Gillipaw's Journal

By Gillipaw

Dolina Koscieliska, Tatras Mountains, Poland

We awoke to snow, and a breakfast which included radish, gherkins, cold meats, cheese and newly baked bread.

A short bus journey to the village of Kiry to meet our guide. In the daylight we were seeing beautiful wooden buildings everywhere, so much detail in the architecture. Even the wooden fences were well made and sometimes carved. There was a lot of mist rising from the fields as we began the walk along the valley. We stopped at the altar on the left which was built by iron miners. We saw many caves, and a strong flowing spring of water. There was deep snow in places and signs for risk of avalanche. It was so beautiful, even though it had started to rain heavily.

We stopped for lunch at a restaurant in the forest where I enjoyed mushroom soup like I have never tasted before. Some of the party had tea with a dash of rum, seemingly it's what you have here to keep you warm.

We retraced our steps, rather soaked through, and headed back to our chalet. It was at this point that our German friends heard that their Lufthanza flight home tomorrow had been cancelled due to the ash cloud from the volcano. Lots of discussion and phone calls and wondering what we should do, as we are due to fly on Sunday.

We decided to continue with the day's programme, and headed for the thermal pools, Terma Bukowina. Definately worth a visit if you are ever in the area. A new set of pools over a thermal spring, it was warmer in the outside pools, where there were racks just under the water line to lie on and every few minutes different spa effects were switched on. There was also a large circular area, where every minute a bell rang and you moved on from one jet to another, such a laugh. It was so relaxing - a real treat.

In the evening as part of the entertainment we introduced our German and Polish friends to the concept of a raffle. We had lots of Scottish themed prizes and had a great time. Later on, the home made Polish Cherry Vodka appeared. We continued to debate what we should do about travel home to both Scotland and Germany. We will decide in the morning.

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