I have to admit something, something that might be news to Marcin as well. Until just over six months ago, I thought Poland was flat, a bit like Denmark. When Marcin and I just got together, he talked about hiking in the mountains and then I did not see directly alpine-like mountains in front of me. It was only when he showed his own photos and photos on the big "internet" that I understood. The Polish mountains are so beautiful but expect that everything you do there is at your own risk, more than in Sweden.
There are none via ferrata trails with guides who think that the installation should only be climbed by those who bought a guided tour (what happened to the right of public access?). There are also no copies of Naturkompaniet's mannequins, but a variety of different styles and levels on which you put your hiking and climbing. But a similarity to Sweden was the luck with the weather we usually have.
This was our first real stop on the trip in Poland and thus also our first overnight stay. I had no idea what the accommodation would look like or what it would be like. It felt so nice to let it go completely and trust Martin's judgment fully.
It turns out to be a very cozy and homely accommodation with a hostess who is very caring and social with her guests. Think the house consisted of 6 double rooms. All with balcony, bathroom and refrigerator in the room and with access to a small kitchen if we want to cook our own food in addition to the one, she serves. The house itself in typical Zakopane style and certainly also the interior. The breakfast was absolutely wonderful and typically Polish, I guess. Marcin is happy as a child on Christmas Eve to be able to eat everything we do not have here at home in Sweden but which he grew up with. A little extra interesting was the "Swedish toast" which I had never tasted or even seen before (it was fried white bread with a hole taken in the middle where you hatched an egg you fried together with the bread). Paper bags are presented if you want to bring a sandwich or other food bag for the day. excursion. The hostess wishes everyone good morning and walks around talking to everyone.
About 45 minutes before it is our turn to ride the cable car up to the plateau, we are already in place to locate where we are going and of course take the opportunity to go to the toilet. You who have hiked in the mountains understands why that visit felt so important. Yes, it's not there are plenty of toilets or even bushes to hide behind when you need to pee. Well, you could probably hide behind a rock, but there were a lot of people hiking in the mountains.
We did as we did previous hikes where there have been a lot of people this summer; we walked in a little higher pace the first part where it's most crowded, then we relax a bit. It feels like we are quite high up from the beginning and I feel skinny when we hike, and it was probably not just because I felt almost like a little dizzy from hiking on the narrow ridges and peaks.
The peak we are going up does not feel too remote, but with all the valleys and peaks we have to pass or walk around, it becomes a bit - well, it doesn't go faster forward when I feel that I want to photograph nature every ten meters.
Just before the last bit up on the very top, we stop and eat our lunch (sandwiches we brought from breakfast at the accommodation) and put on some extra clothes in the form of a hat and gloves. Then it goes off upwards on the serpentine paths. Serpentine trails are mostly made of stones that have been laid out but not always so easy to trace exactly how the steps go and there will be some pure climbing. Towards the end, the path partly turns into walking on the mountain with not too much structure in it and only a chain to hold on to. At and part, I finally feel that I have had enough of the height and slippery mountain. My brain ghosts are gaining momentum and starting to plant scenarios of what the return trip will be like if it starts to rain. I struggle for a while until I feel that now I do not intend to walk another meter, says to Marcin crying that he can continue the last 100 meters without me because I intend to at least sit here and cry. Marcin tries to pep and support. Of course, he does not intend to continue without me. I sit and let everything land a little more in my head and I see several people pass without major problems. Finally, everything has passed, and I feel that we can continue. We continue over a small ridge and see the top on the other side, 70 meters up. Or we doesn't even see the top due to dark clouds and it starts to rain a little bit. When we meet some who turned because of the weather, I feel that we do our best to follow their example. We have to take the top another time because we'll be back. We ended up at about 2250 meters above. the sea, not bad at all.
Just like at Kebnekaise, the climb down is easy, mentally - what did I really worry about? We continue down towards the car park and meet many people who seem to be on their way up, towards the top. It is now 3 pm and 7.30 pm it is really pitch black out here. We meet a couple where the girl climbs on all fours and they are far from the top and far from the slope and climbing that awaits higher up, in addition, she is wearing a nice white jacket, white sneakers and white gloves and tights. I suffer a little with her and still wonder how it went for them, she did not seem directly amused by the trip overall.
We meet more interesting characters on the way down. A big older gentleman who walks in slippers, but he still seems to know what he is doing. We meet a lady with a nice hat and equipment, but she also seems to know what she is doing here. Another reflection I made was that we met a lot of smokers. When I hiked in Sweden (and Norway) I cannot even remember that I met or passed any smoker.
Three hours later we have grazed about 1500 altitude meters and 1.5 miles in total during the day. It is felt in the feet. We change and go to perhaps Zakopane's most cozy restaurant and eat a little before we go back to our accommodation and fall asleep unawares.
Next time we will stay several days so we can hike more and enjoy the accommodation more.