Lot of visitors to Poland visit Zakopane as a day trip from Krakow. We had heard so much about this gateway to the Polish Tatras that we decided to spend couple of days there and explore.
It turned out that our stay was a long 2 kms away from the centrum. As we started towards it, we were treated to this wonderful view on the way. We started having an idea of what was waiting for us in Zakopane.
Krupowki Street is the most happening place in Zakopane. Numerous eateries, souvenir shops and light entertainment are present to keep you engaged. We had never seen such huge bubbles before so we had to watch this for some time.
As it was time for the sun to set, we made our way to Gubałówka Hill. This is the vantage point to watch the wonderful range of Polish Tatras. We made use of the funicular rail although one can walk up if there is enough time.
The top of the hill is an entire settlement in itself with shops, houses, farms and much more.
Finally we could catch a view of the beautiful Tatra mountains in the dusk. Most people had already made their way down from the hill and it was relatively quieter.
Be it day or night, Zakopane always looks equally dazzling.
After a fulfilling dinner at ‘Sphinx’, we decided to call it a day.
The next day we started off to visit Morskie Oko. We boarded one of the many mini buses waiting at the back of the train station where people keep shouting “Morskie O-kooooooo”. After a 30-40 mins ride we reached the parking area and the sheer number of vehicles there gave us an idea about the number of people visiting the place.
The way to reach Morskie Oko is by a 9 kms hike one way or one can hop on a horse carriage which makes the journey much easier. However, they don’t stop so one can see beautiful waterfalls on the way such as the one above. To be frank, after a couple of kilometres, the path starts to get boring as the path is a concrete road with no variations whatsoever.
Finally, after a long 2.5 hours of walking, we reached the lake. I have absolutely no words to describe my feeling at that moment. It was one of the most beautiful views I have seen in my entire life.
The point where one first gets to see the lake, there is a restaurant, a bar and lot more for visitors and there were numerous people visiting the place that day. However, I must say that absolutely nothing could spoil the beauty of this place.
It comes as a surprise as to how a place can maintain it’s pristine conditions despite such mass encroachment by humans. We started to hike the entire shore length of the lake and we were glad that we did.
Each bend of the narrow path led us to more and more astonishing views of the lake along with the mountains.
The further one walks, the more one can find uncrowded places to sit, think, read or just dip one’s feet in the water.
The water supply system of the lake was another wonderful phenomenon. The lake is fed by small and big water sources from all sides of the mountains in the form of beautiful waterfalls and the water leaves the lake as a beautiful stream on one end. This way the lake is always well supplied by fresh water.
It was an amazing feeling to experience these wonders of nature from up close.
The views started getting even more beautiful with the setting sun and the slanted sun rays.
As it was time for us to start for our return walk of 9 kms we caught one last view of this beautiful wonderland. It was mesmerizing.