Off to explore more of Poland.
On a wet miserable day we headed for the lovely spa town of Kudowa Zdroj … in the Stolwe Mountains National Park. Located in the Southwest corner of Poland on the Czech border, a slight detour but oh well. 😊
Determined this blog will not have a picture of a church in it, we had a musical 15 mins in the lovely park instead. Al Pal’s face clearly not impressed with this idea as you can see in pic above 🤣
We found a carpark for Pinot in the middle of town and with much gesticulation by Al, myself and the lovely attendant determined, that it was fine to park overnight at a very reasonable 24zlt around 8 dollars . Great, paid and then again with his hands waving in the air, pointing to his shins, we made out that at 10pm the gates were locked and two big hounds came in and we couldn’t step outside Pinot till 6.00 am … Oh ..mmm will think about that one .🤣🤣
So we continued on our little tour . I don’t believe it not two paragraphs down , and there is a pic of a church !! But, this one is not your typical church . The Chapel of Skulls in Czermna is a tiny church. The walls and ceilings are decorated with over 3,000 skulls and bones and another 21,000 ! In a crypt below . A Czech priest and the local grave digger at the time collected, cleaned and arranged the bones over a period of 18 years from 1776-1794. where did all the bones come from you ask ? Apparently from various wars , disease and hunger . Creepy, the only such monument in Poland and one of six in Europe. No photography allowed inside so this one is from the net.
After a delicious lunch in town and the rain still tumbling down we decided to not spend the night with the hounds and go and do one of our planned walks in the rain instead.
Arrived in the fog and rain and after paying the car park fee at the bottom of the mountain drove up for about ten minutes on a very bumpy uneven road. Thank goodness they have a system that cars were not coming down at the same time we were travelling up. Not in the least perturbed with the weather, we were in for an adventure. This area also known as Errant Rocks was brilliant. A labyrinth of crevices and recesses or nooks and crannies if you prefer, amazing rock formations , and towering boulders. Yes, it was wet but we think it added to the atmosphere and there were less crowds. Crowds, we were two of maybe six other people that were walking at the same time, perfect. At times it was tricky squeezing through some of these crevices .and we saw two of the above mentioned walkers on this trail turn back because … well their tummies were a tad too big to squeeze through some of them. ..Indiana Jones peeking through ..There are apparently great views over the Czech Republic on a clear day from here, ours was just a glimpse as the fog was quite high .When we came to the end of the trail I was so disappointed … it went by too quickly ! This location was used for some of the filming for The Chronicles of Narnia and Prince Caspian .So many ooo’s and arr’s. Wow, we just loved it here .
It was time then to find a home for the night. We found a spot in a hotel car park in Karlow, the small village which was where our walk the following day would start, in another area of the Stolwe Mountains. Paid 25zlt for the night … bargain, even taking into account the 24zlt earlier not to stay overnight with the hounds .🤣
Up with the larks and a bonus the rain had stopped. We were warned this walk would be busy by the car park attendant the night before. So, before any sign of cars or coaches arriving by 8.00 am we had started our walk. In Australia 8.00am is late for walking! Quite often, especially in summer we are pounding the streets at 6.00 am if not earlier !
Oh my !!! We thought our yesterday walk was brilliant, this place was even better ! Magical ! We read there were 625 steps up, lost count at a hundred as the boulder formations and gorgeous scenery started to appear. After about fifteen minutes you reach the plateau where there is a cafe/ restaurant. Surprised that apparently people turn back here. A few steps further and the entrance with an admission fee of 20zlt for two, marks the beginning of the magical mystery tour !Nature at it’s best , another trail of twists and turns, intrigue and delight ! What made this walk even better was that we were alone…pays to rise early in Poland.More interesting rock formations and some, as a result of weathering over time have have appearances of animals. This one, an apes head ….love this pic below, but I was very uneasy as Al Pal scaled this rock …always up for an adventure, bad for my nerves!
.could not quite capture the right pic with the light , but this was described as Devils Kitchen/Hell I felt heaven would have been a more appropriate description. I was singing Queens ‘it’s a kinda magic ‘ here, on the other hand a haunting tune from Enya would have been just as good.up and down steps and bending up and down a lovely little work out too.The end of the looped trail before heading back down.Al and I on different viewing platforms looking at each other.. A few more stairs to navigate and some uneven paths. Fantastic !!!!!
We have never seen anything quite like this before. Poland continues to impress.
Next stop Bolków, a small Polish town in the Lower Silesian area of Poland. Surrounded by rolling hills and pretty countryside a good base for exploring the area and taking it easy for a few days , on yet another great site.. A short walk into town , not a lot going on here but it’s famous for its castle .and the ruins of Swiny Castle a short walk through the woodlands from our campsite.Ksiaz Castle, below on a more elaborate scale is Poland’s third largest . Stopped here on a drive on a Sunday , the queues were long , very long to get in, no English info whatsoever. So, not wanting to wait for hours in the queue we enjoyed the outside , people watched and had a ice cream instead.even though a cold beer was tempting .Sorry, another church. But again with a difference, no bell tower or spires. It is Jawor ‘s church of peace. One of the largest Protestant timber framed churches in Europe built with clay and straw.There were originally three of them in Poland, the other one is located in the town of Swidnica and are both UNESCO listed. The third was burnt to the ground many years ago . Jawor was supposed to have a lovely old town , but we were not that keen to leave Pinot on the streets around here and find it, maybe we came in the wrong way ?
The town of Jenlina Gora not too far away was way more appealing.
More R&R back home . This was a good drop … a crooked neck , thought we had had one too many !
Poland has impressed us …another country we wish we had more time to explore, but alas our time in mainland Europe is coming to an end.
I might just add that Polish drivers are by far the worst we have witnessed on our time on the road ! The amount of near fatal accidents we have seen has been horrendous. Speed , no regard for their life or indeed anyone else .. overtaking on double white lines on bends, just an example !!! Utter madness …. fact:
UK has 28 road fatalities per 1 million
Poland has 80 per million !!!
Phew, lucky we escaped unscathed!
Until next time
Love to all xx