriages for a short ride along the trees lined Chocholowska valley. it was cold and they put us 4 in 1 carriage and i was stuck with 2 australian women who did nothing but complained about the rain and cold and an autistic brit. it wasnt a pleasant ride to say the least. normally i enjoy carriage rides but the area was just too touristy and the weather didnt cooperate. another bloody church , and then an interesting cemetery with a sorrowful jesus and wooden statues. famous local skiers were buried here and a famous local writer and his grave was filled with stuffed animals. All and all this optional tour wasnt worth 50 euros.

tonight's dinner was at the restaurant of the Nosalowy Dwór, the third of this hotel chain, just steps away from our resort hotel in a very rustic beautiful wooden building. it was buffet with local cuisine (their local soup was horrible, very fatty) accompanied by local goral highlander folklore music and dance. The food wasnt anything spectacular and the songs and show was boring and terribly long. couldnt wait to get out there and return to the hotel to enjoy the room, the view and the amenities. Got horribly sick and threw up half way back to the hotel. so much for zakopane.

the tatras werent very high and the mountains not very impressive. filled with trees, not my kind of mountains. really had high hopes for the Tatras. quite disappointed.

But in the dead of the night, i woke up and went downstairs and sat in front of the hotel to drink my tea. It was quiet, the air fresh and I felt better. Another memorable travel moment!

Zakopane photos:



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