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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Poland


The wait was worth it.

Due to the fact that I have yet to get a first class, I decided to reflect on myself and figure out a way to attain it. Because of that, I knew it would be best to only go on holiday after my finals unlike what I did in my second year. Which was good because the weather was great after finals. My results have yet to come out and if I still am unable to get a first, then I'll go on holiday this upcoming Christmas break as being at home for a whole month studying was pure torture.


I wanted to go snowboarding. 

I researched and I planned but the only problem was that I had no one to go with. I reached out to the closest and fortunately, the crew wanted to go. Unfortunately, Hannah didn't and Nadhi couldn't. I braved it through and convinced myself that it was better for me to go with people that I knew than going alone. I searched up for the cheapest and booked a flight to Poland and back for 7 people (but two cancelled). 

My initial budget was £200, I ended up going over that and so did mostly everyone. I did my pre-holiday shopping and had a blast going around Decathlon (everything there is super cheap). I ended up with one full oversized backpack and a heart filled with excitement the day before the flight. 



It took one whole day to get there.

I personally didn't feel as if the trip started well. I only hoped that it would get better. I went off with Amir on the tram to Meadowhall for the coach to London whilst the rest took an Uber because some people decided that they didn't want to be on time. That was when I realised that I'd have to start pacing out my chills for this trip. The coach was full, cramped and warm but I managed. Arriving in London, we got our coach tickets to Stansted Airport and headed out to convert some £ to zł. 

I got pretty upset whilst we were getting on the coach to Stansted due to fact that someone decided to go to the loo 15 minutes before the coach was about to leave. I was annoyed. I wanted to leave the person behind, I couldn't careless about people missing the coach because I wanted to go snowboarding and I decided that I won't let anyone ruin that. Lucky for the person, he got to the coach in time. 

We flew to Krakow, Poland on Ryanair, uneventful. Except that I was screaming in excitement inside. As soon as we reached Krakow, we immediately got a train to Kraków Główny (railway station). We walked from the station to our accommodation which took us about 20 minutes. The location of the accommodation seemed a tad bit dodgy but it was a decent place once we got inside. As soon as we settled down, we headed out to town for some food. Kebab. We had dinner at around 12.30AM, played games and told horror stories until about 3AM then decided to call it a night. 

Day 1:

Transportation
Home to Meadowhall Interchange: £2.20
Meadowhall Interchange to London Victoria: £3.65 - Megabus
London Victoria to London Stansted: £7.90 (w coach card) £12 (w/o) - National Express
Flight from London Stansted to Kraków: £24.80 - RyanAir
Krakow Airport to Kraków Główny: 8 zł (abt £1.80) 

Food
Kebab wrap: 14 zł (£2.90) - Beirut Shawarma (Floriańska 51, 33-332 Kraków, Poland)

Accommodation
Backyard Apart & Rooms: 260 zł (£54) - 3 Bedroom Flat for 8 people


Around Kraków without plans.

I woke up around 8am, excited for the day to start - I was the only one excited. I showered, packed and got ready. I attempted to wake people up at 9am; it took 3 attempts. 

"Okay."
"Dah bangun dah."
"Kenapa kau rakam, kau jahat doh."

The person I didn't try to wake up, woke up instead. I made breakfast - scrambled eggs and toast. We headed out to nowhere in particular. Kraków was merely a transit stop for us so we had nothing planned just that we had to wait for a friend to come that evening before heading out to Zakopane. We walked where our legs brought us and ended up in a small cafe that served really good desserts and the loveliest hot chocolate (thick and rich). 

Wandering about got us pictures, souvenirs and banter. We headed back to the apartment to pick up our luggage and then to the bus station to get to Zakopane. I desperately searched for a sim card at the station because I could not live without the internet. Arriving in Zakopane, we went to Tesco to get food and then headed to the cabin we called home for the next few days. We had kebab (again) for dinner that we bought in Kraków and again, ended the day with games and horror stories but with itik this time. 

Day 2:

Transportation
Kraków to Zakopane: - Bus
Zakopane Bus Station to the cabin: - Taxi

Food 
Pierre Bakery (Szewska 6, 30-001 Kraków, Poland)
Beirut Shawarma (Floriańska 51, 33-332 Kraków, Poland) 

Accommodation
Domek przy Olczyskiej: 384 zł (£80) - 2 Bedroom cabin (with a living room/bedroom) for 8 people



We were 1987m above sea level.

Our initial plan was to go up to Kasprowy Wierch at 9am or earlier so that we could start snowboarding earlier. Unfortunately, someone didn't bring their boots so we had to go to town, wait for the shops to open and only then did we go up to Kasprowy Wierch. Was I happy about it? No. Seeing as I was the only one fired up by the incident, I had to keep quiet; though I did let a few hints of annoyance slip. Arriving at Kuznice, there was a very very very long queue which we were in for an hour. Was I annoyed about it? Yes. Seeing as I was the only one annoyed, I had to keep quiet. I was amazed at how much patience I had in me.

I couldn't describe how lovely going up to the peak was, I was in awe, mesmerised by the view. Never in a million years did I ever think that I would see something like that. But I'm pretty sure I have once before, when I was really young and went up to Cairngorm Mountain. It's hard to please human beings, because even with that scenery, I was still wishing that I was with my family instead - overly attached.

I thought I was over my fear of heights, but it came back. My knees shivered but I was the only one afraid; I knew I had to man up and so I did. They lead me to places that I initially did not want to go to and honestly, I was very thankful. I, however, did not follow them up to this one peak because I was scared that I might not make it back down. Because of that, they got to meet some ladies who then came down and told me that going up isn't worth it.

It was 2pm when we decided to head back down so we could actually do the things we actually went to do. Everyone was hungry so we headed to town to get some food, I had fish with couscous and beetroot. I was super amazed at how good beetroot is (I've never had the guts to try it because of the colour). We headed back to the cabin and got ready for snowboarding, I was excited and nervous.

We went to Nosal for snowboarding, wanting to try it out. We rented our kit from this one hut in front of Nosal (not at the centre). It smelled nicer and was cheaper so it worked out well. I wasted 18zł for renting an evening pass when I should've just got a per use of lift because I only went up the lift once within 2 hours. I felt demotivated, I went up the lift, couldn't use it, I fell down, had to walk up. It was a disaster. More than anything, I was just really upset with myself. I spent a fortune on lessons and I couldn't even go up a slope - and go down at that since I just had no confidence left in me. The kids knew how upset I was about it.

After the session, we headed back to the cabin. We were supposed to go out that night but after sorting out the fire place, Amir and Zafrina dropped dead almost immediately. So we decided to stay in. Instead of being boring and going to sleep, we made pasta because there's nothing better than food at 10pm. Naturally, the ones who fell asleep woke up right after we were done cooking. To be honest, all I did was boil the pasta. The others did the rest. #wifematerial. We slept pretty early wanting to leave the house at 8.30am the next morning.

Day 3:

Transportation
Town to Kuznice (Kasprowy Wierch): 30 zł - Taxi
Cable car to Kasprowy Wierch: 59zł (Student price)

Food 
Spynx

Accommodation
Domek przy Olczyskiej: 384 zł (£80) - 2 Bedroom cabin (with a living room/bedroom) for 8 people

Others
Ski rental: 25zł (1 Day)



3 hours walk.

I woke up to breakfast (by Itik), the sun and the amazing view outside. We left late, I was expecting that so I played outside with the kids that weren't late whilst waiting. We took a long taxi ride to the Tatra National Park and walked for three hours. I wanted to give up half way so many times but I had amazing support so I kept on going. We arrived at Morskie Oko with most of my layers taken off (because it got warm) to be greeted by an amazing view of a frozen lake with mountains in the background. I had cheese filled pancakes because it was lunch time and it was amaaaazing. What was more amazing was that the price wasn't hiked up even though we were in a cafe by the lake. Amir and I waited for the other kids to arrive before heading down to the lake. We played a lot, it was fun. 

Because we didn't want to go on another 3 hour adventure, we decided to take a horse sleigh down. Half way down, some of the kids had the honour of having a horse poop in front of their faces (whilst it was walking). Most memorable experience, ey. I can imagine them telling their grandkids about it - "Years back, Atok went to Poland and was on a sleigh ride. I fell asleep because I was hella tired but was woken up by the smell of horse poo. It was amazing."

We headed back on a bus (which gave me a headache) and as soon as we arrived at the cabin, we headed out for another snowboarding adventure. This time around, everyone except Zafrina and I skied. We all enjoyed our second day way more. The guy minding the lifts helped me out and taught me how to get onto the lift. Favourite guy right there. The closing time came too soon and I was really upset because I wasn't satisfied. I wanted to snowboard more. We then headed out to town to have our super late dinner and went on and on about going back if not this year, then next winter.

Day 2:

Transportation
Nosal to Morskie Oko: 120zł (Taxi)
Morskie Oko to Nosal: 10zł (Bus)
Nosal to town: 30zł (Taxi)
Horse sleigh ride: 40zł

Food 
Spynx
Restaurant by the lake

Accommodation
Domek przy Olczyskiej: 384 zł (£80) - 2 Bedroom cabin (with a living room/bedroom) for 8 people


(Finishing this off would take too much of my time, sorry.)





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