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Category: Poland

Fast Facts: Eastern & Central Europe

Fast Facts: Eastern & Central Europe

WHAT WE DID: Traveled for 36 days around 7 Eastern and Central European countries (8 countries including a day trip to Belarus). Stayed primarily in rooms (self-contained unit) booked through AirBnB, with the exception of a 4-night ski lodge suite in Koscielisko, Poland (Tatra National Park). Our basic itinerary: Transit – bus (Lux Express) from Moscow to Riga, Latvia Riga (3 nights) Transit – bus (Lux Express) from Riga to Vilnius, Lithuania Vilnius (2 nights) Transit – bus (Lux Express)…

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Penny & Me

Penny & Me

Well, the penny has certainly been on a roll since leaving Moscow, and in one month has managed to tour 8 different countries across Eastern and Central Europe: The penny began its European expedition in the Baltics, making stops in Latvia and Lithuania. It even made it to the coast, where it basked in the sunshine beside the crisp waters of the Baltic Sea. From there, the coin headed south to Poland, where it enjoyed the remote tranquility of the…

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Tatra National Park

Tatra National Park

Nestled at the foothills of the imposing Tatra Mountains, the largest range of the Carpathians, sits the small alpine village of Zakopane. Just a couple hours south of Krakow, the ‘winter capital of Poland’ is a popular holiday destination for locals, boasting prime skiing in the winter months, and offering over 270 km of hiking and climbing trails in the summer. We learned about the locale from yet another friendly traveler we met along our journey – Linda, an outdoor…

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Krakow

Krakow

Our arrival in Krakow was immediately greeted with evidence of the World Youth Day in progress. Thousands of people crowded bustling sidewalks, many wearing brightly hued backpacks in one of the primary colors, with the letters SDM (the abbreviation for World Youth Day in Polish) emblazoned down the edge. Streets were cordoned off, with stern-looking police officers ensuring the barriers were not disturbed, presenting us with the interesting problem of navigating to our apartment with cumbersome packs in a city…

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Warsaw

Warsaw

While visiting Khao Yai National Park in Thailand, we met a couple, Adam and Ania, with their two young daughters, from Warsaw. After randomly running into them again in a coastal town – a couple weeks later and several hundred miles away – we exchanged email addresses and they made us promise to reach out if and when we made it to their hometown. While chatting with Adam several weeks before arriving in Poland, he mentioned that accommodation might be…

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Bialowieza Forest

Bialowieza Forest

One of the highest items on my list of things to do during this trip was to visit one of the last swaths of primeval forest in Europe. The Bialowieza Forest consists of 548 square miles of designated UNESCO-protected forest, straddling the border of Poland and Belarus, with another 644 square miles of buffer zone to insulate the delicate ecosystem from the effects of encroaching human habitation. It is home to the largest population of free-roaming European Bison in the…

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