The Karkonosze Mountains
Trip Start Jan 10, 2005
14Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
The next day we continued on to Karpacz ("car-patch"), a popular spa town at the foot of the mountains. The bus ride there was really beautiful, with lots of picturesque little towns set against the mountains. The town was unbelievably touristy, and there seemed to be an unlimited number ways to make a living off of it. Restaurants, tourist stalls, taxis and minibuses, hotels and hostels. Every house we saw had rooms available, and they weren't cheap
The highlight of this trip was climbing Mount Sniezka (snowflake), the highest mountain in the Sudeten chain (~1600m). We bought a trail map of the region, but got directions to where we were supposed to start our hike from a woman in our hostel who had done the climb before. Unfortunately, she didn't know what she was talking about and we ended up getting lost in the forest near wolf river, adding an hour onto our day. We found our way eventually (thank God Monika speaks Polish) and started our climb. The first part of the hike was really tedious and not very rewarding. The path was basically just a long pile of jaggedy, uneven rocks strewn up the mountain, and the forest we were in was nice but nothing special. It was also swelteringly hot. We stopped and had lunch at the point where several trails joined, and the hike after that was amazing. We hiked for a while through forest and trees, again through rocky trails but the path was on the edge of the mountain so the view was fantastic. As we climbed the trees got shorter and shorter, eventually disappearing. It seemed like every time we turned around the view behind us was even more amazing
The next day we went to the town of Sobieszow to see Chojnik Castle (hoy-neek), at the top of a rocky escarpment about 800m high. We were freaking exhausted from the day before, but we were leaving the next day and really wanted to see it. The climb was relatively easy, maybe an hour or a bit more, and the forest around us was beautiful. The castle was really cool, although it's probably worth it to get up early and see these places before everyone else gets there.
The next day we headed to Wroclaw, where Monika caught a train home to get ready for her brother's wedding. It was sad that our travelling companions had all left, but we felt ready to continue on our own.