One week ago today Michal and I left our sweet little home and took off for our summer of adventure. We have been to New York City, Stockholm, Sweden, the Northwest part of Poland and yesterday we arrived in Southwestern Poland. Some people go on vacation to relax. When we go on vacation, we forget what relaxation is and spend the majority of our time on the go exploring new places.
Yesterday we rented a car and drove to Szklarska Poręba which is nestled in the Karkonosze mountains. Driving in Poland is much different than driving in the United States. First off, our rental car was a Ford Focus wagon that runs on diesel fuel. Gas is much more expensive here and thankfully diesel is a bit cheaper. The drive took us about 7.5 hours. We were relieved to find that Poland had a very nice highway for about two thirds of our trip. After that, we were on narrow curvy roads with barely enough room for one car. The roads were so narrow and curvy that reflective paint decorated the trees that lined the road to guide the drivers along.
In years past we have gone to Zakopane in the Southern most part of Poland. This year we decided to explore something new. Last year my mom joined us on our trip to the mountains. This year she is back home and this trip feels like something is desperately missing without her here.
We were quite tired from our drive yesterday so we had planned to take it easy today. There are never “easy days” when you travel with my husband. We started off hiking to a waterfall. To get to the waterfall you had to pay money and wear a helmet. The waterfall was pretty, but it was nothing compared to the gorgeous waterfalls in Ithaca. And I’m still not quite sure what purpose the helmet served – maybe to protect against the possibility of falling rocks?
Michal’s mom turned around at this point while Michal and I continued up the mountain. We walked over 12 miles today – at least half of that straight up. My fitbit calculated that we covered the equivalent of 246 flights of stairs. So much for an easy day! The views were worth it though. There were also shelters scattered along the way which provided a respite from the relentless sun and heat and provided a place to re-hydrate and buy some food.
The path we took today was literally on the border of Poland and the Czech Republic. At times we had one foot in Poland and the other in the Czech Republic. Right now I’m sitting on the balcony admiring the mountain I’m pretty sure we climbed today and enjoying a cold refreshing drink. I may be exhausted, but life is pretty good!