We found snow!!

Trip Start Sep 04, 2010
Trip End Sep 24, 2010

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Flag of Poland  , Lesser Poland Voivodeship,
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Today we woke nice and early and drove to Zakopane. It's a major tourist destination high in the mountains. It was only 3 degrees as we set off from Krakow so we had high hopes we would see snow in the mountains. We had to look for it but we did find it! There were just patches and they were starting to melt but still fun to play with! We had lots of funny looks from those around us as mostly they were Poles and well used to lots of snow.

There were lots and lots of tourist stalls and tourist amusement areas! The whole place was geared towards getting as much money as possible from all the tourists. In winter it would be a major skiing area but in summer and through the rest of the year it draws the tourists for the views and for the marvellous walking paths up, down and around the mountains everywhere. We saw signs for an Aqua Park and laughed about how cold that would be most of the time. Should have known – it was completely indoors. Imagine Wet’n’Wild on the Gold Coast and cover it with two enormous buildings!

Getting up on the mountains was easy. We went up the funicular first and found just as many tourist stalls and amusements at the top as at the bottom of the mountain! There was a flat path along the top ridge of the mountains which went quite a long way and which was just lined with tourists things to buy and do. In between these you could see the beautiful views! When we came to a chair lift we had to have a go of course. We took a ride down the mountain and then straight back up again. I don’t think Ashley would have been impressed with the open seats! They were much higher than they look in our pictures!

After going back down the mountain again on the funicular, we went searching for the cable car up to a different, much high part of the mountain. There was no parking anywhere near. Most people either walked – all uphill for a loooong way, or mostly by bus. However, we found a horse and carriage with a most obliging driver who took us from our car all the way to the top. Poor horse – it was a long, long haul and took ages! We were so pleased to have such a fun way to get all that distance that we gave him a good tip. He was so please he said he’d take us back down again for a much reduced rate (well it was all downhill wasn’t it!) and would be waiting for us when we came back down in around 2 hours, and he was!!! He was in prime place at the bottom of the stairs and we saw him even knock back other customers because he was waiting for us. Told you he liked our tip!! Do you like how the driver made sure the roads were kept clean?? Check out our picture. He has to be really fast and when he sees his horse raise its tail, he quickly picks up his net and lets all droppings fall straight into it!

The view at the top of the mountain was amazing! It took two cable cars to get there and was very, very high. Starting off it looked like a nice day. Half way up we started to go into the clouds and thought well so much for the view. But it was so high we came out of the clouds and were way above them. Looking down, we watched the clouds coming and going on the scenery below.  John got to see his first ever bear in the wild on the way back down the cable car! Lucky him! I was jammed in the middle with only views of male backs all around me!  
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