If you travel as I do, you never know where your adventure will take you. Taking some time away from LA as I awaited a family event, I went to Austin, Texas for a while. There, I met Dorota, a woman from Poland. Because of her, I decided to visit Poland. After leaving Krakow and Dorota, I went to find some of my family roots. While trying to find my lost family, standing at the sites of the joys and much horror that my extended family had to have experienced, Dorota called and suggested we meet for some light holiday time. And that’s how I came to get on a bus from the scene of my family’s birth and perhaps their end, to travel to one of the beautiful holiday spots that Poland has to offer.
If you’re wondering why I introduce my visit to Zakopane that way, it’s because travel is not, or does not have to be all sight-seeing and holiday spots. Travel, my travel, is a way of getting to know the world — the good and the bad, the ease and the difficulty, the ups and the downs, the beauty but the ugly as well. Vacations are for escape and relaxation. Travel is for exploration.
After Dorota called, I took a walk to the Tarnow bus station to check out the schedule. After finding the space that the Zakopane departs from, I had the fun task of figuring out this schedule.
This was one of the more challenging bus schedules I’ve dealt with in my travels. But don’t let it put you off of traveling because there is always someone willing to help you understand it or give you the answer you seek.
At 9:48am the next day, I boarded the bus in Tarnow, ready for the 148-kilometer ride, for 35zl, maybe $11. I was happy to be seeing more of today’s Poland and seeing my friend Dorota again.
Zakopane is the highest town in Poland, on the border of Slovakia and Poland in the tall Tatra Mountains. It’s home to museums, hiking, and winter sports. But we were just going there to enjoy friendship, relaxation, the fresh air, and scenery — and not working.
I invite you to enjoy some of the views from my bus ride between Tarnow and Zakopane.
This, by the way, is the bus ride, to put it into perspective for you.
Here’s the scenery, traveling from Tarnow (north) to Zakopane (south). I’ve tried to capture then entire trip so it’s not just scenic. It’s the businesses, roads, and road signs as well.
There are 21 photos so this slideshow will take some time to load.