England isn’t known for its snow, and the south even less so. Growing up I can remember perhaps two occasions it snowed more than just an sprinkling of icing sugar’s worth. That’s why I still find snow somewhat magical.
When my parents came to visit a couple of weekends back, we decided to take a break from the usual tourist spots of Kraków and do something different. After all, there’s only so many times you can trot round the Jewish quarter before you know every corner. (Pro:tip, go to “Cheder” they serve amazing Israeli coffee and baklava)
Instead, we departed for an overnight trip to Zakopane, a resort in the Tatar mountains about two hours away.
We arrived at the hotel in Zakopane just as the sun was setting. The journey was speedy at the start, but slowed for the last couple of miles.
On the first night, we traveled through the main street in search of hot mountain food. Despite setting off early, it was a tough challenge to find a place with space. The whole place has a strange mix of classic and modern.
The next morning, we set off on a trek through to the national park before skirting round the edge. With a baby on our backs, we didn’t fancy climbing too many steep slopes.
The “sleeping knight” rested in the distance as we wondered through the town and approached the national park.
We were almost at the park’s perimeter and our daughter decided that she needed a break. Luckily there were some warm bars for skiers and hikers. Hot coffees were cupped and slowly consumed as we warmed.
The British members of the excursion party needed the break more than the Polish member.
We left the bar, set off up the hill, reached the park and then took a sharp turn right.
The brevity of that sentence does no justice to the difficulties of a fairly steep slope, covered in snow, with a one year old in a carrier on your back. I carefully examined every step I took and I would still find my foot slipping and an arm or two supporting me from behind.
After another 30 mins we had reached another path back into the town. Now our youngest party member had decided that it was time for lunch.
My wife and I knew the area well as we had stayed here two years ago. Soon we reached a restaurant we had enjoyed last time and served traditional Polish food.
I would include a photo, but my hunger was faster than my camera. Potato pancakes with goulash and smoked cheese is one of my favourite Polish meals, even if it is difficult to walk afterwards.
After the meal, it was time to return to the car, leave Zakopane and head home.
But not before picking up some mountain style food for friends at home..and ourselves.
All photos taken on Fuji x100T except night shot on iPhone XS.