Poland Day Five. Hiking In The Beautiful Tatra National Park
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.
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.
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.
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-12-2017
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.
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.
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-12-2017
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-12-2017
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. .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-
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-
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-12-2017
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.
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” – James Michener