Friday, July 29, 2005

Poland's Switzerland and Bus Agony

(pictures to come)

Zakopane is yet another location that we most likely wouldn't have come to but are so happy to have made the trip to. Located in the southern-most part of Poland (just north of the Poland/Slovakia border), it's considered the Switzerland of Poland. The locale has not disappointed. A ski bums heaven during winter, it's quite the hiker/tourist location during the summer. More on the hikes in a bit. Thankfully for us we decided to come mid week so the crowds haven't been too overwhelming. Somehow I think by Saturday (when we leave for Krakow) it will be quite a different story.

The trip here from Vilnius was one to forget. We took an overnight bus from Vilnius to Krakow. Seemed like a decent enough idea; get a bit of sleep on the bus. save some $ for lodging and we get into Krakow early enough to take an early bus to Zakopane so we can get an extra full day there.

Needless to say the end result wasn't quite as ideal. The bus (like so many in Eastern Europe) was lacking air and the Aussie next to us made the executive decision to shut off our roof vent early on. Still a manageable trip until they decided to show the double feature of Night at the Roxbury and Meet the Fockers in dubbed Lithuanian. Pain does not accurately describe the feeling of having this drown out my iPod's attempts at keeping me in a Zen like state.

Finally about midnight Becca and I tried to get some sleep. We finally got a few hours only after a lot of fidgeting. Of course at 3:30am we were awaken by our mandatory stop at a truck stop that had a McDonald's and a 24 hour Kebab place. Yes, a 24 hour Kebab place whose friendly chef on the sign looked like the Milkman Dan from Red Meat) Not even my love for the Egg McMuffin could sucker me into eating at this hour. At that point no more sleep was to be had the rest of the trip.

Upon arriving in Krakow all sleep deprived we went searching for the first available bus to Zakopane. Difficult to do however when the bus inexplicably drops you off at the train station. Thankfully it was just across the way and we were able to suffer through another very hot (but scenic) ride to Zakopane.

Amazing how painful this bus ordeal really was. When I traveled Australia I twice took the bus for over 24 hours and I wasn't nearly in as bad of shape. Guess that's what 8 years will do to you...

Ok, just realized that this post took way too much real estate. Back with part 2 (the actual fun stuff of Zakopane) shortly!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A lot of people in Zakopane want only rent and don't sell :)