Slovakia, Poland, Slovakia, Poland, Slovakia, Poland. Our first foray into Poland was two days on the north side of the High Tatras where we encountered hordes of traffic and bumpy, narrow roads. Our second foray into Poland was a wonderful three-hour tour through Musyzna and the small ski resort area, Tylicz.
It was a mellow ~20 km uphill on brilliant roads with great scenery and almost no traffic. For our small effort we were treated to a phenomenal downhill back into Slovakia. The map indicated we descended about 350m in 7km, but it sure felt steeper and faster than that.
The grade mellowed, but it still felt fast all the way to Bardejov. Probably sunshine and a tailwind at work here. Bardejov’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage site inspired our last jaunt into Slovakia. Well, also, I loved the unassuming, unpretentious kindness of the Slovaks. During our picnic in Bardejov, we were treated to a music and fountain show (à la Bellagio) near this church:
and after eating I was blown away to find this just around the corner:
That’s my favorite downtown area of the trip thus far (and on the same afternoon of my favorite downhill of the trip thus far!).
A day later and we were back in Poland,
this time into Magurski Park Ńarodowy where we were welcomed by signs warning of bears and wolves. Traveling in areas with wildlife is something I am much more accustomed to than Snežana is, and we had some conversations about camping with bears and what to do during a bear encounter. We took the precaution to eat away from the tent, something I’ve practiced religiously in Alaska but rarely in Colorado.
Camping, probably illegally, in the park:
Outside the small protected area, I was surprised to find a wonderful wooden church in Krémpna and later came across photos of this church in a tourist brochure for Poland’s SE voivodeship, Podkarpackie.
By visiting a tiny area of SE Poland, I know I’m not getting a representative sample of the country, but it feels like a beautiful, quiet corner.