16 years ago was the first time that I visited the Tatra mountains in Poland. Back then, I spent one day rafting on a wooden raft paddling through the Dunajec river that flows on the border between the two countries Poland and Slovakia. That day was cold, foggy and rainy. And I promised myself that someday I would return there to once again enjoy the splendor of the Tatra Mountains.
After so many years have passed, I went back to the places that were both so familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. Vitaliy and I had passed through the famous ski resort of town Zakopane and went further on to less well-known places in the mountains.
A Deserted Cabin
A few years ago I was looking through the most unusual places to stay at Airbnb and I found a tiny cabin in the Tatra Mountains. All it had inside was a fireplace and a bed in the attic, a perfect place just for two. Back then I saved it to the wish list and now I really wanted to stay there. The owner did not confirm our reservation for a long time so we just decided to go in that direction hoping to find him there. Mile by mile we were discovering picturesque views of the emerald green hills and pine trees hiding in the cold fog. By the evening we have arrived at the most romantic cabin I have ever seen …
A Tawny Cat
Nighttime in the mountains was pitch black. The only sources of light were from the windows of cabins scattered far from one another on the hills. The night silence was only broken by the sound of the cold autumn rain and the crackling fire in the fireplace.
Suddenly, a tawny cat showed up behind the glass entry door to the cabin. He stood up on his paws and scratched the door asking to be let in. He came in as if he were the true owner of the cabin. The cat knew where the fridge was located so all we had to do was to set up the bowls for him and fill them up with food. So, we were three for our stay at the cabin, enjoying the fireplace under a warm blanket, and enjoying meals together.
Fogs and the Fireplace
Autumn is a foggy season in the mountains and that is why it feels so calm, romantic and melancholic. The back side of the cabin had an outdoor fireplace that was one of the coziest places I have ever been to. We were warming up there after the long walks in the dewy grass, and melting Camembert cheese enjoying a cup of hot tea.
Rafting on a Wooden Raft
We went further on to Slovakia. That day we wanted to go hiking on one of the most difficult and picturesque hiking trails in the Tatra Mountains. However, the weather plays its own game and we had to change our plans. Instead, we went to Sromowce Wyzne, a small town located on the border of Poland and Slovakia. Here is where you can raft through the Dunajec river on a traditional wooden raft.
A tip for you*. Local travel agencies sell the rafting tour at 100-150 Euro. However, if you go on your own, you will only pay 60 Zl for the ticket and 9 Zl for the bus ticket to return to Sromowce Wyzne.
All shots were made with iPhone 6S+ and the Moment lenses.
Wearing: NATASHA FISHCHENKO cape
I am very grateful to my Friend Monica from @bewilderedinmorocco for the orange blossom Moroccan honey that she gave me before we went to the mountains.
Location: Tatra mountains, Poland.