I wasn’t particularly sporty when I moved to Poland but my husband is extremely sporty and therefore I have no choice. I have to do sports if I want to see him on weekends. But. but. I actually really enjoy hiking. It’s an incredible cardio exercise and after spending a whole week indoors, it’s really refreshing to spend a whole day outside in the fresh air moving your tyłek a bit.
We spend a lot of time in Beskid Żywiecki or Śląski and only sometimes in the Tatras since it’s farther aw
ay. But I have to be honest, I was pretty pissed off during my first hike in the Tatras because I was carrying a backpack about the same size as me and was in abysmal shape. Lots of complaining and bitchface. Anyway, before moving to Poland I hadn’t spent much time in mountains because, well, Florida is totally flat and the closest mountains are a state away. So that’s one of the reasons I love living where I do because I can visit the mountains anytime I want.
For majówka this year, the most beloved of Polish long weekends, we stayed in Łopuszna, a small village near Nowy Targ. It’s a risk to travel that direction for majówka but we stayed outside the most touristy zone and the traffic on Zakopianka wasn’t a disaster. Dzięki Bogu. So we started off by hiking to Turbacz, a mountain in Gorce, as the path was just behind our pensjonat (whatever that is in English – if anyone has a good translation I’d be happy to hear it. Bed and breakfast? Don’t we have something shorter?) Turbacz could be a nice alternative to Dolina Chochołowska for seeing crocuses, as there were many even when we were there. Also, you get a killer view of the Tatras at the top and they have really yummy żurek in the shelter, I must say. There, we hiked more or less about 15 km total.
The second day we went to Dolina Pięciu Stawów, amazing valley in the Tatras, the highest Polish mountains. We again hiked about 15 kilometers but in completely different conditions in order to take in the views and try their supposedly “best szarlotka” (I’ve had better). You start this path on the same asphalt road as everyone walking to Morskie Oko, an amazingly beautiful place completely overrun by simpletons, sadly. As it’s also in the Tatras and closeby, Dolina Pięciu Stawów is also full of those kinds of people, but possibly even worse because they believe they can hike to the top of a mountain, which is covered in snow, wearing Converse sneakers. I was wearing proper hiking boots and was having trouble going up. And on the descent I rented crampons (raki), which make it much easier and safer. I stunned that people in normal sneakers managed to make it down without any injuries. Respect. The Tatras are lovely but it’s almost not worth it to spend the day in bad company. I can’t tell you how much garbage we picked up on the way down.
On the last day we hiked Trzy Korony in the Pieniny mountains. I was deathly sore from the previous two days but I’d never been to Pieniny and really wanted to see what they’re like so we trekked on. This area has really fun, rocky paths with railings to help you walk across the steep, jaggedy mountain tops. I’m not big on chains but the railings make you feel comfortable going across. This is definitely a place I’d recommend to anyone – not sure I can recommend drinking the water from the stream as it appears that I got sick from it. We always drink the water from the stream but I guess sometimes you get unlucky.
These were great paths but I think my favorite path is to Barania Góra. How about you guys? Which paths would you recommend? There are plenty of mountains I haven’t yet been to like Sudety and Bieszczady. As the warm weather is just starting, there will be many trips to come in the near future so recommendations are welcome!