The bison of Białowieża

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2010

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Where I stayed
Paprotka Youth Hostel

Flag of Poland  , Podlasie Voivodship,
Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting used to Japanese trains is not good for setting expectations for Polish trains. Some sign language and a few train changes later we arrive in Bialowieza, a small town of 2000 people and 2 churches - Russian Orthodox and Catholic, located at completely opposite ends of town.
We went to Bialowieza to see the National Park, possibly the only forest in Europe never interfered with by humans. In winter the deciduous trees and snow covering gives the place a stark sort of beauty and the winter woodpeckers provide a noisy accompaniment. We didn't manage to glimpse any of the wild animals, although a 5km hike through the snow took us to the zoo, where we saw the native bison, wolves, lynx, moose and deer. The bison have dangling icicles forming on their neck hair, which jingle as they walk. This amused me as Bevan had stalactites on his moustache (for some reason I was not allowed to post the photos).  
Originally the kings hunting resort (thanks to the local bison population), I was relieved to find that our hostel was one of the very few without bison heads and deerskins on the walls.
Sadly the rather impressive royal palace did not survive the combination of fire-happy nazis and communists who thought a lovely square concrete block of flats would be far less frivolous.  
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Candice on

I wanna see the bevan icicles!

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