Saturday, June 30, 2012

Zakopane

Not only is Zakopane a fun place to visit, but it is a really easy Polish word to pronounce. 
We have been having a heck of a time learning the correct way to say certain letters and just as it is starting to make sense in our brains it is almost time to say goodbye to Poland. We have had such an amazing experience here and Zakopane is the icing on the cake. It was just the rest we needed from the faster paced cities of Krakow and Wroclaw. 
Zakopane sits at the base of the Tetra Mountain range and is an outdoor person's dream. There are lots of places to hike and ski and bike, with all sorts of trails and places to explore. BUT...we are not what you might call "outdoorsy"and still we enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and laid back lifestyle here in Zakopane.
Upon arrival, yesterday, we immediately noted the people wearing hiking boots, walking sandals and use of walking sticks. We brought none of these things and just meandered through the village. We found the best place for lunch. It was quite a trek from our hotel but so worth it and we also got a quick overview of the village.
This restaurant is like a hunter's lodge in the middle of the village.


We sat outside where it was warm and bright. The inside would be so cozy on a cold, wintry night.

It's hidden down a dirt path. 

It has really cool doors, and by now you know I like doors. 


Finally, authentic, delicious, Polish food.



The mushroom and noodle soup is probably the best I have ever tasted. Even better than mom's, mine or Babka's. 

The trout and mixed salad were all so fresh and tasty.

After our late lunch, we took advantage of the pool, jacuzzi and sauna at our hotel. The hotel is pretty empty as this is more of a winter getaway for the Polish people, so we had the place to ourselves. Just what we wanted, R*E*L*A*X*A*T*I*O*N.

Our second day was also quite leisurely. We rode the tram car to the highest point above Zakopane, called Gubalowska, and toured the area up high. 

Paul rode the tobaggon that is set up for the summer. He has always wanted to do that, so he finally got his wish.


It was unbelievably hot today. 88'F doesn't sound hot but add in the humidity and sweat was running down my back. I am not used to this humidity. But, from what I read it is super hot in the east part of the USA,too. We took a few breaks in the shade and admired the view.


The top of the mountain is filled with vendors selling lots of sheep skin clothing, leather and wool sweaters. I imagine it gets really cold up here in the winter with lots of snow.
We kept seeing these things called Borowka and could not figure out what they were. They are all sorts of shapes and sizes and sold everywhere. We finally asked at the hotel and they are the local sheep's milk cheese. Now I have to buy one. We thought it was some sort of bread!


We also enjoyed walking through the farmer's market and bought some peaches to have for a snack this afternoon. It is always fun to see the different varieties of fruits and vegetables in the various countries that we visit.


I bought a pair of Rieker shoes today. I almost bought the same shoes before we left for vacation but then got lazy and didn't do it. I am glad I waited because I saved about 40%.

Tomorrow, my cousin from Slovakia is coming to pick us up and take us back to his town for 2 days. This is going to be one of the highlights of our trip because I will see the village where my paternal grandmother was born and raised and meet cousins that I did not even know existed until a few months ago.


Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

11 comments:

Flying Blind... said...

Well I hope you can sleep tonight - I bet you are so excited about tomorrow!

Patchwork and Play said...

The good times keep coming!

Katy Cameron said...

Looks like a fab place to visit! Oh, and with your door obsession, I do hope you can meet my dad one day, he has similar photographic obsessions lol

Leanne said...

Sounds like you are having a great time. Such a lovely spot.

MB in MI said...

Really enjoying this visit along with you!! Thanks! :-)

Tanya said...

What a beautiful place. thanks for sharing your pics

Carla said...

That little lodge looks delightful! I would so love to visit in winter and eat homemade soup : )

needle and nest said...

Thank you for letting us tag along on your trip. I'm adding Poland on my list of places to visit someday!

susan said...

This is the post that made me want to go to Poland. Looks amazing there!

tusen said...

So great to know you liked my home town. And you picked a perfect time for visiting it - it's very crowded not only in winter but also during summer holidays, which start today.
And how did you like oscypek (the local cheese)?

Geri - eatpaintlearn.com said...

Are you bringing that cheese home? Looks very interesting. Poland is a lovely place - we can be proud of our heritage!