Some days in the Mountains

Trip Start Jul 01, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, January 19, 2007

January 19

We talked together while driving to Bielsko-Biala, Lukasz needed to go to get an appointment at the doctor so we stopped by in the city and did a little night walk tour of both Bielsko and Biala, 2 cities separated by a river and which whom one side was originally polish while the other one, richer was in Austro-Hungarian empire.

It was nice and more fresh as we approached the mountains. But I loved that town which was being renovated. Nice Castle and nice germanic style square... But I especially remember the Frog and Beetle house... pretty much Art Nouveau!

After this tour, we went back to the car to go to Kozy where he lives in a majestic rural house. I liked it, still heaten with wood. So we had a little lunch with his wife Katarina and then later on going to sleep. I read my book (The Pianist) quite late and I was having it hard to sleep, so I got a rough night.
January 20

We all woke up early to leave in direction of the mountains where Lukasz Grand-Mother lives, we would stay overnight and go do some hiking later in the week end.

On the way we passed and stopped by Wadowice. The birth town of Pope John-Paul II (Jean-Paul II - Johannus Paulus II). So I saw the church and his big bronze statue :P

We kept on driving, stopping for lunch in a little mountain town and also to for Lukasz to light candle in the cemetery, as it is tradition for this day.
The funny thing is that I had a copy of a poutine for lunch at the snack bar... fries and cheese with the difference that the sauce was ketchup. Anyway I liked it and felt like home ;)

Then after we drove a little more into the mountains to visit a friend of the family that lives and renovate a great historic mountain mansion nearby Jordanow. It was amazing, the sort of place my uncles would love... I don't remember the history of the place itself but it was a few hundred years old, had seen the war and had been abandonned by the polish government when the communist nationalised all property (since their owner probably were german or so they were gone). They also needed to look over for the beehives after the big wind storm of few days ago.

After this visit, we headed to his Lukasz grand-mother in a tiny moutain side hamlet. Had a meal, talked a little and later on went to bed early. I actually felt asleep a little before waking up later to finish my book.
January 21

Today we left early to go to the Babiogorski National Park which is just at the Slovak border, while we climbed higher with the car there was snow and then more. It was great, slightly a grey and wet day but it was alright. So we parked the car and put our clothes on to get ready to climb the Babia mountain so few minutes later we were on the trail.

I only took me 15 minutes again to notice that I'm in no shape for long hiking and to wish to be back on a couch and not moving :( (just like when I climbed the Mt Albert back home)... thats awful of me. But luckely the path got less vertical and with more snow and the view wonderful. So I simply kept going and kept going. Its been not too long that I ate my sandwiches though.

We did succeed though! We nearly made it to the top, where there is no trees or vegetation just snow! The wind was sooooo strong that we couldnt actually make to the total summit (which was a thousand something for sure) but it was a nice hike with lots of fresh air. We finally came down another way. Stopping at one of the little mountain resort in the valley to eat in one of the polish tourist wooden house tourist restaurant. The amazing thing was that this usually overcrowded winter touristic resort (for ski centre) was totally desert since there was barely no snow at all this year.

We ate in this there, but it wasn't as good as when I was in Lublin. A little deception and headed back to Kozy for some hot chocolate and drying up by the fire. I had a totally wonderful outside day. Saw wonderful landscape and got a good dosis of fresh air. Which wasn't too bad after my sickness in the north.

After having watched the pictures (Lukasz burned some on a cd for me and to clear some space on my SDcard) we all went to bed. Tomorrow I would try to hitch-hike to Czech Republic!
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