Day 11: Zakopane, Poland

September 24, 2012

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The whole point of our Europe adventure was to go on another trek. Part of why we chose Poland and the High Tatras / Carpathian Mountains is because it was one of the only treks in Europe that was all by foot, without a lot of vehicle transfers. Day 11 was exciting because it marked the first official day of our guided trek.

Jeremy and I hit up the vegetarian restaurant around the corner from our hotel, for a breakfast of eggs, garlic toast and coffee before meeting up with our guide and the rest of our group at the old train station. From there we all went to lunch together as a group. We got to know each other a bit over beet soup, pierogies and apple pie. Of course, the Brits were super proper and polite. They all ate with a fork in their left hand and knife in the right. At that moment I resolved to learn to eat with a fork and knife. Jeremy must have made the same resolution because without discussion he immediately began practicing his cutlery skills as well.

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From there we headed to Zakopane – a ski town that bordered the mountains we’d be trekking. We checked into our hotel which was a total blast from the past – with real keys and lots of laminate surfaces. I will never forget this hotel – it’s pretty much my favorite ever. And the town reminded me lots of when we landed in Lukla, Nepal. It was full of energy and seemed super clean and quaint compared to the big European cities we had visited prior.

We took a tour of the small resort town and had dinner with our trek mates. We tucked in early and organized our backpacks for the actual trek beginning the next morning – leaving our city clothes behind and unpacking our trekking gear. I should note here that when you’re backpacking the thing you need is ALWAYS at the bottom of your pack – no matter how strategically you load and unload each day. It’s really easy to make a mess of your surroundings no matter how organized you try to be.

I can’t wait to share the trekking experience with you all. It was not quite what I expected it to be. At all.

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