Tatry ups-and-downs & Cracow reflections photo-set

This visit to the Polish Tatry was originally scheduled for earlier in the year, but a recent bout of flu had made this a bad idea. However, having already paid, all I needed was a flight there and a couple of nights in the luxurious and great-value Pollera Hotel, Cracow.

I’m losing track of the number of visits to Poland I’ve now made, and even a rainy arrival in Cracow couldn’t dampen my enthusiasm. And later in the evening, as dark fell, the rain stopped and people came out. I had been itching to get some photos done, and the puddles and wet surfaces gave me some good chances to play with reflections – something I always enjoy doing. So, as everyone else looked up at the architecture of the Old Town, I was busy staring at the ground, moving around to get the angles I wanted, and working fast before someone walked through my chosen puddle-mirror! Oh, and a new, manual-focus-manual-aperture fisheye lens to play around with too, just to add to the fun.

Then, an easy bus-ride to Zakopane, a much bigger place than I expected. However, I was staying well out of town, with some peace and quiet to hand, along with my guides for the week, who made me feel so at home in their lovely house: One evening, feeling rather tired from a full day of walking, and after a couple of glasses of wine, I was treated to an impromptu set of songs from Maciej, beautifully played and sung. You don’t get that in one of the soulless hotels. Or a guide with the experience and knowledge of Bożena, who was patient as I gained my mountain-muscle over the first few days, and found some amazing, varied landscape in the mountains, both on-and-off the main trails. Part granite and part limestone, these mountains have the rough-and-pointy appearance of ‘proper’ mountains to me! I’m used to the weather changing rapidly (I’m from Britain, after all), but the way it can do this in a very few seconds constantly surprised me. Sometimes in a lovely, ‘ah, the view’ way; sometimes, more of an ‘oh no, gonna get soaked (again)’ feeling. But always great chances for photos, and wearing the right gear … well, it helps, but there are times when you will get soaked, but worth every moment. Just occasionally, it looks on the photos a little like a wet weekend in Wales … until the clouds move aside. And then … well, there is no doubt that you are somewhere much more special!

Don't lose yourself in the mountains too much!

Don’t lose yourself in the mountains too much!

One day of constant, hard rain provided the opportunity for a visit to some caverns in Slovakia, and a village of traditional houses, both new and old. Photos consisted of hopping in and out of the car frequently, after spotting interesting windows to photograph! If Marta, my guide for the day, thought I was crazy, she didn’t seem to mind too much.

My final day, and snow up on the mountains, with sun shining. Any thoughts of a short-stroll evaporated, once we started walking, and I realised that my muscles were no longer aching, and ready for a last climb up to the 2,000 metre tops. Plus snow on mountains, perfect for me. And not that cold, at least to me. A late arrival in Cracow after that, but I could have stayed in the mountains another week, easily. Or much, much longer …

Again, thanks to my guides for the week, Bożena, Marta and Maciej, for taking me to some amazing places, both on-and-off the usual trails, keeping it interesting and varied in all weathers, and never, ever complaining when I was walking very slowly on the first days there.

And Cracow, of course, where it seems to rain a lot, but even this can provide some interesting opportunities for reflection…

So, please click the link to share my visit to this amazing part of my favourite country, with all the ups-and-downs …

Tatry and Cracow visit, 2013

About Chris Senior

Photographer, wit, travel-junkie, MSc student and practising eccentric! Prog rock nut and baker of tasty cakes.
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1 Response to Tatry ups-and-downs & Cracow reflections photo-set

  1. Pingback: Return to the Tatry | PhotosMatter

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