Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Adventures

View in the Murzasichle Hills
Morskie Oko Rafter Guide
River Scene at Niedzica
Castle at Niedzica

On Saturday, July 11, about 8 AM, I moved over to the village of Murzasichle (Mursh-a-C-kla. It is located in the hill area of the mountains, about a 20 minute trip from Zakopane. This where I taught in the afternoons during the second week of the Zakopane camp. I had just put my things in my room when Dorota asked if I would like to go to Morskie Oko. Having never been there I quickly said yes. I rode in the bus with the campers and then met Dorota with her husband, mom, aunt, and two other family members. With Dorota's mom I elected to ride in a horse carriage part of the way up the mountain. This took about 25 minutes and took us up about 5 miles. Then we walked one more mile to the lake.

Morskie Oko means Hole in the Sea and is a lake in a high mountain area. We walked about the lake and then stopped for lunch. As we began walking down Dorota asked if I had my passport. I did, so when we got down and returned to the parking lot, we drove to Slovakia to buy chocolate! They dropped me later at the hotel in Murzasichle and then returned to Morskie Oko to pick up the other family members who had elected to walk/hike both ways.

On Sunday we left early for a rafting trip to Niedzica. I have wanted to see this location ever since reading Michiner's Poland. We stopped first at the castle, where we could see the ruins of another castle across the river, Dunajec. It is truly a beautiful area and I can see why this location has always been prized by the Polish people. Then we walked onto a nearby hydroelectric dam, which gave us views from the midst of the river. Then we were off to rafting. The trip took about 2 hours, we had absolutely beautiful, perfect weather, and it was great. Most of the time Poland was on our left hand side and Slovakia on the right hand side. One could easily see differences in spelling of words and building styles when we passed villages.

Monday I taught one hour and then was taken to Krakow to the American consulate. The traffic up and back was dreadful as usual between Krakow and Zakopane. I got to the consulate at about 1:15. This is American territory so there is paranoid security in place. I gave my camera to those that had accompanied me, but still I got in trouble with something in my purse. Turned out to the digital keychain. The security is managed by Polish employees of the consulate and they had never seen one of these before. This made my arrival to the desk for service during the usual Polish obiad time. I had to wait for staff to return. Once they did I easily was able to get the papers for my house sale notarized.

On Tuesday most everyone went to Slovakia to a water park. Kasia, one of the Polish English teachers, rode the bus with me to Zakopane. She helped me get the papers send via fast courier back to the United States. Then she departed to join friends. I went shoe shopping, come back with two new pairs.

That afternoon we got my computer set up to work on WI-FI in this hotel and I began to get caught up with e-mail.

Yesterday was a regular teaching day. I spent the afternoon getting a power point ready for the traditional presentation we do about our states. That happened this morning. Sunil and Beata, two of the Polish English teachers then did a presentation about India. After we all watched the movie, Bride and Prejudice, in English with Polish subtitles. Tonight is American night. We will be making S'Mores at the bonfire.

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