5 great ways to spend quality at home

I once read that home is the base where everything begins. It’s a place of relaxation and utter peace where we are able to simply unwind and rest after an entire week of work. I love staying at home, became a little bit of a couch potato recently –  totally not ashamed – and must have my own, personal time. Binge-watching Netflix shows, browsing through the Internet, watching YouTube videos of my favourite Creators and simply clearing my mind. This is all fine, I mean who of you doesn’t do it, right? At some point though, there comes a realization, that spending time watching YouTube might not be the best quality-wise time spent.

Realizing an issue exists is a first step to improve. At least that’s what my parents thought me when I was younger, so I analyzed and came to the conclusion there are numerous ways in which I can spend better-quality time at home.

1. Enjoy your time with board games

board game witcher II free time

I love playing board games. I bought and was gifted various of games including Catan, Scotland Yard, Monopoly (of course), Colt Express, The Witcher, Board the Train, Dixit and many others. Both Floret and I have been collecting games ever since we found an old version of the Scotland Yard in his parents’ house and we decided to play together. This is one of my favourite things to do during Friday evening when we don’t go out. It’s great; there’s rivalry, fun, all sorts of emotions and satisfaction.

Playing requires focus, it helps creating bonds within the family. Ever since I was young my parents used to play cards or European version of Monopoly called Eurobusiness with us. I loved it! I remember how happy I was when I got it for Christmas one year. The entire family played and it was great, I still recall those moments and even now, at the age of 27 I enjoy all sorts of board games. If you’ve never played I advise you to try out with something less complicated – like Monopoly. You won’t believe how entertaining that is.

2. Check out latest computer games

Ok, I’m not saying slay The Witcher III or God of War, by no means, but adventure games such as Uncharted 4 are great for all sorts of players! I love playing computer games – I was raised very closely with my older brother and we used to play together. If you’ve never played PlayStation4 games… What I can say is: that’s not what you think. Many people perceive gaming as a total and utter waste of time, but in reality it does improve your cognitive functions, it does make you notice details in the background faster and it definitely teaches you languages: look at me, never ever have I attended additional English classes and here I am, convincing you to check PS4 games out.

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Let’s take first example I mentioned above: Uncharted 4. This beautiful game created by Naughty Dog is a perfect example of how graphics improved within the last 5 years. This is a story of Nate Drake, a treasure hunter who helps his brother pay off his debt to a dangerous Gang Leader – by finding a pirate treasure. I can’t even describe how entertaining that games is – not only is it beautiful, it’s also humoristic, fun, packed with action and great plot twists. I enjoyed it so much I actually played it 4 times already, and each time I am home alone and cooking I simply turn on YouTube on my TV and watch Pewdiepie playing the game. Even now, when I’m writing this, my boyfriend Floret is just right next to me on the couch playing God of War

The titles I would recommend are: Uncharted series, The Last of Us (although way more aggressive), Until Dawn, Horizon, Dragon Age and of course, the king of all the games: The Witcher 3.

3. Read a book

If you believe that the art of reading in the computer age waned, particularly among children, is a sure sign that you are a Muggle.

These wise words were printed on my Polish copy of Harry Potter books when I first got them in 2001. I love reading – I always enjoyed spending a quiet evening with a book. I don’t even remember the time I didn’t know how to read – it’s simply like books were always with me. With age I shifted a little bit towards Crime genre, but I love Fantasy still. I don’t read much of Classical literature though – when I was in high school I made it a point to read a book from every single one of Nobel Prize Winners in Literature (which I did) but I can’t seem to remember half of the books I’ve read.

Katarzyna Bonda reading book literature crime

There are though, pieces that you remember for your entire life. I loved reading Camilla Lackberg and of course the queen of crime literature Agatha Christie. I wanted to go now into which books I enjoyed but I can’t spend an entire year writing one post. I bought the book in the picture above today during grocery shopping and I’ve been craving to read ever since (meaning since yesterday) when I read the first part (I bought it and read it yesterday, that’s how hardcore of a crime reader I am).

I don’t think I have to advertise reading – it’s a common knowledge how great it is for broadening perspective and mastering imagination. Whenever I read, I truly feel like I am in a completely different world – Floret will confirm, even if he talks to me the sound just doesn’t get to my brain.

4. Plan your next holiday trip

I am soon planning to go for a short holiday in the mountains. I am a little bit overworked recently and decided to head for a camping trip at Solina Lake in Bieszczady Mountains – yeah, yeah, I know I’ve been there and shared pictures here, but the place is so stunning I had to see it again. For this trip, there is no planning required, but as I mentioned in my recent post about planning an EUROTRIP I was invited to spend some quality time in Croatia.

how to plan holiday trip to croatia

As I’ve mentioned during the coverage of my Eurotrip experience, I’ve already been there once two years ago, so there was no need for me to purchase another guide. I am currently looking through maps, checking events and flights, prices for renting a car, distance from Dubrovnik to Montenegro and best beaches on the way. Finding things in advance might really improve the holidays experience and let us see things otherwise we wouldn’t even know of.

5. Sort through pictures!

I got you, didn’t I? Do you also have a pile of printed out pictures you should sort out but you never do because Netflix is so damn tempting? Is the pile stashed in a box from IKEA somewhere in your room and you pretend like it doesn’t exist because you feel guilty you were supposed to do something about it ages ago and you never did? Do you pray to God to become Bruce Almighty so you can use your stretching time capabilities to sort your pictures? Yeah, me too.

how to sort pictures album

I went for my Eurotrip 2 years ago and I still haven’t inserted my pictures in an album… – I am a terrible person, I know. I think sorting these out would bring a sense of piece of mind to me, so I might as well take care of it right about now. Keep fingers crossed!

And what do you do to spend a quality time at home?

Dorota

Lazy Sunday with Dorota #1 – Wilanow Palace Edition

My boyfriend Floret can easily confirm – since early morning hours I have been gloomy, moody and whiny. I had 19 post drafts on my WordPress account and I couldn’t force myself to finish any. On top of that, couldn’t find anything else to occupy my mind with either – after all, I invested a lot of time in this Blog and seeing myself loose focus so early on, just at the beginning of my adventure with blogging, was quite depressing.

After lunch we decided to go visit my mom – she is feeling quite under the weather recently and I thought bringing her a little bit of homemade, vegetarian soup would make her feel a lot better. She was very thankful and, as a result, I felt less gloomy as well.

Floret loves ice-cream, he LOVES ice-cream – actually he ate an entire box on Saturday, so I thought it would be nice to get him some. We drove to Wilanow Palace in Warsaw, and since we heard some microphone enhanced voices, we decided to check it out.

The Wilanow Palace in Warsaw.

It turned out we are currently celebrating days of one of Polish Kings: Jan III Sobieski, who happened to build this beautiful Palace for his wife in XVII century. The Palace is the oldest museum of art in my country, established in 1805, by the hand of then-current owners Aleksanda and Stanisław Potocki. To my amusement, public access to the museum continues ever since – the place is simply stunning and is probably one of the few buildings that have survived World War II. It would be such a pity if it got destroyed! Surely it’s a must see for all the tourists in Warsaw.

My mood improved visibly. I love all sorts of events – I know, I sound like my grandma now – but honestly, when people meet up and celebrate, spend leisure time organizing activities so that others can have fun on Sunday – that makes me very glad. It reminds me of Midsomer Murders, you know, the British Crime Drama that revolves around people being murdered in the Midsomer County. I grew up watching all the episodes (within first 10 seconds I can tell you exactly who the murderer is and why – I watched it so many times), learning English in the process and I always marvelled at how each episode had some great event in it: Spanish festival with flamenco dances, meeting with famous writers, cricket games, opening of the summer and so on, and I missed it here in Poland. Fortunately, now the tide turned and a lot of events are organized here as well.

I love how sculptures here are carved with such a great attention to detail. When I first moved to Warsaw in Secondary School I was so amazed by it my best friend and I spent an entire day looking at all the angels and lions. She later on went to study Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and I still have her pencil drawings of Wilanow Sculptures – currently I am waiting for her to get famous to become a millionaire.

The sign above the gate says “speak of how nice it is to forget the troubles of life” by Horace, the leading Roman poet. In this context I think it was supposed to mean: “forget about the worries of life when you enter this beautiful garden”, since the gate leads straight to 45 hectares of garden in various styles including a double-level Baroque garden and an English landscape park. Unfortunately, this time we were not able to enter – apparently our “King” ate dinner with all the other actors. First chance I get, I have to revisit the garden, because I’m very curious how the natural lake inside looks like and what flowers they planted this year.

For the celebration local Floristic School put all these beautiful bouquettes everywhere around the courtyard. I love flowers, obviously, and I very much enjoyed how they presented these. Also, I found out that next week the museum organizes a “king’s breakfast” in the park and Warsaw University professor in cooperation with local restaurant chefs will prepare real, historic breakfest of the King, so I already made plans to visit and check it out.

In the meantime we were also lucky enough to be gifted some great food samples: Floret got a cake with zucchini flowers stuffed with cheese and I got strawberry mousse with real, edible flowers. It was a very interesting taste and I’m glad I got a chance to try, although I don’t think I would repeat that pleasure – the taste was just so very… specific.

On our way out we, as usually, revisited the mausoleum of Aleksandra and Stanisław Potocki, as you remember the owners of the palace who launched the museum 200 years ago. I think it’s beautiful and it always brings me into a little bit of melancholic mood.

We came for ice-cream and we got some. Also I got a feeling I have to start using hand-cream – my skin is so dry! Any suggestions which I can use?

I very much enjoyed my evening at the Palace and my mood is now back to normal.

I had some time to think about how our moods change during the day – and I don’t mean “us” as women, but “us” as people. Nowadays we are constantly chasing something; education, career, even blog followers and I start to believe this chase leads to nothing. I dream of a little wooden house in the countryside, with a view on the lake and a private deck. I wish I could simply make a bonfire or a BBQ for my friends and relax in the quiet of the village. I can’t pursue the dream yet for various reasons, but I look forward to it everyday.

And what is your dream?

Dorota

EUROTRIP – how to plan your trip in 5 easy steps.

As I wrote here my boyfriend Floret and I went for EUROTRIP two years ago and we LOVED IT. This was by far the best trip in my entire life, and even though I have two more eurotrips planned, I can’t imagine any of them top this experience. If you want to know details about my trip you have to check my previous post linked above, but the excerpt is that we travelled by car from Poland to Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. I wrote that we have two more Eurotrips left planned, well actually to be planned, that is: Scandinavia (Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden) and “wild, wild west” (Italy, France, Portugal and Spain).

Because this year we were offered to visit our friend’s house in southern Croatia to see Dubrovnik as well as Montenegro (hence not spend a single dime on accommodation), we decided to go there instead and postpone our Eurotrips for next year. That left me with quite significant time to plan our trip ahead and not end up being “spontaneous” (here the synonym of unprepared). I mention the impulsiveness of our first Eurotrip because it got us in trouble several times – hence I decided to plan everything in a little bit more detail. During my planning procedure I realised I have some experience which might be useful to all of you, sweet people, who might want to plan their own trips! Hence, I decided to share my 5 great tips for planning the Eurotrip!

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Amazing Plitvice lake we’ve seen during our first Eurotrip experience in Croatia.

1. Start by preparing overall plan

We decided to go for the Scandinavian trip first – let the working title for this expedition be; Vikingtrip. We started with the overall plan in our heads after a little bit of brainstorming – I wanted to see Copenhagen and the Oresund bridge to Sweden, Floret wanted to see Bergen and the fjords. Taking a quick look at the map we realised that our trip should look something like that:

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Our trip consists of: Warsaw, Berlin, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Malmo, Gothenburg, Oslo, Bergen, Oslo again, Karlstad, Stockhold and Gdańk.

The trip “ends” in Stockholm only because we decided to take a ferry to a beautiful Polish city of Gdańsk through the Baltic Sea. Now when our outline is ready we can see how long will it take to drive our little camper. We know from experience (we are together for almost 3 years and drove hundreds of kilometers) that it is optimal to drive around 500 km every 2-3 days. That way we won’t be too exhausted from driving, we will have time to see places we visit in detail and we will be able to relax.

Bearing that in mind we can move further and plan stops in between cities, which are too far away. That way I put a stop between Oslo and Stockholm in Karlstad – a city we were not really interested in, but decided it’s optimal to take a break in. I evaluate that the time needed to see all these places is around 3-4 weeks. Now when our trip is planned we can get into much more detail and check-out interesting activities and things to see.

2. Allow flexibility – don’t book all the hotels

Obviously in case of the Vikingtrip we are going to go in a camper, so arranging accommodation is going to be limited to us simply finding a campsite to stop. If you don’t have such an opportunity, I advise you not to book hotels for each night. What I realised during my first Eurotrip is that we liked some places way more than others. At some point on Krk island in Croatia we got a little bored of tanning on the beach and decided to drive to Slovenia earlier – which turned out to be a great decision – Slovenia is definitely my favourite destination out of all the trip.

Allow yourself a little bit of carpe diem moment. Be spontaneous and don’t worry – it’s not like finding a hotel is very difficult – you wouldn’t believe how many people book rooms and never show up!

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Floret on his way to see a mountain shelter in Slovenia.

3. Plan activities, relax and sightseeing in equal intervals

I used the word “interval” and got reminded of all the terrible moments I had in my High Level Math class in high school – I nearly got a panic attack, I swear. I am a firm believer in balance in the universe. I think that equilibrium between sightseeing, relax and activities should be achieved at all times, so that we don’t go crazy during a trip that is longer than a weekend.

At the end of my first Eurotrip we went to Vienna, Austria and were sightseeing the city and all the museum until I just gave up and had to simply… have fun! Floret saved me by taking me to Vienna Prater (an amusement park), where after trying one ride, tired I fell asleep on the grass in the park nearby. I realised then, that a great trip is packed with everything, not just sightseeing!

Usually Floret is the one who organizes sport during out trips; he took us for biking and kayaking in Slovenia, all the water parks on our way, as well as rafting. I am usually responsible for finding great places to see and visit; like museums, interesting places, reading the guide and analyzing where to go. I am also responsible for food and restaurants, while Floret looks for beaches and relaxation. I think we are quite compatible!

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Me kayaking on a lake Bled in Slovenia.

4. Always get a detailed guidebook

I know people who don’t believe in guidebooks and hate reading them. They prefer to simply go and see whatever they want. I am not one of them, and let me, sweet readers, explain why. When on my last Eurotrip I bought or borrowed guidebooks for all the cities and for most of them I read all the information. I simply stopped at a church, for example, and read all the trivia to Floret. At the end of the trip in Vienna I was a little lazy and didn’t bother to read at all, and… can’t remember half of what I’ve seen. I browsed through pictures to choose some for this page and it turned out I don’t even remember seeing these places. At all. I’ve never had amnesia before, so I think I’m right believing that it’s all because of not reading the guide – after all, I remember all the other ones!

Moreover, when you already have a guide you can prepare a more detailed plan of what to see in each place – you simply pick most interesting things and arrange to visit.

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Menu in one of Viennese restaurants – on the table an amazing guide I was too lazy to read.

5. Plan your finances and book hotels in advance

Since I ran out of points to close up in 5, I had to join two very important points. I know you might think I’m contradicting myself, above I wrote: “don’t book hotels for each night” and in here I tell you to book hotels. What I mean, is that I believe we have to arrange accommodation for most of the nights way in advance to get better deals. 

In terms of money… Money is such a sensitive topic nowadays. I know Instagram makes us believe all the people in the world are loaded and we are the only ones who don’t have golden Lamborghini, but the reality is I know very few people who can wipe with cash. When going for such a long, quite expensive trip, you have to assess how much cash you need and be prepared to use your credit card. We spent around 3500 Euro on our trip and it was a lot of money – we didn’t limit ourselves with anything really, which we should have, and we tried everything, so be prepared for that kind of money. We had to use our credit cards several times and weren’t really expecting it!

Right now, in case of Vikingtrip I know it will cost way more than what we spent before – Scandinavian countries are extremely expensive – hence the camper idea to not pay for hotels. You now know why I constantly preach about things being expensive and saving money, I just need it to travel.

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A dark sky above Krk, Croatia.

I hope with this post I was able to help you. If you have any questions please hit that contact button and let’s share! Follow me on Instagram and get fresh pictures from my adventures!

Dorota

 

5 great tips to start regular jogging – beginners edition – start today with me!

As I mentioned in my post about my long weekend trip I encountered astonishingly interesting book concerning jogging. It’s written by Sara Kirkham and entitled “Get into running”. Since my trip I spent several hours reading the book and decided to create a compendium of knowledge about how to start the entire process.

The book is great, If you have an apportunity you should definitely get it. Mine was discounted and I got it for literally less than 2$. Definitely a great investment. The author starts with all the information concerning benefits of jogging, which I’m not going to decribe in a great detail, since these are pretty obvious – you loose weight, you get healthier, sport is good. Obviously. Second chapter is a detailed description of all the fancy equipment joggers need for running – foot pads, meters, special clothes and all the other items, which I believe are not relevant for beginners. For me there is no point in investing all this money into something you might not stick to.

How to start?

Real content starts in chapter three, around page 43. The author needed this many pages just to tell us we should wear good shoes for running – sorry for the sarcasm in this post, but somehow I always get so annoyed when I read books with tips and the interesting part is literally 2 pages out of 300.

The concept is that you have to be frank with yourself and truthfully assess what level you are on. Have you jogged before and want to go back to it? You hate physical activity? or maybe you lack motivation to keep jogging? When you are the first type – you’re a quieter, if you’re the second type – you’re a newbie and if you are in the first group – you are an aspiring full-time jogger – in a nutshell a pro. In this post, mostly because I want to start jogging myself and I’ve never really done much sport in my life, I’m going to focus on the tips for beginners.

1. Plan ahead

Planning is great for everything really. When I was in IB my Business and Management teacher always said: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail“. Wise words that can be utilised for virtually every purpose. Since we start from the beginning it would be wise not to set the bar too high, you know what I mean? I am definitely not going to run 5k tonight, since I haven’t jogged since high-school. We have to be realistic, otherwise we might quit faster than anticipated. We have to start with… walking. Yeah, I know – sounds riveting. When we will be comfortable with walking chosen distance (I advise starting with chosen time period, rather than kilometers) we should implement very slow jogging in appropriate intervals. How often? According to “Get into running” we should jog every second day and every second Sunday. Below you can check my proposition of an initiatory plan (appreciate the Excel table):

tabelka

Because I might have a little extra kilograms from God-knows-what *excessive candy eating, fast-food, alcohol and tons of potato chips*, I decided to go easy on myself with this and hence my plan might be too basic for you. If so, you can simply start with any week you like and go up. You probably can see a pattern here – each week you have to decrease time of marching and substitute it with jogging – simple. With time going out for a walk is going to become a habit.

2. Prepare for doubts

What is obvious for me (from all these times I tried exercising anything and I always quit – hence the extra few kilograms, is that at the beginning it’s going to be hard. We just have to deal with it, my fancy reader, and move on from that. What I advise and am planning to do myself is to:

  • set jogging goals,
  • measure my achievements,
  • exercise for a jogging event.

My jogging goal (which covers also bullet point number 3) is that I would like to take part in a jogging event. I am a realist and I know I’m not going to run a marathon any time soon, but 5 km jogging event in Warsaw on 11th of November 2018 is within my reach. This is going to be a celebration of 100 years of independence in Poland and I wanted to join in, since each year all those brave people run just in front of my windows. Set your measuring goal (a one that you think objectively can be achieved) and let’s get to work.

Measuring achievements will definitely help you motivate to get off the couch and move further. I believe that each time I got better in something I was more prone to do it again. It’s the same with dieting – you see result, you will probably skip McDonald’s next time.

Remember to keep yourself focused on the goal and never let your sight off of it.

3. Find someone to join you

Jogging with someone else might not only improve your technique (apparently we should jog at a rate that allows normal conversation) but also make you more consistent with your schedule – there’s nothing better than someone waiting for you to make you go out. Running is healthy and the more people join in, the better it will be for all of us. Think about someone who might join you – your sister, boyfriend, friend and invite them in.

If it comes to me I think right now I am going to start alone – taking walks and jogging will not only be my activity, but also a way of quieting down and focusing on my thoughts. Ever since I was born I didn’t have much time alone (I have four siblings, I lived in boarding houses, never had my own room and now when I am an adult I live with my boyfriend. I work in an office full of people on a very busy construction site and I constantly have to talk to someone) and I think such activity might help me get my alone, relaxing time. What I planned is to find someone just like… well, YOU. Someone on the other side of the screen who is going to join me on this adventure and hopefully we might be able to help each other keep up with jogging.

4. Listen to music

I know it might be dangerous at times – don’t get ran over please! – but listening to music and focusing on music instead of how sweaty you are is something I believe is essential. Focusing on something else improved my swimming – I can now swim up to 32 length of the 25 m pool, and the only reason I am able to do that is by not thinking about what I’m currently doing. For obvious reasons I can’t listen to music while swimming, but for jogging it’s perfect. Get your phone or an mp3 player (ok, iPod can do as well) and let’s go out! If you have any nice songs that keep you pumped and energized, please let me know! I am currently looking for my jogging playlist to prepare for my start on Monday.

If you’re using a phone you can track how far you ran with Endomondo or any other tracking application. Do you know any I might find useful?

5. Let’s not forget about food!

Starving yourself is a terrible idea no matter what you’re doing – dieting or jogging. For running though (and burning all those calories) you need to eat properly – carbohydrates should consist of 60% of your diet, protein 15% and fat 25%. While we increase intensity of jogging your body will know what it needs and you might get some weird cravings. What I am planning to do is start my day with eggs or oatmeal, eat lunch prepared at home and light dinner. I will update you guys on my newly established eating habits on Instagram, so don’t forget to follow me there!

Food is important, but what is even more crucial and you already read it everywhere fifty times? WATER! Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate. I am currently drinking my favourite water which takes part in an interesting promotion since the company just turned 50 years old. Floret and I are trying to win a car, a bike or some other cool prizes, so keep your fingers crossed!

Summary

If you would like to join me on an adventure to start jogging write an e-mail or state in the comments. Jogging is going to improve our lives and no matter where you’re from we can all do it and help each other in the process!

Dorota

Long weekend at a seaside – Baltic Sea trip – day 2

Hello world, it’s Dorota again!

Like I mentioned in the first part of my long weekend’s coverage here my trip was so eventful I simply couldn’t limit myself to writing a single post, hence I split the story into two separate chapters. Day 2 at the Baltic Sea was not nearly as fruitful as the first one, but my boyfriend Floret and I visited some great places which are definitely worth mentioning.

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After the bonfire the previous night, and following the green sightseeing route, we were exhausted. Frankly speaking most of my holidays are quite tiring. I don’t think I ever spent any holiday during which I simply tanned on a beach and relaxed. This time though I decided not to join my friends on a red route (23 kilometers through the beach) and instead to spent some leisure time simply visiting the city of Łeba.

We ate breakfast in the same exact place as the day before, packed our stuff and registered out of the camping site. We couldn’t stay for another night (even if it was from Friday to Saturday) because our best friends were getting married at 2 PM the next day, and I still didn’t have a dress.

The city of Łeba is not a very big one. Population is quite small, almost reaching 4000 inhabitants, but during the season in summer it is one of the most crowded places I’ve ever seen. It is located next to a beautiful lake Łebsko, which we had an opportunity to see the day before on our way to see moving dunes and a Baltic Sea.

Since, as I mentioned, the city is mostly focused on tourists it is swamped with shops, restaurants and stands selling various types of magnets and souvenirs. As you might now (if you read any of my previous posts) I called magnets from all the places I’ve been to, so we got some. I’m not a fan of coffee. I very rarely drink it, and even if I do it tastes nothing like coffee, more like milk of slight coffee flavour. We found a really cute coffee place in the middle of the city center, but since the season hasn’t started yet and we got diddly squat. We found another place, but it was definitely not that magical anymore.

Our walk through Łeba drifted from bookstores to shops. We stuck to the main road and it took us straight to the beach. I used to make fun of people using all these colorful screens to separate from others, but since this trip I know what they really want to isolate from is the wind. Even with such a beautiful weather it was still extremely windy!

Sun was very strong that day but I still felt chilly and instead of lying on the beach tanning for the upcoming wedding we decided to travel home with several stops on the way. Our first one was, and always will be if I’m around, Warmia Park. This is a water park with slides, pools and outdoor jacuzzi in the middle of the woods. It is a great place to relax and have loads of fun on slides. The facility is located in Pluski, at the lake of the same name, just in the middle of our road home.

As you can see, the weather started shifting slowly. We spent an hour in the park (just to cool down and relax in the water) and starving we decided to have lunch consisting of leftovers from our camping trip. We drove to the lake and ate all we had with great taste (even if we ate canned food which was not ideally healthy).

After lunch we took off to Warsaw. We were very happy to sleep in our beds again and not feel all the pinecones stabbing us in the back. The next day we woke up early. You remember how I said I didn’t have a dress for a wedding yet? My boyfriend Floret was making fun of me for the entire weekend that I knew six months I will be attending a wedding and didn’t prepare. You want to guess who couldn’t find his pants for the suit and had to buy a new one? You guessed right! That’s karma in the purest form.

Luckily we managed to buy both and had a lot of fun during the entire long weekend!

And how did you spend the weekend? You prefer do travel or rest at home? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in daily pictures, please check out my instagram!

Dorota

A trip to Slawinski National Park day 1

One of my friends texted me recently if I want to join her boyfriend and her on a trip to Slawinski National Park in Poland. Just by pure coincidence it’s the exact same friend who invited me to tag along for a trip to Bieszczady which I described here. I didn’t hesitate even for a second and immediately agreed.

The first thing I did was making sure I packed everything I could possibly need. I used my sports bag for clothes and cosmetics (I never really got mature enough to buy a suitcase) and the rest of things was packed like I robbed a store and just threw it inside a car.

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My trip started at around 3 pm. I met my boyfriend Floret on a Wilson Square in Warsaw. Our car broke down recently and we don’t have air-conditioning, so in this temperature it was going to be a long ride. The place we were trying to reach is around 5-6 hours from Warsaw and believe it or not we travelled for almost 7!

As you can imagine we got to the city of Łeba at around 9 PM and after some short shopping we were all set. It got dark and all the living bugs around tried to eat us alive, but we managed to set our camp, eat dinner in a tent (like I said here saving money is a priority for me recently) and relax. Floret went to the shop to get some anti-bug spray so I was a big girl and I assembled the entire tent by myself. Here is the result:

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As you can see I chose a secluded spot far away from all other campers. It was very quiet and all of our neighbours were really nice. The showers were very clean so I can highly recommend this camping – if you are by any chance interested its site is right here.

Afterwards, since our camp was just 200 meters away from the beach we headed there to check how it looks like. Most of the beaches in Poland are sandy so it was a soft relief to our feet to take a short walk with a great view. Unfortunately, it was a little windy, so soon we headed back. We went to sleep at around midnight and I have to say that sleeping to the sound of waves hitting the beach is amazingly soothing.

The camping doesn’t arrange breakfasts but they did give us directions to a nearby restaurant, where for a price of coffee in Warsaw, we ate delicious food with a great view.

After breakfast we decided to take a walk and finally visit the park. We packed towels, flip-flops, water and SPF-50 cream and headed towards the park.

Slowinski National Park is a part of Natura 2000 programme which is a network of nature protection areas in European Union – that means that it cannot be in any way altered nor anything can be built on these areas without special permissions. We had a variety of choices in terms of touristic routes, but we picked a green one (of middle-length) and after around 40 minutes we encountered a Museum of Missile Launcher. It was built in 1940 as an experimental German polygon for testing missiles and explosives during Second World War. Germans destroyed almost the entire facility while retreating, but all that got saved can be seen there, including glass walls (of 5 cm thickness) and other missiles.

Floret really enjoyed the place, especially that the Museum also provided quite a lot of information about a certain scientist whose work was a great contribution to Polish military (especially missiles during the 60s) Mr. Jacek Walczewski who also happened to graduate from Floret’s University in Cracow.

Later on we ventured further to the moving dunes. We encountered many interesting boards with information concerning nature, birds and snakes which live in the park. We also learned how Baltic sea was formed and how it used to be a lake. What is I think the most interesting information is that the salinity of the sea is of 0.5% to 0.8% which makes it a freshwater really. Apparently drinking it for survival reasons would hydrate the body and not dehydrate it as is the case with ocean water. So if you are lost on a deserted island somewhere on a Baltic Sea don’t hesitate to take a sip 😉

The route in the woods ended abruptly and we finally saw the moving dunes, which turned out to be absolutely stunning!

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The contrast between bright blue sky and whitish sand was truly captivating.

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The rope limits the route so it was nice to take pictures of dunes without any sign of human existence.

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Hypnotizing, isn’t it?

The dunes are, according to the Park’s website:

a real sandy desert which lies on a narrow spit between the Baltic Sea and Lebsko Lake. Wind causes the dunes to move and rise to several dozens of meters. The downside is that they cover with sand coastal forests, marshes, and even inhabited areas. The greatest changes in the landscape occurs in autumn and in spring, during storms on the Baltic Sea. The dunes and quicksands in its precincts from the most beautiful desert landscape, unique in Europe, often dubbed the Polish Sahara. The moving of dunes happens because of the lack of vegetation, which normally limits the influence of winds.

After we marvelled at how amazingly beautiful the dunes are we had to head back through around 3 kilometres of a beach with very loose sand and I don’t get why but I got blisters on my toes. Anyone care to explain? After the trip we went for lunch and finally met my friends (who were running very late, because one of them got sick the other night) and we could finally eat. I was so hungry I didn’t even bother taking a picture to show you guys, but what I can say is that my fish was very tasty. After lunch, we went shopping for food and we bought all the things we needed for making a bonfire. I wanted to make one (ah the smell!) for a long time now, especially that Floret is very much in love with grilling and he suffers each minute of us living in the big city where we can only use electronic grill.

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When we were packing for a trip it was so hot that Floret didn’t even think to take something to protect against blasts of cold wind. It got quite cold in the evening and he had to rescue himself with a work-jacket that we get to work on a construction site. He looked like a security guy, but hey, at least he was warm!

The bonfire was a great success and we had a lot of fun. Many people from the camp joined us and it was a nice time for all of us.

Since the trip was full of events I decided to split this post into two, so stay tuned!

Check o

Dorota