Another day in the Tatry

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Where I stayed
Gorska Przystan

Flag of Poland  , Southern Poland,
Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 9, Saturday July 3

Get up bright and early to get to Morskie Oko before the crowds. It’s a mountain lake that’s supposed to be the most beautiful of the Polish Tatry Mountains. It’s an hour by bicycle to the bottom where the lady makes me get off and walk the rest of the way, which takes another hour. There are some birds hanging around that aren’t scared of the people at all. They feed each even though they’re fully grown and I wonder if it’s an act to get more food from the tourists. I hike around the lake and make the climb up to Czarny Staw pod Rysami. The reflections off the water are amazing, but trying to get someone to take the same shot for me doesn’t work too well.

When I get back down the crowds have already shown up and there’s people everywhere. I take a pass over the mountains to get away from them, and it works. The only people on this trail are serious about what they’re doing, no day gawkers here. There’s only one peak in my trails today, but that doesn’t take anything away from the enjoyment. The terrain and views are spectacular, and very different from where I went the previous days with my classmates, despite being only a few kilometres away.

As I eat lunch on the peak there are a couple ladies making a photo session. We would end up meeting many more times that day at different points along the trails. The opposite side of the ridge leads down into the Dolina Pięciu Stawów Polskich, or valley of the five polish lakes. The first section is almost vertical and there are chains hammered into the mountain side to hold onto. It takes another couple hours to descend into the valley and cross it to the other side and to the schronisko where I stop for some food. Some bigos hits the spot, but I silently agree with the guy beside me when he says it’s a shame they don’t have any naleśniki z serem. They are quite possibly the best polish dish, and no, they are not pancakes as most restaurants would have you believe. If you had to translate them you could maybe call them crepes.

When I finally get back to the bottom of the hill it’s already after 7 pm, and I’m not too keen on bicycling back to Zakopane. Luckily the składak folds up small and fits into the back of the bus no problem. Back at the guest house Wojtek, the owner, isn't home at the moment but his brother who answers the door looks almost like his twin.  When Wojtek arrives he invites me for tea, which turns out to be genuine Chinese, and taste amazing. He shows me pictures from his trip through Romania and with his brother we talk until late. They are really friendly guys and I highly recommend staying at their place.

Photos here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=458865&id=759410257&l=335a556904
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