1001 Ways to Kill Your Legs

Jul 13, 2011 2 Comments by

Way down south in Poland on the border with Slovakia there are the Tatra Mountains. They are massive and extremely impressive. My american duo, Matt and Merrit, and I headed down to Zakopane on the border to do some hiking.

Side note: I’ve been named the family dog, as they said they just adopted me and dragged me along with them. Wait no, they’ve now decided I’m not a dog. Sweet, I was worried there for a minute.

There are several ways to attack the mountains here. You can either hike from the base all the way to the top, or you can take the gondola to the top and then hike down. Being the lazy americans, we opted for the the gondola. Should have known better.

The gondola ride was pretty spectacular, and we only had to wait in line for an hour. Yeah I know it’s a long time, but it takes you 3 hours to hike to the top. We figured it was a win. Once at the top you find yourself along a ridge that runs the border of the two countries. You can straddle the borderline, on a mountain!

Me at the top!

We walked the ridge for awhile and then decided to venture down to the lakes in the valley down below. This is where the hike went downhill, in more ways than one. Firstly, the mountain is rock. I know that goes without saying, but really. you’re just hiking along rocks. They’ve laid them out for pathways, so you’re constantly clambering over them. It sounds like a good idea, keeps the dirt from washing away. However, that long of a hike on only rock is HELL on your legs. I think at one point my legs were planning a mutiny.

Can you tell this was the trail? Neither could we.

The only way to make sure that you hadn’t veered off course were the markers along the trail. They were very high-tech.


Each trail had it’s own color and at the intersections, you just had to follow the correct markers. it did make it easy to tell where you were, though I’m not sure how the environmentalists would feel about it.

We basically climbed/fell down the rock slide until we reached the bottom of the valley. We got to wander around some gorgeous lakes while we ate lunch. The water in those lakes is crystal clear. You can see every little rock on the bottom and every fish swimming around. I’ve never seen water so clear. We then decided to head over to the biggest lake in the area on our way down the mountain. But to get to the new lake we had to climb back over the ridge. Literally, I think we just kept going up and down mountain rock slides. Joyous.

The best part about the hike down? The nuns! Seriously there is nothing funnier than a pack on nuns in their habits with backpacks and hiking boots. Phot proof of the awesomeness:


I really wanted to have a nun to take home with me. I could just put her in my pocket and she could bless all my stuff. Though the swearing probably wouldn’t sit well. Sad panda.

While hiking down to the lake we spotted a rescue helicopter coming in. It hovered on the opposite side of the lake, then disappeared. It popped back u about 30 minutes later. We couldn’t quite tell what was going on, but it did look like they were picking some people up. Where was Uncle Dave when we needed him? He could have totally explained what was going on.

Helicopters in zee mtns

We spent some time relaxing around the lake but it started to sprinkle and we made a break for it. Our good luck on weather seemed to be failing us. The whole day the thunder had been threatening to break open, but with about 1 hour to go the rain finally started to fall. Hard to walk down a rock slide in the rain, FYI. We made it down without falling thankfully or breaking anything. No need to yell mom, I’m still following directions!

If you feel like being a nerd, you can see our whole hike on Run Keeper. Matt is a running nerd and used the software to show our progress.


About the author

One die-hard Mac Geek set on traveling the globe.

2 Responses to “1001 Ways to Kill Your Legs”

  1. Drew says:

    The picture of you at the top is highly entertaining,

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