Poland, Useful Travel Guides

Friday, 28 May 2010

Zakopane and The Tatra Mountains, Poland

Only back from Wroclaw three weeks and were still busy editing the photographs but found time to book the flights for our next trip. Have decided to go to Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains, won't be much snow at the lower levels when we go in September so we are planning several walks, looking forward to some beautiful vistas complimented by some excellent evenings in Zakopane.
We visited Zakopane last year by bus from Krakow just for one day. Unfortunately it was a bit of a rainy, misty day. Still as Cecile is a dedicated fan of the Tatras there was no way she wouldn't jump on the opportunity to show this place to me.
It has completely different climate (in either sense of the word) to any other places in Poland and is the unquestionable winter capital of Poland. In winter and early spring the Tatras offers fantastic slopes for skiing while during summer and autumn Zakopane and surrounding villages welcomes multitudes of hikers and walkers from all over Poland but also increasing number of foreign visitors.
Below a few pictures of what Zakopane and the Tatras are mostly renowned for: the beautiful nature (sometimes quite wild) and everything associated with skiing and hiking.

We booked our flights with Ryanair flying from Leeds Bradford International Airport to Krakow Balice Airport, total cost for both our return flights £202.20 including one checked in bag and two hand luggage.
Still looking for accommodation via the Internet and have bookmarked a couple of apartments to ring in the next few days.

Mountain Resorts, Poland ( Poland Trips )
The Tatra Mountains
Images of Poland

Peter and Cecile

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Wroclaw, The Photographs

Wroclaw Town Hall
There were several reasons for visiting Wroclaw, the main one being a good holiday, but secondary to that and probably of equal importance was to photograph the city and its attractions  for our website Imagine Poland .
The aim of Imagine Poland is to give a pictorial view of the country to show its beauty, character and history. I have to admit  that I am a recent convert. Previous to my friendship with Cecile, a Polish national if your were to ask me for my top ten holiday destinations Poland may not have appeared on it. It was only after much persuasion by Cecile that we took a trip to Krakow, well that was the start of my great affection and admiration for Poland.
After showing our photographs to friends in England and seeing their enthusiasm to include Poland as one of their holiday destinations we realized that perhaps we should find a way to display our photographs and reviews so as to encourage others to visit Poland. This was the start of our website Imagine Poland.
We now visit Poland as often as possible, searching out new destinations and attractions to photograph. Our latest destination was Wroclaw and we are busy putting the photographs into catagories and editing them. Many reviews are to be written.
Some of our catagories for Wroclaw will include :
  • The Rynek
  • Flower Market
  • Flag Day
  • Restaurants and Food
  • Thanks Jimmy Concert
  • The University
  • The Gnomes
Plus many more

I do hope you will be patient and come back to read the reviews and view the photographs.
The reviews and sample photographs will be posted to this blog.
All the photographs will be uploaded to our main website Imagine Poland.

Peter and Cecile

Since our visit, Poland has been subject to heavy rain and floods affecting many of the population, our thoughts and feelings go out to them. We follow this news mainly through the Internet and updates from family and friends.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Wroclaw, The Apartment, 'Rzut Beretem'

Arriving at the dead of night in a foreign city is perhaps not the best time to make an appraisal of the location of a holiday apartment. Our taxi had delivered us to our destination, a dimly lit street with a Gothic cathedral on one side and a large block of concrete 60's style apartments on the other, all very gloomy. Our driver gestured towards a dark alleyway indicating the location of the apartment. We approached with apprehension, rang the doorbell and were given access to a small entrance lobby leading to a bare concrete staircase. Up we went to the first floor our apartment was the first door we came to. Due to our late arrive it had been arranged to meet the owner of the apartment who would give us access and leave us with the keys. Sure enough there he was with a happy welcome and after instructions on the facilities he wished us a good stay and off he went. Now we could look at our home for the next week, glancing round with open eyes and big smiles. What a contrast to the exterior approach! We found ourselves in a very clean, compact, contemporary and stylish apartment, our nervous apprehension evaporated. Sitting down with a cups of coffee we congratulated ourselves on the choice of apartment. 
Kitchen Area
On the next day in daylight we found  that the location of the apartment 'Rzut Beretem' ( As Far as the Beret Falls ) was as the name suggested close to all the attractions and amenities. Seconds away just around the corner and next to the Gothic cathedral which had appeared so forbidding the night before and whose architectural beauty could now be appreciated in the full light of day, was a paved area with seating and in the centre the' Euro Fountain', it was a relaxing setting.
The Euro Fountain and our apartment block just behind the Cathedral
Just beyond this only a minute away was the Rynek or Main Square of Wroclaw. Five minutes away in the opposite direction was the Galeria Dominkanska an extensive modern indoor shopping centre on three floors and five minutes beyond that Wroclaws main indoor market, Hala Targowa where top quality fruit and veg can be purchased at very reasonable prices. Most of the cities attractions were within ten minutes walk from our location. Our apartment was ideally situated for exploration of the city, perfect.

It had taken several evenings trawling the Internet to decide on our choice of accommodation before finally choosing an apartment offered by Inturs.net . We booked for seven nights for two people, the total cost was 1,320zl. Late night or early morning arrivals are accommodated and by prior arrangement we were allowed to leave our luggage there until 4.00pm on the day of departure. The owner promptly responded to all our queries and was extremely helpful.
Our initial doubts on the late night arrival were unfounded, we found the apartment to be beautifully appointed and ideally situated.

NEXT POST  Wroclaw, The Rynek ( market square )

Useful Links

Inturs.net ( apartments in Wroclaw )
Tourist Information, Wroclaw
Photographs of Poland

Friday, 14 May 2010

Wroclaw, Ilkley to Wroclaw

The Rynek, Wroclaw
 We were ready, several months of planning were about to come to fruition. Although we had made the journey to Doncasters Robin Hood Airport several times before I clipped the satnav to the car windscreen, there were one or two junctions I was still not sure about. Sure enough the satnav to us to the airport without any problem, it was a distance of sixty seven miles via the A1M, M62 and M18, took us about an hour and three quarters. We had started our journey at six thirty pm and found no hold ups on way. I had booked the long stay car park opposite the airport using BCP , the online booking system had been straightforward and for our seven day stay had cost £33.00. Now though the moment of truth would the entry system recognise my credit card, relief, it did and also displayed a welcome to Robin Hood Airport on the transaction screen using my name, I was impressed. The luggage was quickly taken out of the car boot and we walked across to the terminal, a two minute stroll.Our flights for two booked online with  Wizzair was a bargain price £170.00 which included one bag, our two items of handluggage were at no cost. I prefer Robin Hood airport to most others it seems to flow well and the facilities seem more than adaquate, fingers crossed no problems there yet. We had been warned by email from Wizzair that their regulations for baggage weights and hand luggage weights and sizes would be strictly enforced so we had checked them before we left home, sure enough the hand luggage was checked for size but they omitted to weigh them. Our flight departure was on time and full. A note for anyone new to Wizzair there appears to be no seating allocation on the aircraft so its a bit of a free for all when finding a place, also a general tip keep well away from young children and babies if you want a noise free flight. I find the flights relaxing, even more so when I've had my usual gin and tonic. Flying time to Wroclaws Copernicus Airport was two hours and we arrived at one thirty am. Although the airport is quite small all went smoothly. A new terminal is under construction and should be ready 2011. I think we were possibly the last flight in that night so not many people about. After collecting our bag the first thing to do was find one of the free InYour Pocket  guides which are usually on display in most European airport terminals, these are a must, an absolute mine of information about your destination area, maps, attractions, restaurants, history, all you need to know. You can also view 'In your Pocket' online, a great aid to  pre planning your trip. A bonus this time, not only the guide but a large scale street map of Wroclaw and surrounding area. We had no problem in getting a taxi, we had been warned to be carefull when choosing a taxi as there are many who charge shall we say an excessive amount ( arm and a leg ) so we knew who to pick and there was one right outside the door, perfect. If you require information on Taxis in Wroclaw check out the link. Our journey from the airport to the apartment we had booked in the centre of Wroclaw was a distance of just over 13 km and took us about thirty minutes, total cost was 64.5zl ( exchange rate was 4.6 at the time ) Bear in mind Poland is not a euro currency zone. As we went along the final street to our destination we both looked at each other and I thought oh dear, does'nt look to good, eerily lit gothic cathedral on one side and large concrete built block of gaunt looking apartments on the other, perhaps the taxi driver had got it wrong but oh no, we had arrived, but we were soon pleasantly surprised.

Will be posting reviews and photographs of our stay in Wroclaw over the next few weeks. I do hope you will come back to read and enjoy them, maybe they will give you that incentive to visit and enjoy Poland.

Usefull Link

Travel to Poland ( Poland Trips )
Imagine Poland ( Images of Poland )

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Wroclaw, Review Plans

The Rynek, Wroclaw, scene of the Thanks Jimmy Guitar Festival on May 1st

What a fantastic trip, all went well, the weather was a bit hit and miss but overall we had a brilliant time in Wroclaw. It certainly is a beautifull city with lots to see and do.
Klodzko, with fortress above

While in the area we also visited Klodzko, well known for its gothic bridge and fortress. A fantastic event we photographed in Wroclaw was the 'Thanks Jimmy' Guitar Festival
Its not my intention to go into details now but will be posting reviews and photographs over the next few weeks. I do hope you will come back to read and enjoy them, maybe they will give you that incentive to visit and enjoy Poland.

Usefull Links
Historic-Wroclaw ( Poland Trips )
Thanks Jimmy, Guitar Festival