I’d dreamt of returning to Zakopane since I was 11 years old. I clearly remember so many details of our visit to Morskie Oko, and my Babcia saying that there was no point in taking pictures of the mountains, that they wouldn’t turn out. She was mistaken, but an obsession was born.
Cut to this year when we were planning this trip and would be a couple of hours away in Krakow, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to return to the same spot. It was ill-fated from the start. Our departure from Krakow was delayed by over an hour and a half of wandering aimlessly, trying to find a ticket booth. It really shouldn’t be that hard, especially when you speak the language, but by the time we got on the (ridiculously cheap) bus to Zakopane, we were angry and miserable. We checked into our lovely little inn, and spent the night drinking mulled wine and eating lamb pierogi and barszcz in the in-house restaurant.
The next morning, after a night on beds which were even harder than the train cots, we found the mountains fogged in, with rain on the way.
M was starting to feel sick, so after our delightfully perilous mini-bus ride to the park, we decided to take the fast and lazy way up the mountain. Just as we hit the lake it began to rain in earnest.
We tried to wait it out, but as it started to rain harder, the rocks became more and more slippery and we figured we should just get a few shots and run home to a warm blanket.
It was a truly miserable and depressing day, and by the time we returned to the hotel, cold and soaked, we had no urge to go back out into the pouring.
Our final half-day in Zakopane, well, it got off to a rocky start. We barely had the inclination to head into town at all. Zakopane is primarily an outdoor/adventure town, and when the weather turns, it mostly becomes an indoor drinking town. While there are a few indoor cultural activities, we really didn’t have the urge to try.
Goralski fast food? Sign me up!
You know I’m depressed when I can’t even be bothered keep the camera out!
Have no fear, it was not all doom and gloom. I introduced M to oscypek, a smoked cheese made from sheep’s milk which is a regional delicacy. I think M was unimpressed, but I’ll let it go as it’s an acquired taste.
Not only did the eventual threat of storing the smelly cheese under M’s pillow that night make me giggle, it also lead to one of the more ridiculous moments of the trip. My mother, you see, had arranged through a friend of a friend for me to pick up oscypek molds so she could make her own cheese. Her cheese making adventures deserve a blog post of their own, but for now, let me tell you that asking your daughter to drag around giant blocks of wood in her suitcase did not impress.
And I’m still waiting for that cheese.
Next week, a visit to Krakow and four glorious days in what has become my favourite city in Europe.