Zab, Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains

At 1033 metres above sea level the improbably named ‘Zab’ is apparently the highest inhabited village in Poland – not something we knew when we booked our five nights accommodation in the Redyk hotel, though it became pretty obvious when we saw the mountain views on our arrival.  Wonderful on a lovely sunny day, but unfortunately it does mean that at least some of our time here will be spent with our heads rather more in the clouds than usual.

Zakopane, the local metropolis, is a busy (not so) little place sitting within a few kilometres of the Slovakian border and nestled nicely in the foothills of the Tatra mountains, beloved of walkers all the year round and skiers during the winter months.

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As Tuesday dawned bright and sunny we decided to take a stroll into the Tatrzanski National Park.  Three hours and what felt like several thousand vertical metres later we emerged with a few new aches and pains but with that  smug glow of satisfaction that comes from knowing that we’re probably reasonably fit – or at least quite a lot fitter than some of our fellow walkers.  That said there were one or two fairly ancient Poles who looked as though they could have kept on going long after we’d decided that enough was enough for day one.

Today (Wednesday) started cloudy and as the BBC Weather App seemed pretty certain that it would stay that way all day we decided to try some sightseeing a little further afield.  The medieval castles at Niedzica and Czorsztyn (no, don’t ask me to pronounce them) are only about 45km off to the NE and feature in most of the tourist blurb so seemed like a good choice for a visit – though to be fair probably weren’t looking at their best on what turned out to be a dry, but pretty overcast, expedition.

Niedzica Castle
Niedzica Castle

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