If you asked me how I liked Zakopane I would say I’m ambiguous. On the one hand it’s really a beautiful place. The perfect winter wonderland. The picturesque wooden houses covered in tons of snow everywhere. It can really look like a scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. On the other hand there are at least three mayor annoyances.
First: People everywhere. Accompanied by the obligatory shops selling the same stuff (cheeses and hats) everywhere. When we took the rack railway to a mountain top one day, there were uncountable tiny shops at the bottom of the railway and we expected some mountain calmness on the top. But it was quite worse there. The same shops just kilometers of them. Even when there weren’t any people anymore due to heavy snowfalls the shops continued and ruined the mountain atmosphere.
Second: We came by train and we had no car with us. So we did a lot of road by foot. Which wouldn’t have been annoying at all, if there had been a place for pedestrians. But there wasn’t. The footpaths were covered in 50 cm of trampled grey and muddy wet snow with icy bumps underneath it and every simple trip to the supermarket meant one kilometer of an exhausting and quite dangerous walk next to a street with heavy, stinky traffic.
Third: (that’s the one I understand, but I didn’t know before) You can’t enter the national park with a dog because of the wildlife.
We found some places for very good walks anyway, but I won’t go there again. At least not in winter and with the dog.
On our first day we walked along the National Park border. A beautiful and calm walk with great views. Just what you expect from your winter holidays. And making the long train ride worth every hurting leg.
Originally I wanted to take a big walk with my Cousin Franzi but she and her family were ill and so I took her dog Kia with me to the hills. Pavlov and Kia know each other but they are not very interested in each other. Kia is an elder lady and sometimes I looked around and asked myself where she is, only to notice, that she is right next to me. Which would very rarely happen with Pavlov who is always some 50-100 meters away, sniffing, hunting and looking for sticks.
There was still a little bit of snow when I arrived at my Moms and we had a very cold walk that day. I saw the sheep already the night before and the shepherd didn’t like Pavlov a lot. But cows, horses, sheep, goats – Pavlov would never approach the sheep because since he was “attacked” by an electric fence once, he is afraid of every gras eating animal. Pobrecito!
We had our best friends over to pick mushrooms last October. Unfortunately the weather was bone dry for two weeks in advance and our harvest wasn’t as good as three weeks in advance. But anyway: Good food, good friends and lots of laughter. Those days that will stay in mind.
We had friends over and took a hike over Dammwiesen to Stienitzsee. The weather was quite unstable and we had to take a big stop at the ice cream parlour in Hennigsdorf, which is great for the food – yes, there’s not only ice cream – but you really have to close your eyes for the interior from hell.
And if you ever want to see cute donkeys, take a stop at Mühle Lemke. There is also a great shop for organic food for humans and all sorts of animals. Most of Pavlov’s food comes from there.
Autumn is coming and the glorious glows already show up regularly. We have a very, very good mushroom season this year, and sometimes we don’t even know what to do with our harvests. Luckily we have a drying machine. And no, we don’t eat the mushrooms in the pictures, except of the parasols.
We had the best four days with our dear friends Nicky and John from England and I still can’t believe that GB is not EU anymore. But the world is turning and this time it seams to turn back and forth like crazy. I don’t know if I will ever feel prepared for sh.. like that.
But with a short retreat on the countryside one can imagine, that the world and its mannerisms are far away – even if they aren’t – and just have a relaxed time in the woods.
We went to Rutenberg near Lychen and had a tour around Re:Hof which is a wonderful place to have a gathering in private or for work. I don’t need to explain more if you just have a closer look at the pictures.
After finishing the tour I went out for a walk with Pavlov and stumbled across a really cute boletus by the wayside. My curiosity was aroused and I found a lot of other edible mushrooms but didn’t have a bag with me. Unfortunately it started raining like hell, and I was happy to not have taken the longer path as planned.