Spring 2017. It was busy time for us but hey! Easter was approaching along with Wet Monday. Why Wet Monday you ask? Well, there's a peculiar old tradition in Poland called Śmigus-Dyngus - on Easter Monday boys pour water over girls and men pour perfums over women. Sometimes it's the other way round but the idea is to get someone soaking wet
We didn't celebrate Easter in traditional way this year but we got wet on Easter Monday anyway (but I'll get to that a bit later).
I like festive seasons in Poland but this year all I thought about is "I'm gonna have a day off! Long weekend! I'm gonna be free for a while, yay!". I was focused on my carrer back there and worked long hours which got me rather tired. I was simply in great need of a day off.
However, the closer the Easter was, the more frequently I thought about mountains. I was yearning for nice views, clean air and nature. One day I said to myself "why should I spend my precious time off sitting at the table with some TV commercials playing in the background? I don't want to spend a few days overeating and chatting about the weather, I wanna go to the mountains!"
Bartosz thought the same.
So off we went.
Our choice for Easter mountains trip was Pieniny National Park. It's a very picturesque nature reserve located in southern Poland, close to Cracow and Tatra mountains. Part of Pieniny range belongs to Slovakia (Slovaks always have all the best mountains).
Pieniny mountains are limey range forming part of Carpthian mountains. Shortly speaking, they're beautiful. They're not high (the highest mount reaches 1050 metres above sea level) but definitely worth visiting.
We stayed in Sromowce Wyżne village - great spot for hiking and also nice and quiet area, perfect Easter getaway Additional perk: view on Tatra mountains.
That day we were a bit tired so we chose short hiking trail in Slovakia - amazingly beautiful path which starts at Červený Kláštor village and leads along Dunajec river.
This circular hike took us about 3 hours. The trail's nice and easy, there's not much height difference to do, so it's perfect for families with children.
We decided to celebrate the culmination of Easter festive season on Trzy Korony peak (982 metres) - the most popular place in Pieniny mountains. There's a special platform on the summit - otherwise the peak wouldn't be accessible.
No wonder Trzy Korony is so famous - the view from the platform is truly astounding. Dunajec river, Czorsztyńskie lake, Tatra mountains - all those landscapes take your breath away and make you forget your everyday life. Trzy Korony isn't high but the peak is literally outstanding and offers 360° panorama view. Amazing!
Surprisingly, we met quite a lot of fellow hikers on the trail. It seemed that there were more people escaping from heavy meals and small talks which are typical for festive seasons.
Close to the peak there's a small forest clearing with benches offering rest. So we had a break and, instead of gobbling down sausages and eggs with mayo, we had bananas and almonds and wished a nice day to some firendly hikers who passed us by.
Then, it started snowing and I thought that this year's Easter couldn't get any more extraordinary. But we liked this snow, especially that it was delicate and no wind was blowing. This snow was kind of friendly, just saying "hi" to all outdoor aficionados and nature admirers wandering in Pieniny mountains. Anyway, after about half an hour sun was peering out of the clouds so all was well.
This hike took us about 5 hours. Trail's nice and wide, completely safe, so I'd also recommend it for families with children. I guess it gets rather crowded in summer and weekends but brilliant views and great nature should compensate it.
We celebrated Śmigus Dyngus in a traditional way - we got soaking wet in Terma Bania This is a small but nice aquapark in Białka Tatrzańska village, close to Zakopane. Maybe they don't have many waterslides but there's a lot of thermal water pools, both indoor and outdoor. There's also loads of kids attractions, so I guess it's perfect for families with children.
Well, we don't have any children but we liked Terma Bania. Bartosz enjoyed artificial waves and I relaxed in bubbly hot spring pools. What I specifically like about this aquapark is the quiet zone where you can unwind in jacuzzi without youngsters noise. I hope I don't get old, just in frequent need of peace and quiet
To sum up, Terma Bania is a fun aquapark located conveniently close to Pieniny and Tatra mountains. It's nice and clean but it's also very popular, especially among families with children, so the best option to go there is early morning or late evening (facility closes at 10 PM).
I've got to admit that, I truly enjoyed this year's Easter, even though there was more snow than on Christmas. I really wasn't expecting that breaking the mould can be so invigorating (Eureka!).