There is no doubt that Poland is an extremely beautiful and scenic country.
The area that we cycled through was in the south of Poland. Going through The Tatra Mountain range, the Pieniny Range in Slovakia, and The Beskid Mountains.
Our first stop was Zakopane, a beautiful mountain town which was quite commercialised, but I still liked it.
The mountain overlooking Zakopane looked like a man lying down, and folklore has it that it was a soldier, and in the event of Poland being invaded would get up and defend the country.
We visited the market there which was famous for it’s cheese, which looks like pastry, and called oscypek, it tasted good.
We took a cable car with our bikes up Gubalowka Mountain, but whilst at the top the heavens opened with torrential rain, and quickly progressed into a massive hailstoning thunderstorm, but I could see the amazing views of the mountain range, amongst the grey thunderous clouds before it erupted.
We had a long wet ride down to the bottom of the mountain, which I found exhilarating.
The next day, we headed further south towards Debno and cycled along the Dunajec river, there is always something magical when cycling along a river path, as if you are flowing effortlessly with the natural life force. We visited an old wooden church at Debno that dated back to the 15th century.
We had a picnic in a very picturesque gorge, and a few of us had a paddle. I was itching to have a swim, but decided against it as we didn’t have much time.
A few of us swam in a reservoir in between two castles in the town of Niedzica. It was very relaxing, but at the same time an invigorating experience after all that cycling.
We cycled towards Slovakia to the Pieniny Range, where we saw the stunning Trzy Korony (3 crowns) mountains. Before we entered the national park we visited a monastery at Cerveny Klastor and tasted the delicious home made coca cola, in the neighbouring cafe.
We cycled along the Pieniny Way, which is a cycle path carved out of the cliff running along the Dunajec gorge.
It was truly a magnificent adventure, and one of the highlights of the trip. Cycling down along the stony pathway, sometimes very steep, it felt thrilling.
The very fast, wide muddy river was running alongside the cycle path, it felt at times you were racing with it.
There were rafters on the river, giving passengers the ride of their lives, we waved at them and they waved back.
The towering limestone cliffs overlooked the river, and were a breathtaking backdrop to the raging river.
I had to keep stopping to take pictures, as around every corner there was yet another picture of scenic beauty.
We headed towards the spa town of Szczawnica in Poland, another charming and beautiful town, where we tasted the healing and therapeutic mineral water.
In the evening a few of us took a cable car up to the top of the mountain, to witness the views of Szczawnica , in all it’s mighty glory. We spent the night there.
We headed towards Rytro, along the green Dunajec gorge, en route we visited a sleepy town in the middle of nowhere, where Kasia knows the elderly gentleman, we stopped and had a chat, he was a lovely friendly man of 84, and Kasia was very fond of him and his wife.
The old wooden houses are painted blue in between the large planks of wood, which in olden days would mean a single girl lived there, and interested boys would knock on the door to pursue her. Michael joked, with his ornately carved wooden spoon holder, we laughed.
We spent the night in what was like a youth hostel, and was described as basic conditions, but I liked the rawness and character of the place. We wanted to swim in the nearby river, but was too fast and dangerous.
We had a party in the wooden gazebo in the garden and ate BBQ’d trout, was lots of fun.
We cycled through more beautiful places such as Stary Sacz, and had coffee and cake at a grand place.
The last few days were spent in Krakow, which is the former capital of Poland, which has a distinctive character, and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list, which means it’s protected, it has many beautiful buildings of historical architecture.
We were privileged to be there during a Pierogi Festival, which is a dumpling festival and we tasted a wide variety of delicious dumplings with mince, spinach, plum, strawberry and many others.
The whole square in Krakow was filled with stalls of a creative nature, with cute little children dancing on stage in their traditional costume.
My trip to Poland was filled with all the good things that life has to offer, scenic beauty, history, friendship, fun and laughter, cycling , and most of the time I was in a state of bliss.
Can life get any better than this, when you follow your bliss, it just keeps on getting better, better and better.
Have a fab Tuesday.
Love as always