A trip to Morskie Oko – the Polish pilgrimage

The next day it was gloriously sunny, a great day for a trip to the beautiful polish lake called Morskie Oko. Its a bit of a tourist trap with the Poles, but luckily because its mid October, it wasn’t too crowded.

I went with the three girls from Australia – Rosie, Claire and Kelsey (the other two joined us later). We got a minibus from Zakopane to the bottom of the trail. The minibuses were interesting, they have no timetable and only go once full – but luckily we didn’t have to wait that long as Morskie Oko is a popular place! The whole way there we were subjected to some terrible Polish style karaoke music, it did our heads in! We were extremely thankful to get off the bus once we arrived.

The trail to the lake isn’t exactly strenuous, you basically follow a road the whole way. For the lazy ones there’s always the option to hop on the back of the wagon pulled by a horse.

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It took us about 2 and a half hours to get to the lake. The higher up we got the more spectacular the scenery became and we also started to get excited about seeing snow. This initial excitement soon wore off however, as it got progressively deeper and colder the higher we ventured – so our feet started to get wet. The road was both slushy and icey in places so it started to prove a little difficult and our pace slowed.

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The long walk was totally worth it though, it was amazing to finally get there and to glimpse our destination for the first time – Morskie Oko lake is breathtakingly beautiful. When we arrived the sun was shining magnificently and the lake showed a mirror image of the mountains that were towering triumphantly over us. It was spectacular – no wonder the Poles flock to this place!

After taking a few photos we sat down for lunch on the terrace – though we started to freeze pretty quickly and so hastily headed inside for a warming drink of hot wine. It was wonderful to sit in the warmth, with a glass of gluhwein, and to look out at the glorious lake. Suddenly though, the clouds descended, and within minutes the lake was completely obscured from view.

After we’d sat warming ourselves for an hour or two, the time had come to brave the snow and head back down. Luckily the clouds had slowly begun to clear so I managed to capture a few moody photos of the lake from the rocks – one is posted below. It still looked fabulous, and easier to take pictures when the sun isn’t glaring right into the camera lense!

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The walk down was much quicker than the way up – obviously – and a minibus was waiting for us at the bottom. It quickly filled up and we were on our way, and this time the driver was playing some decent music! The views going back were quite spectacular, the sun was beginning to set so the sky was becoming a pinky colour above the mountains. Amazing.

We chilled out after the walk with a well deserved film – albeit a strange one – and prepared for our adventure into the Slovakian High Tatras. More about that coming soon…

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