After Hawaii, I got back to London for half a day, then got an easyjet to krakow, then a 2 hour bus ride to Zakopane, the alpine capital of Poland. It’s quite fairytale there. All the houses are wooden and have very pointy roofs. Found a bar in the centre if town and sat with a beer until Annette and her family turned up. We went to a traditional restaurant across the road. It was insanely cheap and we ended up ordering way too much food, thinking that each item on the menu was a la carte, only to find that they were all pretty much full meals.
The next day we went for a walk in a valley with lots of rivers and waterfalls tucked away. The next day we went hiking along a mountain ridge. We lost one of our party but couldn’t call because we were in a dead spot between Poland and Slovakia. Move 5m one way, you’re on the Polish t-mobile, 5m the other way your on slovak telecom.
The day after that we went to Morskie Oko (“the eye of the sea” – a big glacial lake in a valley on the border again. We climbed right to the top of the ridge and could see down into all the surrounding valleys with dramatic views of lakes and forests.
The day after that, Annette and I went to a waterpark that was heated by geothermal energy. Good quality waterslides. The best one was only 10m long but went straight down at 45 degrees. Super fast.
After that we met some of the rest of the guys in this bar in the middle of zakopane. It was pretty rough and ready, the menu had drinks all priced at 80 pence. One kind of beer. One kind of vodka, one kind of wine. Then there were 5 dishes you could order all £1.40. Conveniently communist.