Remembering the summer time – a trip to the Turquoise Lake

Today I will tell you about a trip to the Turquoise Lake and the Zielonka Hill in the Woliński National Park, near Międzyzdroje, by the Polish Baltic Sea.

To get to the beautiful Turquoise Lake you take a blue track starting in Międzyzdroje. This is the hardest route among all in the Woliński National Park, but I liked it best, because of its landscape diversity. The whole track, from Międzyzdroje to the Lake and back, is about 20 kms long (like the other, which I described  HERE).

Some parts of this route lead through the exquisite beech woods, which I found extraoridinary diversified, in terms of their surface shape. All the time you come across little hillocks, ravines and gorges, forest clearings – therefore it is not possible to get bored about the track 🙂

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The Zielonka Hill. From here you can admire a gorgeous view on the Świna River Reverse Delta, the pictures of which I’m showing a little bit lower 😀

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The Turquoise Lake is the remnant of the opencast chalk mine, which existed in the Wapnica Village in the 50s of the XX century. With its sapphire water it is one of the most beautiful lakes of the Woliński National Park. This colour of the lake is the effect of sun rays reflecting in the waters rich in calcium compounds.

It is located amongst the wooded Lubińsko-Wapnickie hills. It is 6,74 ha big and 21,2 m deep.ImageImageImageImage

The blue track leads further to The Zielonka Hill, from which you can admire the panorama of the Szczeciński Bay and the flood plains of the Świna River Reverse Delta. The view has been chosen by the NFI (Naturfreunde International) as the “View of the year 1993/94”! 🙂

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The Świna River Reverse Delta flood plains consist of more or less 40 islands and channels, where the water flow direction continuously changes. This water and mud complex came into being about 6 000 years ago and its origin is connected with the Baltc Sea storm rises. Due to the storms and strong winds the Świna River’s waters moved back and the reverse river delta was formed. During this phenomenon the sea waters are poured into the Szczeciński Bay, and thus the islands are being flooded. These conditions determine flora in the area – the plants growing here are adapted to salty soils and you can find some rare and endangered species, like sea aster, pinnated plantain, great fen-sedge and sea milkwort. The flood plains are also birds’ paradise, the habitat of the international importance.

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Remembering the summer time – a trip to the Lapwing Lake

I came across a few pictures, which I took last summer, in September, during a week spent by Polish Baltic sea. In spite of uncertain weather, we went on two long trips to the lakes – The Czajcze Lake (The Lapwing Lake) and The Turkusowe Lake (The Turquoise Lake). I am showing you some photos of the Lapwing Lake in this post. The pictures from the second excursion I will present in the following note.

The green route to the Lapwing Lake starts in Międzyzdroje and leads through the thick woods, the gorgeous beech forests among the others.

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While passing through the village of Warnowo you can admire a beautiful, old orchard, very picturesque especially on a September, rainy day.

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Among the old, fruit species, there grows a huge Thuja plicata tree in the orchard. It is 120 years old and 25 m high.

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From the Warnowo village it is quite close to the Lapwing Lake. Its shores are thickly covered with trees, shrubs and fallen logs, therefore, it’s difficult to reach the water. But, on the other hand, such landscape makes the trip more attractive, particulary because, due to various obstacles, you can easily loose track! 😀

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The beaver’s work!

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The Lapwing Lake is situated amongst the forests of the Woliński National Park. The shoreline has a shape of a crossaint. The Lapwing Lake is the largest of all the Park’s lakes, it is 77,64 ha big and 3 m deep on average.

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In the middle of the lake there lies a small cape, where the green track leads. In the XIX century this cape was an island. After the second world war the ruins of the medieval stronghold were there discovered. Nearby a huge boulder sticks out of the lake. It was transported by a glacier from the areas of today’s Scandinavia 12 000 years ago. People say, that on sunny days otters bask in the sun on its surface – that’s why it is called the Otter Boulder (Wydrzy Głaz).

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At the end of the trip I found a tiny lizard and managed to take a picture of it 🙂

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Polish Tatra Mountains – part 2!

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Hi! 🙂 It’s time to present the last 4 routes from Polish Tatra Mountains. Two of them were very difficult and challenging; they were carried out in my beloved High Tatras at the altitude of over 2000 m above the sea level. Of course we organised easier excursions between those two – just to let our legs rest and stay in shape at the same time.

After loading all the pictures here I was terrified of their amount 😛 but, honestly, if I were to choose the best photos and remove the rest, I couldn’t do that. The Tatra Mountains are magnificient and deserve as good factual documentation as possible! 😀

So let’s start with the charming Valley of Jaworzynka… looks quite innocent? The real fun will begin soon 😀ImageImage

Here you can see Giewont on the right (this is the most popular peak in Polish Tatra Mountains) and some of the Red Peaks on the left (described in the previous post)

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You can see Zakopane here – the town at the foot of the Tatras (and the vague Babia Góra massif at the horizon)

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The High Tatras finally! The characteristic massif a little bit to the left, reminding of the eagle wings a bit, is Kozi Wierch – the Goat Peak; the summit sticking out in the centre is Kościelec (no idea how to translate it into English 😉 ). The tremendous mount to the right is Świnica (2301 m above the sea level). Świnica is the third of the highest peaks in Poland.

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You can see the tourist hostel of Murowaniec (very popular in Tatra Mountains) and the Kościelec Peak behind it at this picture.

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I could admire (and take pictures of 🙂 ) this view of Kościelec and Świnica forever!

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OK, the serious journey begins right here! On our way to the Świnicka Gap through the beautiful Green Gąsienicowa Valley 🙂

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Świnica from a different perspective

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The Green Gąsienicowa Valley is full of smaller and bigger ponds. This is the largest of them – the Green Gąsienicowy Pond with ist turquoise and clear waters. A perfect place to stop for a while.

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Going up!

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The Valley with its ponds from the track to the Świnicka Gap

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The mighty Świnica, towering over the Valley…makes you feel respect.

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Since we have reached the Świnicka Gap, now we have to climb Świnica – you can see on the picture below what kind of a “walk” is it 😉 bare rocks, vertical walls, chains and holdfasts. Quite dangerous.

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After one hour we reach the peak itself.  The views are breathtaking 😀

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The High Tatras landscapes – rough, severe and perilous

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So now we go down to another Gap – Zawrat, where the track of Orla Perć (The Eagle Path) – the most challenging route of Tatras – begins.

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The Gap of Zawrat and its view on the Valley of the Five Polish Ponds (here you can see two of them)

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A short rest and here we go down again! A dangerous path, too.

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The end of the expedition at the end of the day: the last sun beams on the rocks of Kościelec and Świnica.

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The next day we rest and took only a 4-hour walk through the Valley of Mała Woda (the Valley of the Small Water) to the gorgeous clearing called Przysłop Miętusi (I know, Polish language is difficult, and especially these highlander names 🙂 )

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The next day we planned to take the Eagle Path, but the plan was not complete. We wanted to climb the Goat Peak, which stands the highest summit of the Eagle Path, and then continue our excursion, and see how far we can go.

We begin early in the morning! 🙂ImageImage

First we have to reach the Valley of the Five Polish Ponds, and this track leads us there.

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And here we are. The Valley of the Five Polish Ponds is undeniably the most beautiful of all Polish valleys, with the highest location, too: it is situated at the altitude of 1625-1900 m above the sea level.

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The Goat Peak. Tthat is right – we are heading there! 😀

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Beautiful Gentiana flowers growing by the path

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In my opinion the trail to the Goat Peak is one of the hardest and most exhausting in Polish Tatras.

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But you can easily forget it when you turn your back and see what lies ahead!

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After hard climbing for about 1,5 hour we reach the summit. The Goat Peak is the highest mountain located completely within Polish borders. It is 2191 m high and for me it is simply marvellous – it is the most beautiful place in the whole world. You can feel here as standing at the top of the world!

The view on Świnica and one of the Polish PondsImage

Three of the Polish Ponds

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The other side: the Black Gąsienicowy Pond

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We go to the Granaty Peaks.

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One last look at the Valley of Five Polish Ponds

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A time to make a decision came. On one hand I long to see the further parts of the Eagle Path again, but, on the other hand we ran out of food and water supplies and it’s 4 pm. We would reach the Krzyżne Gap (the last part of the Eagle Path) in 2 hours. It’s getting dark between 6 and 7 pm and there still would be a perilous route before us – and it’s no fun taking the path down to the Valley in the dark. We decide to take a path down to the Black Gąsienicowy Pond (it it situated in the Black Gąsienicowa Valley on the other side of the Eagle Path massif). We just take a glance on how our trail would look like if it was early enough:

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..and after a moment, we go this way 😛 horrible!

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The Black Gąsienicowy Pond

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The Goat Peak again, from a different perspective

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And the Granaty Summits

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The next day we needed some rest, so we chose the lovely Rusinowa Clearing with its fabulous views.

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Hmmm..after that it doesn’t look so easy anymore. We wanted to climb Gęsia Szyja (if translated directly into English it would be a Goose Neck – and while climbing it I suddenly remembered why it is called so. Because it is, like a goose neck, long and vertical! 😛 ). The views you can admire from this point are gorgeous, though.

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The next place we visited that day was Waksmundzka Rówień Clearing.

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Somewhere in the woods

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I was very happy to discover a very rare lichen – Usnea sp. 😀

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Having fun on a bridge 😉

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When we were going back home to Wrocław, I felt a bit disappointed. What?! I had planned so many expeditions and we carried out only a few of them! 😛 Well, I’m so happy that we could do what was possible and I’m waiting for another chance to wander in those wonderful places once again. Have a nice weekend 🙂

Polish Tatra Mountains – part 1

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The Tatras – the highest mountain range of the Carpathians, are my beloved mountains for years. There was a time, when I used to visit them regulary for several seasons, and always stayed there for at least 2 weeks – long enough to discover them quite well. I adore the whole range, but I am particulary impressed by the High Tatras – their severe, beautiful and simultaneusly perilous landscapes. Of course, it was not enough for me to admire the high and lofty peaks from the ground – I had to hike them myself! And so first I took part, and then organised trips in those marvellous scenes.

I missed the Tatra Mountains when I could not travel there, and I was extremely happy when an opportunity to visit them appeared this very September. We stayed in Zakopane (a town at the foot of the Tatra Mountains) for 8 days and, thanks to good weather, managed to carry out 7 great trips. I am going to show you how fabulous the mountains are in this, and the following, post. Just prepare yourself! 🙂

The first day we appeared in Zakopane, we climbed the Nosal Peak – the route is short and rather easy, but the views are beautiful. Tourists choose to climb the Nosal when they are beginners at mountain hiking or just want to acclimate. The peak is 1206 m above the sea level.

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The next expedition was to the Czerwone Wierchy (The Red Peaks). That day the weather was very unsteady – as a matter of fact, there was a possibility of heavy showers every moment and the wind was very strong and shrill, especially at the height of 2000 m above the sea level. The breathtaking views made up for all the non-conveniences, though.

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For the first time in my life I saw a flock of Rupicapra rupicapra – chamois or mountain goats. At the slopes of the first of the Red Peaks (Kondracka Kopa – 2005 m above the sea level)

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Another 2 peaks (Małołączniak – 2096 m above the sea level and Krzesanica – 2122 m above the sea level)

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The Giewont Peak and the Kondracka Kopa Peak from Małołączniak

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The Red Peaks lichens

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On the way to Krzesanica

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The Krzesanica Peak

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Krzesanica from the way to the last of the Red Peaks – the Ciemniak Peak (2096 m above the sea level)

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On the Ciemniak Peak

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After long and at times wearisome wandering we decided to choose an easier track, and the next day went for a walk in one of the most charming valleys of the Tatra Mountains – the Kościeliska Valley.

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The Kościeliski Brook

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You can see the Red Peaks from the Valley

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The next post is going to be about the most exciting trips – to the particulary difficult and dangerous parts of Polish Tatra Mountains. It will appear very soon :> I hope you will be happy to see the pictures! So long 🙂

The Owl Mountains

 Today I will present pictures from yesterday trip to the Sowie Mountains (The Owl Mountains), rather low mountain chain, located about 80 kms south of Wrocław. The altitude of the Sowie Mountains is 600-980 m above the sea level on average; save the highest peak of Wielka Sowa (The Great Owl), which reaches the altitude of 1015 m above the sea level.

The starting point was the Walimska Col.

The clouds above the Col 🙂

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The beginning of the track leading to the Wielka Sowa peak

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The Wielka Sowa peak, you can see the silhouette of the tower

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On the way to the Wielka Sowa peak

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The stone tower at the Wielka Sowa peak and the views one can admire from it

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On the way to the Kozie Siodło (the Goat Col) and the Stara Jodła point (the Old Fir point)

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Climbing the WIelka Sowa peak again

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Weekend on the Pomeranian Bay

I spent the last few days on the Pomeranian Bay, on both Polish and German sides.

I stayed in Międzyzdroje, a popular Polish resort. Though the place is far too crowded and noisy for me, the surroundings are  excellent. Here the beautiful Woliński National Park is situated, with its splendid cliffs, which are not to be found anywhere else on the Polish seaside.

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The flora growing on the cliffs

Hippophaë rhamnoides

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Honckenya peploides

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A new life on a follen beech log

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Hippophaë rhamnoides, Epilobium angustifolium, Achillea sp.

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You can visit vantage points with breathtaking views.

The Kawcza Góra (the Jackdow Hill) vantage point is one of them.

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The panorama of the Pomeranian Bay

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The new-built wooden stairs leading from the Kawcza Góra to the beach

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The view is magnificient and the stairs are well-designed; they perfectly fit in the landscape. I love such designes.

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You can admire even more beautiful view from the Gosań vantage point, located 90 m above the sea level.

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On the beach 🙂

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The Kikut lighthouse, situated on the Kikut hill. It was built in the 1960s and is 18 m high.

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Some fun by the Kikut 😀

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You can sail from Międzyzdroje to the German side of the Pomeranian Bay by ship. It takes about one hour to get to one of three German resorts – Ahlbeck, Herringsdorf and Bansin. We visited Herringsdorf and saw its main promenade with greatly-designed and well-kept buildings and greenery.

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Adventure Park at Wrocław Opatowicka Island

The Opatowicka Island in my home city Wrocław offers a nice opportunity for people who like excercising high above the ground. I’m a big fan of such challenges and I have been there a few times. I visited the Adventure Park past Sunday as well – and would like to show you some photos 🙂 Have fun!

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A part of the Park for little kidsImage

There are 6 tracks in the Adventure Park  altogether- the Monkey and the Groundhog are the easiest, the Squirrel and the Woodpecker are medium, while the Gorilla and the Panther are the most difficult ones. Most of the obstacles are hung 3-10 m above the ground.

People, who come to the Adventure Park are provided with special equipment, like ropes and snap-hooks. Then they are carefully instructed by the professionally trained stuff, how to behave while overpassing the obstacles.

Some of the obstacles, located above 3-10 m above the groundImage

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The most difficult track is called the Panther (in Polish it’s Pantera). The highest platform is 17 m above the ground! That’s something for the bravest 😉Image

Climbing the PantherImage

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The huge oaks used in the ParkImage

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It’s really high!Image

In the treetops! 😀

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A great idea for a weekend 😀Image