On our way back from dinner one night in Horní Bečva we found a narrow little path down a steep hill that made for an amazing sledding run. The next night after a bit more snow, he headed out again for some aggressive night sledding.
After 3 days on the road we arrived in Horní Bečva, one of the funniest towns in the world if you say the name in English. I was really hoping for a big “Welcome to Horní Bečva” sign, but as there wasn’t one, we had to settle for taking pictures in front of all the businesses that named themselves after the town. Unfortunatly we seemed to be the only ones who found the name funny, when renting skies the rental guy didn’t seem phased at all by the fact that we said we were staying in Horny Bitchfu.
We spent our time in Horní Bečva eating our brains out, skiing, and sledding. Our first day skiing was shrouded in clouds. Very dense clouds. The picture here isn’t darkened, it was just that dark and cloudy. Made for some slow and interesting skiing. It also made for some snowy skiing. We got dumped on, more than a foot of snow in the few days we were there.
Read the rest of this entry »
For out part, we stumbled into a unique and memorable party in the little town ofKudowa-Zdrój, a little old spa and resort town on the Czech border. We went out looking for a good traditional Polish dinner to celebrate the evening. But the only traditional Polish restaurant we could find was packed with close to 100 Polish pensioners having a big evening out. After some sweet talking from my Polish buddies, the owner decided to give us his personal table, so us tourists could have an authentic Polish experience.
We started off the night getting a kick out of watching all the older folks dance. But after we delved into the vodka shots and herring that they had been enjoying for a while before we got there, we got right up and joined them on the dance floor. The music was perfect, two guys on synthesizers playing traditional Polish songs, including one that instructed people to sit down and drink vodka every 15-20 minutes. Amazing.
Alina stole the show, as you can tell from the crowd circling around her, and by the end of the night we were all dancing together with the handful of older folks that stayed out after 22:00.
Video from earlier in the night when we were still a bit timid about getting up and dancing:
Road trips usually have good food along the way, and the road to Horní Bečva was no different. We ate out way through each stop, stuffing ourselves with local meats, pastries, and fried goodies. I put on a good 5 pounds on the trip, which makes sense since half of what we ate deserves to be on This is Why You’re Fat.
Some of the highlights were:
- Smažený sýr – fried cheese. I’m surprised that Americans haven’t come up with this. The meal consists of a giant lump of deep fried cheese and french fries. I’d roughly estimate that it’s 2000 calories of solid grease with starch on the side. It’s hard to get a sense of scale from the picture, but it’s a ton of cheese.
- Polish hot dogs – a hot dog in a crispy and chewy bun that’s basically a hot dog sleeping bag. You fill the sleeping bag with sauces before putting in the hot dog. The result is similar to a corn dog, but with sauce between the dog and dough.
- Grundle – ok, so the food is quite different than the link I provided would imply. It’s actually little fish. Fried up and well spiced they go very well with beer. They look like this.
- Winter jelly – it’s lard. Plain and simple lard. Just spread over bread, eaten as an appetizer or with beer. I can’t say I recommend it.
I had never heard of Wrocław before we started driving there. I couldn’t even pronounce the name – it’s sounds like Vrotswav. After 16 hours there, I’ve very surprised that I haven’t run into people talking it up more.
About half of the city was destroyed in WWII, which is sadly pretty good by Polish standards. The center of town was left pretty intact, which means there are heaps of Gothic cathedrals and a pretty town square – seen in the picture above. The whole center is wrapped in a canal an river, and the the north, there are a series of islands housing an inordinate number of cathedrals. I don’t think I can stress enough just how many large cathedrals there are in this town. It’s ridiculous. Take a look at the map below and check out how many you can see from above, then imagine the effect that has as you walk around the town and see another old cathedral around each corner. It’s great.
In the summer I can only imagine that it’s a very green and lively city, worth a weekend visit if you can grab a cheap flight out there.
View Larger Map