Mountains, Snow and Sky

Trip Start Apr 05, 2007
Trip End Aug 15, 2007

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Flag of Poland  ,
Thursday, May 3, 2007

Zakopane is the gateway to the Tatra Mountains in Poland.  It was here that I experienced one of my most terrifying days to date.  In the hostel I was talking to some travellers who were going to walk to Morskie Oko which is a lake in the mountains close to the Slovakian border.  I also wanted to go there so asked if I could join them.  Trouble is, i found out later, instead of catching the mini bus really
close and then doing an easy 2hr walk there they decided we were going
to do this massive walk in the mountains.  With no snow kit.  No crampons, no poles.  And there was snow everywhere - about 2metres deep.  We had to scale 3 mountain faces with nothing to hold onto but the snow.  It was easily the most terrifying moments of my life.  Luckily there was an old guy who followed us the whole way with proper kit who actually helped me up some of the scales after i had slipped several times and thought i was going to go rolling back down from where i started. 

Absolutely bloody terifying now but at the time i just had to keep going and they were good at keeping me calm.  I didn't think we would be doing anything like that as they just had the usual trekking shoes aswell.  Idiots I know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We stopped at a mountain hut for a hearty lunch.  In the end we didn't end up getting to the lake that we set out to reach as it involved another mountain scaling and I really didn't have the energy or willpower to acheive that.  Then on the way back it was great that one girl and me decided to toboggan - with no toboggan or plastic - down the hill cos it was really steep again and we could see ourselves going head over.  it was soooooooo  much fun but of course we got really really really wet butts and shoes and socks etc...!!!!!

But the town itself is lovely.  It was a public holiday so the place was overrun with Poles but it had a carnival type atmosphere that was quite intoxicating.  I walked up the nearest hill that also had a funicular and the views were absolutely stunning - postcard picturesque.  At the top there were slides, skiing (in season), pony rides, 4WD rides, confidence course, grilled skewered meat stalls (oh the smell...), real fluffy candyfloss and outside cafes\pubs.  All with top of the world views!  The wonderful paprika and sauerkraut smells enticed me into stuffing my face with food for a whopping 2 pounds. And beer for 1 pound.  What more could you want?!
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