Sunday, 18 October 2015

We're on the way

It's going to be a little quiet here for the next two weeks. We're on the way to our next adventure. Right now we're in Warsaw. At the airport. Already checked in, waiting for our flight. First to Doha and then to Bangkok! We're super excited, cause it's cold and it's raining here in Poland. Have I mentioned it's really cold? So we can't wait to soak in the Thai sun, eat their delicious food and explore new places, new culture.

I will try to post on instagram every now and then, so if you're interested, make sure to follow me @slimac_gdy.

Stay warm!

Friday, 16 October 2015

My Gran

I've been away for a little while. Cause this was a very sad time for me and my family.

Almost two weeks ago, my beloved Grandmother passed away.

She was a strong woman. Widowed for the last twenty nine years. Despite her age, she was able to climb to the fourth floor every day. To keep fit, still last year she made walks around the nearby lake. A little over a year ago, right after her 80th birthday celebrations, she went on a trip to the Alps. She had a dream to have a little house somewhere in the high mountains.

When I was a child, I spent many summer and winter holidays with her. We (me, my brother and my uncle, who's just eight years older than me) were playing with blankets, building forts, tents or whatever popped into our heads. I loved the blanket with a hole the most. Cause I already had a window or an observation spot, depending on the kind of game we were playing.

We were playing a lot of board games. Since I've always loved puzzles, I'd do lots of those with her, too. We'd compete against each other, which one finished her 600 pieces puzzle first. Or we'd split 1500 pieces into half and then compete which one finished her half first.

She loved crossword puzzles, too. Jolka being her favourite type.

She still dreamt of two trips. She wanted to cruise the Elblag-Ostroda Canal. And she wanted to see the tulips blossoming in the Netherlands. Cruise the canals from one Dutch town to another. Her unfulfilled dreams.

She had four children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

It was for her that I started writing this blog in Polish also. Though she never asked for it. But I know that she was following.

During my life, she never was seriously ill. Never been to a hospital. Until end of May this year.

Requiescat in pace, Grandma. I love you.

Irena, 21.07.1934 - 04.10.2015

Pictures below are in no particular order, let alone a chronological one
 Our last picture together. During my Gran's 80th birthday last year

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Wdżar? What is that??

The name is strange. It's difficult to pronounce. But the place itself is easily accessible. And unique.

We were not planning to visit the place when we were planning our trip. Why did we change our minds?

The answer to the question is simple.

We were sharing our house in Czorsztyn with a couple. Sharing in the sense that it was a twin house. But with a single porch. So we were spending each evening sitting on the porch, the four of us (the kids were already asleep) until it got so late or so cold that we didn't want to keep it going any further. And we were talking. About everything and anything. One evening we were wondering what to do the next day. Especially considering that the weather had been unstable till that day. They suggested we went to Wdżar. Where?, was the question that suddenly popped into my mind. "Wdżar, that single mountain standing by the road as if somebody had forgotten about it. You'' notice it. And it's shape is so unique. You will know it is the one". Ok, I thought, why not try that.

The day came. And started very hot from the early morning hours (that's the kind of weather we had till the end of our holidays. No more rain, just sunny and hot, hot, hot). Wdżar (757 m.a.s.l.) is situated right on the outskirts of Czorsztyn. We could either walk there or drive. We chose the latter. We knew we were gonna be exhausted and carrying the little kid all the way back... No, thank you.

On the small strip of grass, growing between the road and the parking lot, two goats were having their breakfast. Paulinka wanted to go and say hello. So they went.

By the parking lot, there is also a strange figure called "A singing monument". We didn't go anywhere close to it, though, cause we were not interested.

The place was all quiet. And peaceful. On the first part of our walk, we only met two people. The views made us feel all calm. All we were longing for was a little bit of shade ;)

When we got to the back of the mountain (from the parking lot perspective), there was some life there. And by life, I don't necessarily mean people. We could see sheep hiding in the shades of a nearby forest. And horses, eating what's not yet burnt by sun. A mini zoo, consisting of a few goats and hens. Goats turned out to be a thing that day. And the kids found them so fascinating. So we rested there for a bit, before the full time hike was about to begin.

A full time, but a short time. All we had to do was to walk up a skiing slope. There even is a path there, which you can see in one of the pictures below.

When we were on the way up, we didn't expect to see anything special up there. Apart from the views, that we more or less were familiar with. So we didn't raise our hopes all too much.

What we got to see up there, though, was... Well, a lot.

First of all, you can get to the sole summit and to a view point. Following the trail, you will walk by a few (a few, meaning altogether over twenty, if I remember correctly, but only the last few are on the top) signs telling you something about the area, the regional culture, regional food, some perks, some legends. These are only in Polish, though. There's a lovers' bench on top as well. But that one is signed in Polish, English, and a few other languages.

You will also find a place with magnetic disturbance there. What does that mean? That is one of just two places in Europe with local magnetic disturbance (or, at least, that's what they say). If you take a compass and get it closer to a sort of "three-headed" rock, you'll notice that next to two of them, the arrow will show you the south as the north. Unfortunately, we were not given a chance to verify that. We didn't have compass with us. We didn't expect to be in such an interesting place (my husband is a physicist, but that was interesting even for me).

The last thing we did there, was to follow the signs to the rock gorge. These are remnants of an old stone pit. That was a steep, sometimes slippery, walk down the mountain. Sometimes there were chains to help us out. Sometimes there were very steep and narrow stairs. There was one place on the way, where we could rest. Sit down, eat something, have something to drink. Of course things that we brought with us. Unless you wanted to pick up raspberries (which we didn't) or wild berries (which we did) growing around you. The good thing about the place was the temperature! We could stand it! The place is almost all shadowed (duh, the high rocks), damp, and chilly at places.

You can use a gondola lift to get to the top of Wdżar, if you like (obviously, we didn't do that).

When we got to our car, we decided to hurry back to our place. That was the time when Tour de Pologne (a cyclist race) was passing by Czorsztyn and we decided we could as well go and cheer for a bit. And so we did.

Next time, another wonderful place in the southern parts of Poland.

"A singing monument"
The path up the skiing slope.
Part of the mini zoo, meaning the goats.
What skiers see from the top.
The lake as seen from the top.
The "three-headed" rock with local magnetic disturbance
The gorge
Pope's Altar