Tania & I were married on 20th August 2009, and a couple of days later we flew off to Krakow to begin our honeymoon. The city is magical and we certainly benefited from glorious sunshine and the chance to wander between cafes and bars, capturing the relaxed, elegant atmosphere, taking in a concert and a delightful tour of the city in a horse drawn carriage at sunset. Thoroughly refreshed we headed South to Zakopane, a town in the Tatras known as a holiday centre for those wanting to walk or ski. On the way, we stopped at the salt mines at Wieliczka – a fascinating place deep below the Earth’s surface.
The Tatra mountains are breathtaking; Giewont (the sleeping giant) watches over the town and draws you towards him. We walked and walked some more, aiming for the mountain huts that serve hot tea (herbata) and beer (piwo) along with staple Polish fare such as bigos (cabbage/sauerkraut) and pierogi (dumplings stuffed with everything from strong meat to seasonal fruit).
Our most memorable trip began early morning with a cable car trip up Kasprowy Wierch, almost on the Slovakian border. We then walked along the border, which is also a fabulous ridge with views of mountains and valleys as far as the horizon. Eventually we turned back into Poland and climbed to the summit of Giewont. This is a bit of a scramble with bolted chains to assist the final ascent. The greatest danger comes from the highly polished surface of the rocks that are like glass due to the constant stream of people that make the pilgrimage to the cross that sits on the peak. While we adopted the traditional Goretex and heavy boots, outdoor image, we walked alongside nuns in full habit and sandals, family groups where dad carried the pushchair and mum the baby and people of all ages, like us, devoted to enjoying the sun and scenery.
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We've managed quite a few trips away this year, some of them in conjunction with Tania's work trips. Here you can see highlights from a few of them, including our European road trip in February. The ultimate objective was to see the pianist Fazil Say in concert in Prague, but we made it into a circular tour, taking the car over to Hoek van Holland and visiting Scheveningen, Delft, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Nurnberg, Pilsen, Prague, Dresden and Berlin.
For my birthday in May we went to Italy, giving us a chance to climb
Vesuvius and visit the Roman ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum.
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