Posted on January 9, 2012 by vicki
Tags: poland

Two days after Christmas, bellies still full, we waved goodbye to Ania’s family and caught the train to Warsaw. The four hour trip passed fairly quickly, and we spent the rest of the day walking around the city. We wandered through a winter market in one of the old squares, and spent some time at the Copernicus Centre, a science musuem.


At 11pm, we boarded one of three coaches bound for Slovakia on a ski trip organised by a student organisation from the University of Warsaw. The plan was to drive through the night to a town not far from the Polish border, spend three days skiing the nearby slopes, stay for various New Year’s Eve parties and return on the 1st of January.

It was one of those trips where a lot of things went wrong. Our coach broke down an hour after we left Warsaw, and we sat on it for over four hours while we waited for a replacement. When we arrived at our destination of Spisṡka Nova Ves there were hot water issues at the accommodation, but we soon learnt to choose our shower times judiciously so this wasn’t a problem. Apart from that the accommodation was fine.

The next day saw us bound for a nearby ski resort. I was excited, because at this stage I still hadn’t seen more than the occasional patch of snow close up. We strapped on our rental skis, shuffled around and managed to get on the ski lift… only to find that only one slope was operational due to lack of snow. And it definitely wasn’t a beginner slope. So we practised trying to stop on the gentle slope next to the ski lift, watching people disappear over the edge of the abyss in front of us. A slight exaggeration maybe, but plenty of experienced skiers were slipping on the ice and we decided it wasn’t for us. So we ditched the skis and went for a nice walk through the forest instead.

Yes he threw it at me Nice views made up for not skiing

The next day saw the trip itinerary scrapped as everyone sought a place with more pistes to choose from. We headed in the direction of the High Tatras mountains. On the way we were pulled over by the Slovakian police for 2hrs because the driver had tried to dodge the highway tax. Then the bus driver gave us a few scares overtaking on an icy mountain road and while talking on his phone (complaining about his fine). Shortly after the bus got stuck in the snow on a narrow road leading uphill - all the boys got out to push. It wasn’t a good trip for that particular driver.

Pushing the coach

Pushing the coach

When we finally reached the Tatranskȧ Lomnica resort town it was well worth the wait. Not only was it higher, and had received more snow, but they deployed their snow cannons with much better results. There was over a kilometer of beginner slopes for us to figure things out. Rodney had skied before, so at least knew some of the basics. I was happy to make it up the ski lift without embarrassing myself (although we did make some kid fall over by accident).

After a little while we got the hang of things and had some fun. I learned the value in turning after one horrifying out of control run straight down. We spent two days skiing in this place and returned with all limbs intact so it was definitely a success.

Skiing at last! Chairlift and sunset

New Year’s Eve involved a quiet drink with friends, then a little nap to recover from a day on the slopes, before we braved the cold (I’m finding it impossible to wear enough layers) and went to the main square. Everyone was setting off fireworks and releasing tea light paper lanterns into the night sky. The collective approach, where everyone in the town bought a few fireworks each, made for a pretty good display. Rodney had purchased a couple too, and again managed to keep his limbs, so it was a pretty good holiday.