Lard and Beer and Horses and no Pickles

Trip Start Jun 30, 2006
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Trip End Jun 30, 2007


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Flag of Poland  ,
Friday, August 4, 2006

We have decided to write a letter of complaint to the writers of The Lonely Planet Guide as, quite frankly, they don't know shit. Not only did they send us to Bisonland minus the bison, get us lost for three hours in the backstreets of Moscow and send us on restaurant finding quests that yeilded no tortillas but they didn't tell us to come to Zakopane or as we've come to call it, Swiss Disneyland in Poland.

We are hoping to get a check with the money we have paid for their guide back. What do you think our chances are?

We arrived yesterday to a little Alpen village with a countryside most reminiscent of Switzerland. With rolling coloured fields and triangle roof houses and teeny little gardens with rosy flowers that sit on the window sills. Ona insists I write of the sheep - the sheep in every frontyard (Not really Swiss though, is that?). When we made it to the lively main street, we were confronted with little boys in traditional clothes with little baby sheep and old women asking if we'd like to stay the night at their house in German.

It was already dark, as we arrived quite late, so after dumping our baggage at the YH, we headed back out for a rather late dinner. Ona jokingly remarked that perhaps we could find a dinky little chalet with a fireplace and folk music (and most importantly, stodgy food). We did. Really. And they were still serving food and gaily singing their songs (though not of sixpence) at midnight!

Fast forward to today were we took a Fernicular Railway up to the top of a mountain in our neverending quest for a decent horseride (a quest that has crossed at least three countries over the period of the last two years). We miraculously found a place with decent looking horses and the opportunity to ride at whatever speed we wished. Everything was going so well until the moment I looked back to comment on the beautiful panoramic view and found myself talking to a riderless horse. Yes, Ona's horse was behind me however Ona was not. Or I couldn't see her, anyway, as she had taken a magnificent tumble a few metres back after - she insists - her stirrup fell off (No, her stirrup really did fall off, I had to point it out to our perplexed guide as it was a good fifty metres behind us). She got souveniers at least - gravel rash and a ripped jacket - from the skidding she endured after the fall. Alas, I had no camera so we have no pictures!

I was coerced into changing horses with Ona after the fall as her nerves couldn't take the 'incomprehensible' task of checking to make sure the stirrup didn't fall off a second time (she insists it is unfair to expect such a task as noone has ever told her she is supposed to look at her riding equiptment, while riding. I laughed.) To be fair, it really wasn't her fault she fell off, and she was very good at getting straight back on again. I'm just making fun because I have no pictures of it.

I decided to take a second half hour ride on my own when we got back because I wanted to go a bit faster. I got my wish and nearly made it 2 of 2 in the fall count for the day. By twisting my leg I managed to stay on when my horse got excited by the fields of grass -at the cost of walking like a cripple (and embarrassing Ona) for the rest of the afternoon. Luckily Ona had bought a convenient walking stick in the form of a tacky axe-like souvenier while I was busy cantering down tourist alleyways with frantic mothers ushering their children from my path and old men shaking their canes. In fact, the only time we travelled at anything of a safe pace was when we made a sudden stop beside a man holding a pack of smokes so the guide could bum one off him.

Next it was a late lunch of lard and bread and lard and chunks of slimy fat (and black pudding that I wouldn't go near). The locals insisted we have pickles with in but Ona said no - 'lard must be appreciated in its original state' she pontificated. I still feel a little sick from it, next time I'll listen to the locals and leave Ona to her lard and black pudding ways - and ever shall I mock her ways when she weighs fifteen stone.

And Ona brought forth dinner and yea it was good (As was the nightclub in all its flashing glory).

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