Poland - Day Two  

nightstogether 56M
818 posts
7/2/2005 9:22 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Poland - Day Two

Breakfast was a buffet, which suits all of us much better than sitting and waiting to be served. We had all slept well, even those who spent half the night drinking beer in their rooms or out on the town, and only one person came to breakfast late!

Promptly at nine we set off in our bus for the Czech Republic. The roads were not quite as bad as the main motorway had been, but still allowed for a bit of shaking of the old bones for an hour or so.

The Czech Republic, in the border area, is even poorer than Poland, and we were greeted with the sight of empty factories and derelict property through out the trip. Our destination, however, being a tourist attraction, was kept in the finest condition. We were due to explore a massive field of stones, and I don't mean small stones strewn across a meadow, but an outcrop of stones reaching up to eighty metres in the sky. The area had been recognised as being of interest in the eighteenth century, but no one dared enter partially because of the tales of who lived in there, partially because of a massive and thick forest. Visitors to the outer region included von Goethe in 1790, who has a bust as record of his visit in the inner region with a commemorative plaque placed against an outcrop of stones he would never have seen. The inner area became open to all following a massive forest fire, and thanks to the work of some king or other who had a pathway built all the way through.

The tourist authority exploits the interest of others with tales and guides to the fullest. Our guide showed us stones shaped like an Indian's head; Queen Victoria's head; a lion; a pair of lovers; a teapot. There was a massive stone, some forty metres tall, where the upper limits were broader than the base, and where, as a joke, people propped sticks to stop it falling over. One of the oldest examples of sponsoring is also to be seen here; people paid to have their names and the date stenciled on the high walls; the higher their name appears, the more they had paid. These advertisements date from about 1840.

In the middle of this formation is a crater with, at its pinnacle, a lake. We climbed roughly two hundred steps to enjoy a boat ride in this hidden water. Again, stories have been concocted about the lake, and small statues erected along the boats route.

The walk has two sections, an easy one which everyone took, and a difficult one which only I took on the way back. The difficult route back is meant to have about six hundred steps to get over the rock formations, but I didn't bother counting them.

We spent the entire morning in the Czech Republic exploring this area and then travelled back to Poland in time for dinner at five.

The evening was taken up with a visit to a ranch called, surprisingly enough, Ponderosa, where we had the chance to ride horses, drink masses of beer and grill. The bus was unable to drive up to the ranch, so stamina was demanded once more. The trip was worth the strain of having to walk, though, even for the older people in the group. There was also a live band there but few of the locals came to join us, even with the prospect of free beer! I had the privilege of being the last person to leave the ranch at about one in the morning when the mayor of Duzsniki Zdroj lead me to a waiting taxi for the trip back down. It is fair to say I had sampled a lot of local beer in the meantime and wouldn't have been able to walk down that steep hill alone! For some it was still early, and the beer party continued in various hotel rooms until nearly breakfast time.

private-intellectual (.de)

GleesFlakyShawl 50M
1620 posts
7/2/2005 11:11 am

beer for breakfast...i saw this on Mardi Gras....lol

night, im assuming the stones were collected there on purpose, but what for? just for some king's complacency?

nightstogether 56M

7/2/2005 12:22 pm

No, the stones are massive outcrops of rock and a natural phenomenon.

private-intellectual (.de)

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