Discover Eastern Europe: Poland edition

This post is dedicated to my trip to Poland during summer 2016. Poland is definitely an underrated country and there is so much beauty here. I would even consider it a hidden gem since it is not as touristy as Prague or other cities in Europe yet. There is so much to do and see, especially on a budget, as goods and services in the country are extremely cheap. I highly recommend visiting Poland to anyone who enjoys the countryside, the wilderness, and who is looking to explore what Eastern Europe is really like.

First stop: Krakow

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Our hotel room! I loved the walls and the ambiance of the room. I could definitely see this style in my future house someday 🙂

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Here is the Wawel Castle. Photographs don’t justify how ginormous it is. These old castles and fortresses are the kinds of things we don’t have in America and they truly amaze me.

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Here is a panoramic view of the old town square in Krakow. As you can see, there was a youth festival where the pope would arrive the next day, so it was super crowded. It was such a beautiful experience to see so many people from around the world gather in this city.

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And last but not least, the food was one of my favorite parts of Krakow for me. I had some of the best bread of my life, in addition to my favorite mushroom/cabbage pierogi.

Next stop: Morski Oko

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My family insisted on taking a horse drawn cart to the top of the hike where we could walk around Morski Oko. Two beautiful dark bay horses led us up the mountain…IMG_2116

At the top lots of Polish tourists were walking around and exploring the sights. We walked a little further to the lake and this is what we saw…

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Seriously the most breathtaking view I had ever seen. It was more beatiful than any mountains I had ever laid my eyes on. Even with my lack of knowledge of the Polish language, I will definitely be returning here someday,

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We made it back to the base lodge and of course… time to eat! Tyskie definitely tasted much better than any Coors or Bud light I have had in America. The Polish definitely know how to do beer and hearty food. Overall, a very lovely and eye-opening experience at Morskie Oko.

Next stop: Warsaw

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Hmm…. I wonder what type of pierogi these are?

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The Royal Castle in the old square.

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The city was beautiful, especially the old town square where the Royal Castle was. We don’t have buildings like these in America so they look especially beautiful to me. My Polish stepmother always says how average-looking the architecture is, but to me it all look incredible.

We went into the Castle and took a tour there which is definitely a must-do if you ever find yourself in Warsaw. It was very intense hearing about the history of when the Castle got destroyed by the Germans in WWII. Despite the tricky history in Warsaw, the city still shines and is filled with vibrant visitors and influences from around the world.

Next stop: Białystok

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Just to show you all — 18 Polish złoty equals roughly $5. So, you can order a BURGER, FRIES, and a BEER all for $5 which is crazy. In America, I think that would cost you at least $25…

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Branicki Palace

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Beer with honey, a supposed traditional Polish drink.

Last stop: Ryn

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The accomodation we stayed at was supposedly an old castle. It was filled with medieval themed knights in shining armor and torture devices to give the castle a spooky vibe.

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Ryn down by the lake. We rented a small motorboat for my dad’s birthday and rode around the lake for a few hours while sipping on some cocktails. The sun was shining and it was a fun experience getting to spend time with my family and see the country and culture where my stepmom grew up.

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Here was a little beach on the lake about a ~5 minute walk from the castle. To exercise off all the beer and pierogi I had eaten and drinken, I ran around the lake a few times during our stay.

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Here was the lovely view from our castle room.

All in all, our time in Poland was amazing. From roadtripping through the countryside  to relaxing and sipping Polish beers overlooking mountainous views, my family and I had such a great time. I would definitely love to return to Poland again someday and experience this trip again. Leave a comment below if you have been to Poland before or are interested in going. I would love to talk more about it!

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