After a week in hotels, the first night in the tent was really refreshing. We’re up and running early and after a quick breakfast and a quick goodbye to Marta, our host, we’re out on the road at 8.30AM.
Today we will be border hopping between Poland and Slowakia quite a few times. We start along the route we did partly yesterday afternoon and then take a small pass over the tatra mountains into Medzilaborce.
We spot the big Warhol museum in Medzilaborce. It’s strange place for such a big museum but they are clearly proud of their famous son, even though he hardly spent time in the town.
Next stop is Dukla pass, one of the big battle grounds in the second world war. On our way there, we spot already quite a few reminders along the road and on the pass itself we first pass a big war cemetary before we take the turn to the big tower overlooking the area.
After a quick picknick we go and visit the tower.
Fortunately we are not forced to take the stairs up. There is a lift, operated by one of the museum guards. He takes us up and then leaves us with the message that he will come and collect us in 15 minutes.
We enjoy the views for a bit and marvel at the beauty of the entire area. By the time we have done the entire tour, the guard returns to take us back down.
After our visit to the tower, we stop at the cemetary for a quick look. The entrance of the memorial is quite impressive.
And then it’s back to border hopping. We cross the border about five or six times and get some nice views on the Tatra mountains.
Our german neighbour at the campsite in Dolny Kubin, more than a week ago told us about some nice camp sites near Zakopane, so that is what we aim for tonight. Around 6PM we decide to stock up on groceries. Just as I spot a small supermarket, we run into a familiar looking bike. Turns out Krzysztof and Gosia were having the same plan and are also heading for Zakopane. So we decide to go together!
On our map several camp sites are indicated but after riding around town for almost an hour, we do not spot any. Our Polish friends ask around and we’re pointed in different directions on several occasions. In the end Krzysztof takes out his tablet and starts searching the internet. One phone call later and we’re on our way to the camp site. Turns out we passed it at the very beginning but since there’s no signs indicating that there is a camp site, we just missed it. The Polish tourist industry clearly has some marketing issues.
After putting up the tents, we take a short walk to the nearest store for some beer. Krzysztof has taken it as his personal mission to initiate us in Polish beers. The amount of bottles and cans is stunning. Back at the campsite it’s already dark. We start cooking dinner while the first bottle is opened. By the time we finish dinner, the fourth bottle has been finished. We discover that Polish beers are as diverse as the Belgian brews and they clearly have more than just regular lager.
We spend the rest of the evening talking and drinking the rest of the beers while looking at the stars.