Poland Day Five. Hiking In The Beautiful Tatra National Park

Poland Day Five. Hiking In The Beautiful Tatra National Park

Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -23
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I awoke early the next day, and, looking out my window to check the weather  I saw  that there were a number of deer in the fields outside of the hotel.  I watched them graze on the newly sprouting grass  and noticed they were also  feeding on the many  wild crocuses that were scattered, wilted from the cold and snow, across the fields. Poland Day five Kalatowki wildlife morning-1

I also noticed most of the fog and clouds  were gone.  I dressed and headed outside where I was able to see the snow covered summit of Kasprowy Wierch in the distance. Poland Day five Kalatowki -1

I decided to walk down the cobblestone road I was driven up the day before  to get to the hotel. It would lead me  back to the small town of Kuznice. The sun broke through the clouds and made for a pleasant walk, despite the cold,  near freezing,  temperatures. Poland Day five Kalatowki -6

Snow covered the road at the beginning of my hike but gradually disappeared as the road wound it’s way down to lower elevations. Poland Day five Kalatowki -17

The road is actually one  of the many hiking trails  in  the mountains and, even at this early hour,  I passed a few hikers and skiers making there way up to the many trails in the national park. Poland Day five Kalatowki -3

As I made my way to the lower elevations near the town of Kuznice I began to notice a number of  unfamiliar but beautiful flowers. These flowers, strange to me,  were quite common, growing everywhere along the roadside. Poland Day five Kalatowki wildlife slowers-1

I love finding new species of plants, trees and flowers on my travels and found a few on this hike, such as this delicate and pretty one,Poland Day five Kalatowki wildlife slowers-2

and so many more. Here is a link to some more photographs of the flowers I found on my morning walk. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Five-Kalatowki-morning-hike-flowers-April-12-2017Poland Day five Kalatowki wildlife slowers-8

I walked the cobblestone road to the small village of Kuznice.  The town is an entrance to Tatra National ParkPoland Day five Kalatowki -24

and is the location of the famous cable car that ascends the  6500 foot summit of Mount Kasprowy, a distance of about 2 1/2 miles on the cable car. I now regret not taking the trip to the top but time didn’t allow it on this trip. I hope to return and further explore these moiuntains. Poland Day five Kalatowki -21

I began my walk back to the hotel and now  realized how steep the road was. It sure was a lot easier walking down. I walked up slowly taking time to observe,  listen to and photograph some of the beautiful birds that were now fluttering in the trees and brush along the road. Poland Day five Kalatowki wildlife morning-9

I didn’t know the species, and haven’t had time to identify them since I’m back but they were beautiful. Here is a link to some of the birds and other wildlife I saw on my walk. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Five-Kalatowki-morning-hike-wildlife-Wednesday-April-12-2017Poland Day five Kalatowki wildlife morning-17

It was a tiring walk to the hotel and it sure got me hungry and I sat down for a wholesome  but light breakfast in the dining room and took in the beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. Here is a link to some more photographs from my morning hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Five-Kalatowki-morning-hike-April-12-2017Poland Day five Kalatowki -8

Other then hiking at these high elevations, there is not much else to do in the National Park, and you could only hike so much in a day, so I spent the rest of the morning editing some photographs. I also was researching my plans for the next day since I hadn’t made reservations at any hotel yet and wasn’t sure where I would be staying. . Poland Day five Kalatowki afternoon hotel -53

Around noon I was hungry again, hiking at these high altitudes will do that and I ordered  pierogi for lunch. I had a lot of good pierogi in Poland but these were by far the best I had. They were made  almost exactly like the ones made by my Polish grandmother. Zakopane -3

After lunch I was ready for another hike and the young lady at the desk recommended a hike on a black marked trail on the maps of the park. I set out under cloudy skies with cool temperatures near freezing. A few snow flurries fluttered down as I began my steep hike upward to get a view of famous Mount Giewont. I had originally thought about hiking this mountain, which would be an all day hike in good weather. It would have been impossible with the deep snow that still covered the slopes of the Tatra mountains.Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -9

The steep trail took me through some areas that were  logged. Trees were re-planted and it appears the logging may have been the result of an insect infestation. Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -8

As I made my way up through the forest I had some nice views of the hotel and valley below. Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -11

I passed a number of hikers descending the trail, many asking how far it was to the Hotel Gorski Kalatowki.  I am sure they had been hiking most of the day and where planning to warm up and rest at the hotel. Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -22

I also found some more exotic and beautiful wild flowers growing along the trail.Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -17

The trail soon entered some thicker pines forests and became very steep.Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -25

I was glad when I saw this sign that is was now mid April and most of the snow cover had melted. It is not a trail you want to hike in the Winter. Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -37

The trail leveled out and, after a short distance I came to some open fields where I was able to get my first sighting of Mount Giewont. The mountain is said to resemble a sleeping knight who will awaken to defend Poland in a time of crisis. Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -27

I walked about another half mile and found an outcrop of rock where I sat and took in a nice view of the valley below and the town of Zakopane. I wondered if my ancestors ever visited these mountains or the beautiful valley below. Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -30

After some reflection on the history and beauty of the mountains I decided to  make my way back down the mountain side. I was encountering some snow cover and didn’t want to hike through it again.  Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -32

I enjoyed  the easier downhill walk, and  peace and quiet of the pine and spruce forest. It would have been  more enjoyable if the weather were warmer or if I had warmer clothing but it was still a wonderful experience. Here is a link to some more photographs of my hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Five-Kalatowki-afternoon-hike-Wednesday-April-12-2017-Poland Day five Kalatowki dolina bialego hike -41

I arrived at the hotel in late afternoon, and after a short rest, I took a walk outside the hotel to try and photograph some of the birds singing in the trees. Poland Day five Kalatowki afternoon birds -4

I found so many dead crocuses on my walk and again imagined how beautiful they would have been had they not been destroyed by the cold and snow. Poland Day five Kalatowki afternoon hotel -27

And I did find a few birds in the trees and in the fields. Here is a link to some more photographs from my walk. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Five-Kalatowki-evening-walk-Wednesday-April-12-2017-Poland Day five Kalatowki afternoon birds -10

I returned to the hotel and decided to take some photographs of the many paintings, posters and interesting furnishings of this  historic hotel.Poland Day five Kalatowki afternoon hotel -8

I learned the hotels was built almost a hundred years ago and has been one of the earliest ski resorts in the mountains. There are many photographs on the walls of the skiing activities of the past. Poland Day five Kalatowki afternoon hotel -49

And a collection of old wooden skies which, I am sure would be of interest to skiing enthusiasts.Poland Day five Kalatowki afternoon hotel -40

I had come to love this quaint hotel and had decided to return again someday. Here is a link to some more photographs of the hotel. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Five-Kalatowki-hotel-Wednesday-April-12-2017Poland Day five Kalatowki afternoon hotel -51

It was early evening and all of the hiking I did during the day sure made me hungry so I sat down for another delicious meal of pine bolete and trout. The trout was prepared perfectly. It was the best trout I had ever had. Zakopane -4

And for desert, freshly made apple pie. A great way to end my last day at this wonderful hotel. Zakopane -5

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” – James Michener