Oct 8th - 10th
08.10.2019 - 10.10.2019 14 °C
On my last full day in Zakopane, I woke up to glorious sunshine for the first time and stunning views of the mountains, which had previously been shrouded in mist. I got up early and did an hour's work over breakfast and then decided to go for a walk. I'd read about an easy trail called Dolina Kościeliska and decided to give myself a few hours to do as much of that as possible before settling into work for the day. After all, there's not much point in doing this if I don't see anything.
To get to the start of the trail I had to catch a bus to a place called Kiry. The info I'd read online on where the bus went from wasn't quite right, but eventually I found my way to the train station where all the busses go from. For a small place they have an amazing bus system, with little mini-busses going all over the place really regularly. So I hopped on a bus that said my destination on the front and eventually someone came to drive it. It was pretty clear where to get off, and when I did I had to pay 2zl, which is about 40p.
The trail was absolutely stunning. It was quite busy because it's mostly flat so there were quite a few families with buggies, but the 5zl entry charge goes to making sure the place is kept immaculately. The route is along a river gorge through the mountains and with the Autumn colours in the foreground and snow-capped mountains overhead, it was truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I walked an hour either way and managed to get back into town and find a cafe to work from by 2pm (1pm back home) and powered through lots of work in the afternoon.
On Tuesday, after working all morning I checked out of my hotel. I'd booked a bus to Kośice, but the place it went from was about half an hour away, on the main road. From looking online, it seemed like it should be easy enough to get a bus from Zakopane so I soon found myself hopping on another non-descript mini-bus, not quite sure if it was going in the right direction. This one was full of school children looking at me suspiciously. It went all around the villages, but thankfully dropped me off at the bus stop on the main road in time to catch my connection. I'd imagined the bus I was catching to be a coach, but it was another mini-bus crammed full of locals who weren't very forthcoming with any chat!
The drive to Kośice saw the mountains give way to open plains - the whole country feels quite barren but in a beautiful way. We stopped in a few towns to pick people up, and eventually ended up in Košice. I really like it here - I wish I had longer. It's really small - tiny in fact. Within an hour of being here I'd walked around all the main tourist sights on the main street (the opera house, a few different sculptures, the most Eastern gothic cathedral in Europe) which is just as well, because today I had absolutely mountains of work. I got up early and wandered around again, went to the market, and then had breakfast in a cafe (porridge, fruit, coffee and orange juice for 5 Euros!) and went to find a co-working space I'd read was good. It was basically just an office full of freelancers, but for 5 Euros they let me sit there all day and use their fast internet, which was ideal. I was too busy to attempt to chat to them much, but they seemed like a nice bunch.
After work, feeling quite stressed out, I decided to go to a yoga class. I'd emailed them a few days ago to ask if they did any classes in English, and they said no but that they speak English so would help me if I came to a class. So I just got back from my first ever yoga class in Slovak at a place called BB Health (also 5 Euros - apparently that's what everything costs in this city, which is great) and it went surprisingly well. I was quite impressed with how much I managed to understand and pre-empt, and the teacher was really helpful and repeated lots of the instructions for me in English.
So now I'm back at my Airbnb and need to pack. I don't really feel like I've seen much of it but am definitely a fan - although it's small, it's very friendly and I feel like there are probably lots of quite similar-minded people. Tomorrow I get the bus to Budapest and have the day there before flying to Malaga in the evening ready for the yoga retreat I have booked.