Dora, The Explorer couldn’t wait too long with the next adventure, so Dora decided to go to the Tatras.
Before I came to Poland, I made a list of the sights I want to visit. I can say I’m more than a nature person, than a “city lover”, therefore I tried to look for the nature gems around the country. And then I found the Tatra National Park, which became my love. When I told my plans to my Polish friends, they adviced me to go there during the summer, as the trails are closed. Of course it’s possible to go to the Tatras, but for skiing mainly.
My another “must to do” plan was to visit Magda, my Polish friend, who I meet in Helsinki, during Erasmus exchange. She lives in Krakow, and supported many times with interviews to Poland.
Originally my plan was to go to Magda and hang out in Krakow. A few weeks ago I had the chance to go there, but as that was my very first weekend in Poland, I decided to stay at home (what a lame person I am…) and clean the house and my room. However, we could finally arrange the first meeting! She said she’s working in Zakopane, so she asked me to plan my arrival accordingly to Krakow. First of all, I told her how much I envy her working in Zakopane, as she can see the Tatra mountains. And then, she asked me what if we go to the Tatra when I visit her? I was totally happy, and of course I would rather go to the Tatras than being in Krakow. And I guess I made a very good decision, as I could see the very unique crocus flowers in blossom, which covers the whole area, colouring it to purple.
The Dolina Choholowska, or Choholowska Valley is 1.5 hours far from Krakow by car. During that 2 weeks, when the crocus flower shows itself, many people goes to the valley, therefore it’s better to arrive there as early as possible. I guess during the week it’s OK, but as a worker I could go there during the weekend only. Well, after my visit I got to know that 25 000 people were visiting the place on that day. Too many! The flower blossoms between around the middle of March and the middle of April, depending on the weather. If the winter is short, then you can expect to see the flowers pretty early.
Before the park you can rent a bike, but in my opinion walking is better. Why?
- There are many nice spots on the trail, where you definitely want to take pictures!
- There are so many people, that it’s better to go on foot in my opinion.
- There are some parts, where the road is covered with very slippery ice/snow.
After you enter to the national park (there is a 5 zl admission), you can start walking…. for 2 hours to get to the valley.
The trail is very easy, it’s totally flat, you don’t need to climb or be very careful with your steps – except for the slippery parts when you go inside to the forest.
Eventually you reach the wonderful valley where only the crocus flowers are waiting for you (with some houses and lots of people). There is a shop up on the hill, so if you feel like drinking a beer or eat something, you can go there anytime. It’s also a nice place to do piknik. But watch out of the flowers, and don’t ruin it.
I was very happy to had the chance to visit this wonderful place. We had a very nice time in the valley, and after we got home, we were pretty tired with Magda. Therefore, instead of continuing the day with sightseeing in Krakow, we decided to chatting during the weekend next to a glass of wine.