Saturday, September 16.
I’m packing my suitcase and camera bag.
The phone rings. It is Little A. wishing Princess and me a great trip. On the background I hear Ex speaking to our daughter.
Then Little A. repeats what her mother said.
Then my iPhone pings. A message from Big A. telling me to check my mail as she does not want to get up early and drive us to the airport for nothing.
What the fuck is all this about?
I check the newspaper.
One of the headlines reads “Ryanair to tell 400,000 passengers of cancelled flights after roster ‘mess-up’”
Ryanair promises their customer it will cancel 40 to 50 flights to and/or fro every day until October 31.
Luckily Princess and I are not concerned.
Sunday, September 17.
Big A. picks us up and we arrive at Charleroi Airport (the so called Brussels-South) around 03:45. To early but hey, better be one hour to early than 5 minutes to late.
At 06:30 the plane takes off and 2 hours later we arrive at Kraków Airport. Not even 30 minutes later I enter the address of the apartment in Here Maps. Traffic is moderate and I steer the rented Toyota Yaris over the Polish roads.
It takes us 20’ to arrive and about 40’ to find the place because the roads ends and continues further in a sort of dead-end group of small roads.
We are way too early to check in the apartment so I drive to the old center of Kraków where I find a parking spot.
There is a small market going on. Mostly elderly people selling old or cheap stuff. I have the impression they are mostly underprivileged people. The road is broken, there is mud and rubbish. There is no happiness, everybody looks sad or indifferent. Like if it is still cold-war Poland. You know, the USSR and stuff.
We head to the old center. Some building are dilapidated, some brand new. It is a mix of a new and an old era. Don’t forget, the Wall fell in Berlin fell only 27 years ago and it took quite some time before the former USSR countries found their new ways.
We had lunch, delicious Polish food and it was very cheap. It was good outside with a discrete sun.
Then we walked further, discovering more of Kraków. Then the first raindrops fell. Shortly after it rained and it did so for the remainder of the late afternoon.
By the time we got back at our car I was soaked to the bone and my clothes, shoes and vest as wet as if I had fallen in water. Princess was wearing a waterproof vest but her shoes and jeans were soaked too.
Back at the apartment we took a shower and I checked the opening hours of Decathlon. They were open so we drove over to the shop. Princess got rubber boots. I a pair of waterproof and very comfortable hiking boots from hunting department. Two pair of waterproof trousers to pull over jeans or whatever and a weatherproof vest completed our purchases.
The apartment itself was simply great and well equipped. We could not have found a better place to say. Modern, cozy, and cheap.
Monday, September 18.
The weather app tells us it is going to be a warm and sunny day.
We enjoy our breakfast and then we are on our way.
It takes about 2:30 hours to arrive at Zakopane near the Slovakian border.
Zakopane is a resort town in southern Poland, at the base of the Tatras Mountains. It’s a popular departure point for winter sports and summertime mountain climbing and hiking. Kasprowy Wierch and Gubałówka, reachable by cable car and funicular, are nearby ski destinations offering sweeping mountain views. The town is also known for its turn-of-the-20th-century wooden chalets, symbols of Zakopane-style architecture. (Wikipedia)
We find a sort of restaurant, well, more of a canteen and have lunch there. The food is delicious and ridiculously cheap.
Don’t count on your English though. They had their menu translated so it was about pointing at the right items and then she showed me the bill and I wrote down what I was going to pay with the tip added to the amount.
At the Tatra National Park we join a queue and after 45 minutes we get in a cable car. Ten minutes later we get out. We are at 2000 meters. The view is breathtaking. Princess and I enjoy a walk, we climb even higher. I film, take pictures, we laugh and kiss and are so happy.
It is a popular place to have your wedding photos taken as we spot several newlyweds and professional photographers and stylists.
Later we dined at the same canteen and for the four meals + drinks I paid not even 30 Euro.
After the +2 hour drive back we were exhausted. After showering I downloaded my work of the day on the Western Digital Wireless Passport Pro and copied a movie on an USB-stick so we could watch it on the huge flat screen TV.