Saturday, July 12, 2008
Zakopane- A Great "Daytrip"
On Tuesday the 8th of July, we visited Zakopane, a mountain resort 2 1/2 hours south of Krakow by bus. Our plans were to spend the day there hiking and enjoying the town and then pop back on the bus that evening. We weren't counting on the bus maneuvering its way through small Polish towns and around the side of hills. Except for me everyone had queasy stomachs. On a less yucky note, we are now starting to arrive at cheaper transportation costs after experiencing the Netherlands. Our one way to Zakopane was only 40 zl ( $19.00 US ). Half an hour on the train to Den Haag in Holland costed almost $30.00 ( for four ). When the bus got to the station we really had to use the bathroom because the bus wasn't equipped with one. Much to our surprise an older woman was sitting outside the bathroom taking in two zl per person. Go figure. If I'm going to open a business in Poland, it will be a public bathroom in Zakopane. Oh poopers, lets go on.
Written by Marty
When we arrived in Zakopane, we met up with the same man that we had randomly started talking to on the way back from Wieliczka(see last post). We talked to him about the mountain range, the Tatras mountains, and he told us that with kids, the alpine slide would be a good activity. This took us by suprise as mom had never mentioned an alpine slide in her research of Poland. We had also done the same thing at a ski resort in Wyoming 2 or 3 years before. We went to the foot of the mountain and browsed through the market place where numerous stands were set up with Zakopane souvies. We walked on until we reached a funicular and then took it up the side of the mountain rather than walk. When we reached the top, we looked around a little and then went to the alpine slide. Siena and I each went down twice, mommy and daddy only once. It was extremly fun, you controlled which speed you wanted and you couldn't stop because then people would run into each other. After the two times, Siena and I were begging mom and dad to let us do it again. Obiously, it didn't work. Then, we noticed people eating HUGE ice cream cones, they were humongous! We convinced mom and dad to let us get one (and a large sized one at that!) We sat down to draw the mountains a little later after we had finished consuming the delicious ice cream. Then, we took a ski lift down (it IS a ski resort you know,) and ended up in the middle of nowhere. We walked back to the main market to decide what to do next.
Written by Avocet
What to do? We were tired after the long walk. It was almost five o'clock. Why don't we do something spontaneous? (for us at least ) Let's try to find a place for the night. After being told either "sorry, no rooms at the inn" or "the price would be discounted to 500 zl/night" ( $240 US ), we found a room at the Hotel Gromada. It was clean, had starched linens and individual fold out couches for the girls. After resting and washing up a bit we further explored this lovely but touristy town. Its a combination of Alpine hotels, shops, restaurants and Gatlinburg kitsch. The girls rode on a mechanical bull and stayed on pretty long. lisa and I wanted to keep our almost one month record of not seeing a doctor intact and chose not to partake. We had a fun time, had good kebabs and deserts, and headed back to the hotel. No one was awake at 22:00 because we were pooped. We woke up the next morning and I took a shower only to have the Soviet era plumbing fail and have an inch of yucky water fill the bathroom floor. The lady at the front desk was nice enough to give us another room to spritz our faces. Off to the markets.
Written by Marty
The markets are large and have lots of neat things. From leather purses to highlander shoes, you can't go wrong. They had lots of leather merchandise and sheep figures as they have lots of sheep and cows. After we had browsed around and then made our final purchases, we headed back to the dreaded bus station, dreaded as we all knew we would get sick.
Written by Avocet
And that was our trip to the wonderful mountain town of Zakopane!!!