TRAVEL LOG: 5/16/16 – Szklarska Poreba, Poland


NOTE: I’m experimenting with keeping a travel log to share pictures and experiences that would otherwise not make it onto the blog. Unlike other posts, these updates will be lightly edited, if at all. I’ll include the date written which may be different than the date I’m able to post. Also after this first notification I won’t send email notifications when a new journal update is published (because that could be frequent and may get annoying). So instead I’ve created a link in the top left menu called “Travel Log” where you can click to check for new journal updates. When there are photos for a post you will be able to click on the arrows on the left and right to view the entire gallery.

5/16/16 4:45 PM – Szklarska Poreba, Poland

It took me about an hour to hike up from Horni Misecky to the restaurant at the top of the mountain on the Czech side where I stopped for tea before heading on to Poland. For my effort I was rewarded with vistas looking back into the Czech Republic. There was a light layer of spring snow on everything from the night before. It’s below freezing up here and although it’s nice right now the weather changes quickly. This is emphasized by the clouds that race by overhead and feel close enough that if I just had a ladder I reach up and snag them.

I saw no one on the way up and the only sounds were the rustling of the breeze, the occasional bird song and the crunch of fresh snow under my feet. This was quite different from the literal busloads 1 of people here on friday afternoon. Cold Monday mornings have a way of thinning out the crowd.

It snowed consistently as I walked the path along the cliff and up towards the Polish/Czech border. Having crossed the border I stopped to have a snack and pulled out an orange. Peeling a cold orange with cold hands and freshly clipped fingernails is difficult and painful. When I finished my hands were sticky and I washed them off with water. My hands immediately began stinging painfully as they began to freeze instantly. I realized this is probably how to give yourself frostbite. It will be the last orange I pack as a snack in freezing weather.

I descended through a forest filled with firs and occasional small groves of birch trees which provided a beautiful contrast with their white and black trunks and their bright green leaves

While taking pictures I noticed a troupe of deer, around 10 in total passing by a couple hundred feet away.

I got into town around 2:30. The trip had taken me about 5 hours. Along my way to what had described as my “vacation home” that I’m staying at for two nights I see a place that has the same name. This is odd though because the address is wrong and it doesn’t make sense with the map I have. I’m glad I’m being attentive and walk up and try the door but it’s locked. I peak in and look around the side, but no one is there. As I walk away it dawns on me I may have just attempted to enter someone’s house and quicken my stride.

I walk down a path into town. The nice mountain hotels and villas that greeted the trailhead are beginning to have a more dilapidated feel to them as I continue. I walk by a pond and an old building chiming out an eerie tune from what sounds like a recorded organ. My place is just to the right.

The proprietor is smoking a cigarette outside and walks me in along with her pesky little chihuaha/poodle dog who is chomping at my ankles. I speak no Polish and she speaks very little English so it takes a little while to get me checked in. I hear water trickling down the wall of the office presumably from a toilet flushed upstairs.

She hands me the keys and shows me to my vacation home which is literally 10 feet across the hall. It is an 8′ x 10’ room with a cabinet, foldout table for eating, 15” flat screen, a bathroom and a bed. She takes me back out to the front to show me how to jimmy the door with the key to open it. I ask about the kitchen that was mentioned in the description by gesturing as if I am eating and she says no and points to town. I’m not sure she has understood but there’s no way to clarify the question. 2

The bathroom is surprisingly nice with a large overhead shower head. This is exciting because Jana’s cabin didn’t have a shower and I haven’t showered in 3 days.

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  1. I had been one of them crammed in standing room only in the back of the bus
  2. I later looked up the translation for kitchen but couldn’t find her so I still don’t know if there is one

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Hello. I’m Alasdair.

Hello. I’m Alasdair.

I believe that being aware of who I am and mindful of who I am becoming is the best investment I can make in my life —and that when we focus our efforts within, the rewards naturally flow outward to those we love and through the communities we belong to.