Work was kind of a blur this past week, because I got back from Gdansk on Tuesday and then took the train to Zakopane on Friday. My supervisors were extremely understanding, as they’ve told me they want me to have the best experience abroad possible by seeing the sights. The train ride was 5 hours; pretty grueling, but with music, books and napping Julia and I made it through.
We stayed in a hostel pretty far from the city center of Zakopane, but near the entrance to some beautiful hiking trails. The views from the hostel were incredible, with many of the nearby Tatra mountain peaks surrounding us. I’d never stayed in a hostel before, but I really enjoyed the community feel! Julia and I didn’t hang out with anyone extensively, but it was nice to talk to other hostel-stayers over breakfast.
The first day we walked around the town, had some traditional mountain cheese and some traditional meat stew plus pierogies. The food was really heavy, but delicious nonetheless. Anyway, after all that food, I was ready to do some walking the next day. We walked to this lake in between two mountains called Morskie Oko (Eye of the Sea), which took around 5 hours there and back. It was gorgeous, though, and we walked around the entire lake so we saw its beauty in all possible angles. The day after that, my feet were a little sore but the sun had finally out so we decided to do a real hike and climb up Wielki Kopienec. The hike up was not easy, but the view made it all worth it, and I rewarded myself with some potato pancakes after.
We ended our trip with a tram ride up to Kasprowy Wierch, one of the tallest mountain peaks among the Tatras in Poland. Sadly, we didn’t have enough time to hike it, plus the weather was awful. So, we tram-ed up, enjoyed what remained of the view through all the fog, and took the train back to Warsaw.
This trip made me remember how much I’ve missed hiking. I used to do it more in camp, and since leaving I forgot how fulfilling it is. The feeling after you’ve completed a challenging hike is so satisfying. When I get back to Michigan in September, I want to do more backpacking trips!
At work, I now have multiple assignments I’m excited about. I’m working on an article comparing American and Polish universities, and conducted interviews with three Polish students to ask about their experiences. My boss approved the tape I chose for the alchemist podcast episode, so I will now start to write the script. A modern-day alchemist responded to my request for an interview, so I’ll also get to plan that in the coming days!
This weekend I’m traveling to Berlin with Maryellen, a UMich student coming to Warsaw to intern. I’m super excited, and will share my travels on next week’s blog post!