Warsaw, Poland Warsaw was completely bombed and destroyed during World War II. On Black Monday(September 25, 1939), 500 tons of high explosive bombs and 72 tons of incendiary bombs were dropped, and there was heavy artillery shelling. Jews were rounded up and forced into a ghetto. Overall, Warsaw suffered approximately 25,800 civilian deaths. The Warsaw of today is an exact restoration of what it was before the War.
Krakow was such an amazing historical city and I felt so alive having gone there by myself and seeing all of these incredible sights and making new friends. It was the first time I opened up on my travels and I was kicking myself that I hadn't done it earlier.I discovered I shouldn't be so shy and to open up more to strangers, because other people can really make your trip so much more special. Now it's what I love the most about travelling and thinking back to that particular day always gets me so pumped and energised for new adventures ahead.
From Zakopane, I continued north to Gdynia to stay with a friend of a friend. While there, my friends/hosts/tourguides Krzyzstof and Bart showed me around Gdynia, Sopot, and Gdańsk…tricities on the sea. I had a couple days there to get shown around the area with good food, good beer, and great riding through the city, which makes riding around a city in the US feel like kindergarden.
Gdańsk has a very long history…Its over 1000 years old, and for most of it’s life has been a free city. It didn’t actually become a part of Poland until 1945. Being the largest seaport in the area, and not being a part of Poland is what brought about the development of Gdynia. In 1920, Poland no longer wanted to face the expense of having all the imports and exports going through a free city, so they built up Gdynia as a large seaport. We also went to the the site of the start of WWII. On September 1st, 1939, Gdańsk was attacked from the sea.
The Much-Talked About Culture
Since childhood I have always been fascinated by mountains. Family trips of summer in the lower Himalayan hill stations like Darjeeling, Gangtok, etc. in India, has always been stuck in my mind and played a very important role in making me a genuine lover of the mountain and hilly landscapes.So it comes as no surprise that wherever I go to travel in the world, I always search for hills and mountains near that place. That is why, when I went to live in the lovely central European country of Poland, I could not hold myself to check out it’s beautiful mountain range called the Tatra mountains.Tatra mountains are part of Carpethian mountain range and situated in the south of Poland, marking it’s border with nearby country Slovakia. In the valley of Tatra, the town of Zakopane is situated which is arguably the most famous hill station of Poland both in summer and winter. Thousands of mountain lovers visit the town everyday to trek in summer and for skiing and other winter sports in the winter.I arrived to Zakopane in the beginning of August with my girlfriend, with the goal to trek and explore the beautiful Tatra national park and its mountain peaks for a week. Zakopane is just a couple of hour bus ride from the most famous city of southern Poland Krakow.We booked a room is a family-run hostel on the southern edge of the town, just half a kilometer away from the entrance of Tatra National Park. All the trekking and skiing trails of Tatra mountains are situated inside the national park and for better maintenance of nature and wildlife of the park, the entry is partly restricted and 5 złoty (Polish currency, 1 euro = 4.2 złoty) ticket need to be bought for entering the park. After entering the room we opened the back door to a lovely terrace where the beautiful view of the national park was waiting to welcome us.
Kindness might be constrained but cruelty knows no bounds!
Next was the Wieliczka salt mine. It was an active salt mine for about 700 years, closing down and turning into a full time museum in 2007. A hallway carved out of the rocksalt, and logs used to support the tunnels, caked in the salt after centuries of exposure. The various jobs that existed in the mine, depicted by gnomes…it felt a little bit like Disney world. All the tunnels and chambers in this mine were carved out completely for mining purposes…nothing was natural, yet it was surprising how cave-like some areas felt.
It gives me a thrill in walking across borders!
Grand Old Eastern European Ambience
A trek to Rogi is a must for everyone who wants to see the amazing amalgamation of greenery and the barren mountains. It helps one to understand what they can expect once they venture into the Spiti valley.