Poland has an interesting geographical location that will satisfy every tourist. In the north there is the Baltic Sea. Then heading south we pass lakes and forests almost everywhere, until we get to the mountains which are also the border with Slovakia and the Czech Republic. And this time the mountains were our goal.
Not so planned trip
It was not, however, a planned trip. Not exactly, anyway. We planned to go to Sanok – to the mountains, but different from the ones we had reached. The problem was that my man, while setting the GPS, instead of marking to avoid highways, this time accidentally marked to choose just such roads. Or maybe it was not a coincidence? Anyway, when at some point we entered the toll highway and there was no way to get off it, we quickly made new plans. As this highway was leading us all the way to Katowice, we decided to go to the Tatra Mountains.
It may be hard to believe, but I have never been to the Tatra Mountains, even though I have family in Zakopane! I’ve always dreamed of going there, but it never happened. This time being in Poland I decided that I have to see the Polish mountains, even if only for a brief moment! And that’s what we did – we went there for a brief visit , for a weekend to be exact.
Short stop in Cracow
On our way we stopped briefly in Cracow. Although we tried very hard, we didn’t manage to get to the Market Square to listen to the bugle call. Well… maybe we will come back here one day again and hear it. And all because of the parking problem, which was to be expected. After all, this is Cracow, one of the most famous and touristic places in Poland.
On the market, despite the pandemic, there were plenty of people. In restaurants almost all the tables were occupied, and in some it turned out that you have to book a place in advance. However, the country is recovering from the pandemic and evidently quite quickly. We really wanted to go to one of the restaurants that served Jewish food, but we had to pass. We ended up walking around the market and its surroundings, buying a few small souvenirs and heading towards Zakopane.
The weather was exceptionally good: it was beautiful, sunny and warm. Considering our luck with bad weather, this day should be put on the calendar as a holiday! It didn’t even rain on Bracka Street! 😉
Sudden problems with a hotel
When we were almost in Zakopane, someone called from the hotel where we were supposed to stay. He informed us that there was some strange mistake and unfortunately they didn’t have free rooms for tonight. That was just fantastic! We were literally half an hour from our destination, somewhere in some tiny village (of course) and suddenly it turns out that we have to look for a hotel at the last minute or we will have to spend the night in the car. This would perhaps not be such a big problem. We have already slept in a car more than once, but after a whole day behind the wheel you just want not to look at the wheel for a change.
After quickly searching the Internet – at least there was no problem with that, because in our travels the Internet problems were very common too. We called a few places and managed to book a room in “Pokoje Gościnne u Hajduka” ( Hajduks’ Guest Rooms) in Murzasichle – a village just a few kilometers from Zakopane. With this reservation we were also very lucky, because someone changed their mind at the last minute .
Guest Room in Murzasichle
The owner of the house was already waiting for us on the stairs when we arrived. She gave us a tour of the house, showing us the kitchen, the game room and of course our room. Very nice woman. She was very pleasant to talk to. The room was very clean, modest, hotel style: a small table, two chairs and 3 beds – two singles and one double. We also had our own bathroom. There were no mini soaps and shampoos as usual in hotels, but it didn’t bother us. After all, we have been traveling for a long time and we are prepared for such situations. Anyway, washing without soap if there is no other option is still better than nothing.
Murzasichle is a very charming and very hilly village. Almost all the houses there are converted into guest rooms and small hotels. The views are breathtaking. Walking around the village too, but for a different reason haha. We definitely need to work on our fitness, because working on a computer makes walking in the hilly areas so exhausting!
Zakopane and Tatra Mountains
The next day, first thing in the morning, we went for a short walk around Zakopane. Lucky that we went in the morning, because this time we found a parking space without any problems. However, we had to stop for a coffee and breakfast in a local cafe, because it was a little too early for all the other stores.
Zakopane overall disappointed me a bit. I think it is a little too overrated or I was too hyped. To be honest, I liked it much more in Murzasichle. Zakopane, although undoubtedly also beautiful, is painfully commercial. A bit like the market in Krakow: shopkeepers and small stalls with local specialties and highland souvenirs. And on top of that the prices were like from outer space. Of course, we went to these places and not others, because those were the only places we knew about from top of our heads. I am not complaining, because what we saw is simply the result of our lack of preparation. That is why we ended up in places typically tailored for tourists… and usually we avoid such places.
After quick shopping, we decided to go back to our initial plan and go to at least some of the previously planned places around Sanok. And on the way there we decided to visit a few viewpoints in the Tatra Mountains.
This time we managed to set the GPS to avoid highways…. And so we unknowingly ended up in Slovakia! Well, we definitely did not plan that! It turned out that the shortest way, which is not a highway, leads through Slovakia! And so not only did we see the Tatra Mountains, but in addition we saw them from both sides! This is what we call a successful trip!