Thursday, January 21, 2010

T-shirt travel: Poland's southern mountain town, Zakopane


I'm going Poland mad this month - just watch me tell you all about my favourite parts of Poland. This T-shirt shows one of them: Zakopane, a small town in the High Tatra mountains on the southern border with Slovakia.

En-route to Bratislava to start my teaching job, I spent a couple of summery days in Zakopane; I believe in winter it's a bit of a crazy tourist magnet, but on these summer days it was relatively quiet. I stayed in a bed and breakfast place - there are many - run by a middle-aged Polish woman who seemed to be entertaining a lot of friends and family at the same time. I remember feeling a little uncomfortable having to walk through the kitchen, full of her chatting friends, every time I wanted to go out into town.

As the T-shirt says, Zakopane is famous for its winters. I have wondered more than once if it's worth going back just to see if that yeti-like creature - on the left in the second row - is actually wandering Zakopane for real.

Speaking of wandering through Zakopane, let me leave you with this lovely image - I was waiting at the bus station to buy a ticket on to Poprad, Slovakia, when two holidaying nuns joined the queue. It struck me as an odd juxtaposition to see them wearing their full habits but donning fairly trendy backpacks as well. Odd, but lovely. That's Zakopane.

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