A1 – a Singaporean bitch
A2 – a Turkish babe
D – a Macedonian manchild
Guest starring: Yours Truly – a perpetually disoriented Swiss
Something I didn’t know about Poland before I went to live there for five months was the fact that it is a wonderful place to hike. Being located relatively close to the Slovakian border in the South of the country, Krakow is only two hours away from the sickeningly picturesque mountain town of Zakopane – a place that is very pretty in that it looks just like a Swiss village, chalêts and all, but made in Poland. It has that certain socialist touch that Swiss villages usually lack. Zakopane sits at the foot of the Tatra mountain range, and it is something to behold!
A1 and I had made plans to tackle one of the steeper routes, planning to leave Krakow early in the morning. As we were eating ice cream on Krakow’s market square at 1 AM the night before, A2 and D made the haphazard decision to join us; it would not be a problem, they claimed, to be at the bus station for the 7 AM bus to Zakopane.
I’ll skip ahead here: We did not catch the 7 AM bus to Zakopane.
To be fair, it was neither A2‘s nor D‘s fault.
A1 and I worried about the weather forecast –neither of us had thought to pack a raincoat (I packed a swimsuit though – bless my ever optimistic heart!), and although A1 was already at the station, I told her to go back home and pack that coat, promising I’d be doing the same.
Do I even need to say it? Of course I did not return home to get my stupid raincoat!
And I’ll skip ahead even further: It did not rain a single friggin’ drop of water for the next seven days!
We were off to a rocky start, but once we were on the 8 AM bus, things seemed to go quite smoothly. I will not bore you with the details of a smooth hike. We talked, we picked up some plastic, we picnicked at a lake. We bantered. It was all very lovely.
Here are some highlights that I still treasure though:
- Getting to hang with the gang for an entire day. *
- Dat ViewTM
- Swimming in one of the mountain lakes.
- Playing “Guess Who You Are” and making A1 a toilet brush.
- Singing Hannah Montana songs together.
The true adventure didn’t begin until we were well on our way down again. We were devouring potato pancakes and drinking beer at Morskie Oko – a commercialised mountain lake at end of a paved road; very pretty if you enjoy sharing the view with a crowd of tourists that arrived by the busload.
From there it was another short walk back to the entrance of the national park, from where a bus would take us back down into Zakopane. Allegedly anyway.
Because, I swear, we walked for another five hours.
It was perhaps an hour and a half, I’ll admit, but it was dark, and I was a little drunk, and D kept jumping at me from behind because he’s HilariousTM.
AND MY FEET HURT!
I don’t know how to make you understand just how muchmy feet hurt. They were burning, nay, they were completely numb, nay, they were BLEEDINGand BLISTERING– OH THE AGONY OF MY AGONISED FEET!
GOD OF FEET HAVE MERCY ON ME!
I’m just going to skip ahead again: The mighty god of feet did not have mercy.
Nor did the god of sleep.
Or the god of public transportation.
It was 10 PM, and we had missed the last bus back to Zakopane, and thus also the bus back to Krakow.
We eventually got a taxi into the town centre where we hung out in the back booth of a 24-hour kebab diner. The staff there seemed to dislike us rather strongly – first, I think, because we wanted to order food while they were all enjoying a good piece of gossip by the counter, and later because A2and I slept under the table. There was no way I could stay awake, though. I was so done with that day – I was tired and cranky, and all I wanted was to be back in my own bed where it was warm and quiet. You feel me?
We arrived back in Krakow at 8 the next morning, and I somewhat shamefully sneaked back into my flat. I really, really did not want to explain to my roommates how disastrously we failed at planning schedules and reading maps. Let me be honest here: I very much only cared about a chance to use my swimsuit.
So, on the bright side: We absolutely got our money’s worth from this trip to the Tatra mountains! Also, it did not rain. You feel me?
As always, the copy-paste section: If you want to follow me, I’m most active on Instagram, but you can also find me on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you for stopping by, and special thanks to anyone bookmarking, following, sharing, recommending, or simply not hating this page!
Hugs and butterfly kisses to all of you!
* Corny, I know. But it was my last few weeks with them, so this actually mattered a lot.
A couple of pictures from Dat ViewTM