Saturday, November 14, 2020

Poland Independence Day

11 November is Poland Independence Day. I asked from whom they were gaining independence from, and it turns out it's basically everyone- Germany, Austro-Hungary, and Russia. Those who are particularly patriotic have no problem finding a solemn ceremony but for everyone else it is a day off of work to take a hike or spend time with the family. Cameron and I, like many Polish people, extended the mid-week holiday to encompass Thursday and Friday, too, plus we're taking all of next week off. 

It was opportunistic time off. We didn't have any particular plans, which is good because they would have been canceled. The newest restrictions have closed all cultural centers and museums, and only business travelers can stay in hotels and accommodations. Even if there weren't travel restrictions we wouldn't be able to travel internationally. Our visas have expired and we are in residency limbo until our temporary residence permit applications get approved (expected by mid-December). We are legally allowed to say in Poland, so I promise we aren't breaking any international laws. 

Instead we are spending our time exploring our surrounding areas some more. You would think with all of the running/biking/hiking/walking we've done, we would have seen it all at this point. It's true- we have seen and re-seen all of the trails and roads in a 5km radius of our apartments, plus all of the trails in the nearest forests. Nonetheless, Cameron, being the mega runner that he is, manages to find more rural routes for his longer runs. On Wednesday, in our personal sheep dogging tribute to Poland's independence, Cameron ran and I biked a 43km route which brought him to over 1000 miles for the year. He's real extreme, and if you care to know details you can read his post about it and see the heat maps here

I'm also doing a mini tour of the lakes in Krakow. I've already been back to Kryspinów and Zakrzówek and will probably walk over to Bagry tomorrow. I'd also like to find the fourth and final mound, Wanda, but that would be a bit of a longer trek. I love that there are so many mini destinations around the city that are all within walking distance! Of course it's nice to get out, too. Next week we'll probably do a larger hike, and I'm always keen to visit more castles along the Trail of the Eagle's Nests or points along the wooden architecture route. We're also filling in the free spaces with one-on-one friend meet ups, online game sessions, and book reading, all which feel like cozy luxuries.  

I know this isn't a particularly thrilling account, but I'm happy to report that I'm happy, and part of that happiness is having a bit of a work break. Poland really suits me but I am also really excited to explore more, both in Europe and the US. Cameron and I have some fun plans in store, and I will surely write a post about it once those plans become a little more stable. 

This was along our 43km route on Wednesday in the Las Zabierzowski- a new forest for us. It had the last of the fall colors and some interesting rock formations. 

Without intending to, we ended up on the Trail of the Eagle's Nests, although we did not come across any castles. 

Biking selfie!

Cameron typically does a good job of finding bike-friendly trails, but there is inevitably always a really steep, sandy, or muddy section to navigate. 

Sheep dogging! 

Not a lake, but a little pond we found. It seemed apt to take a photo since we were on a mini tour de lakes. 

This lake, Kryspinów, is the swimming destination in the summer. There were a few people hanging around but Wednesday was a little too cold to really want to sit on the beach. 

This is my favorite lake in Krakow, the quarry lake- Zakrzówek.

Down at the lake-level. I was here on Friday and it was a little warmer than Wednesday was but not warm enough to warrant swimming in just a Speedo, yet that's what these two guys were doing. 
A great view of Krakow. I know it's small, but you can see Wawel Castle, St. Mary's Basilica, and the Church right next to our house.

I think even the graffiti around town is beautiful. There are even walking tours you can sign up for to see the most monumental street art. 

Today's mini adventure took us to a little park across the river from us. You can see Krakus Mound in the background. 

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