Zakopane has the most amazing handcrafted wooden good for sale, and the prices are amazing. From kitchenware (breadboards, spoons, salad servers etc) to the most intricately carved wooden toys you can imagine. The toys look like the old wooden toys you would expect your grandfather to have played with.
We bought ourself a chopping board (my sister got one as well for her birthday), and lots of spoons; yeah I know, spoons, but they are great spoons.
Much as I was temped to, we didn’t buy any of the wooden toys. Partly because we don’t have any children (ok I admit that was hardly an issue), but because they were far too big to bring all the way back to Cape Town. The toys that is – I wasn’t going to bring back any children.
The big toys for does bring up another aspect of Zakopane. There are many tourists and holiday-makers that visit the town, but they are mostly Polish visitors. There are very few tourists from other countries. A refreshing change (and yeah I am completely aware that by visiting Zakopane I am changing that).
This is the high street in Zakopane – Krupówki Street – this is where all the restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and most important…cheese shops are in Zakopane. These covered wagons are where you buy the famous (and delicious) smoked cheese from Zakopane. And you if you walk in any direction for just 20m, you will find another cheese stall. I have no idea how much cheese I ate while we where there, but it is amazing, and nothing quite like any other cheese you will ever eat.
We also brought some of the cheese home with us, but when we opened our bags everything smelt like smoked cheese – a lovely smell on cheese…but not that great on your clothes!
The Amphitheater in Deplhi is behind the temple of Apollo (the temple being where the oracle gave you guidance). Its old…really old. It was built around 4c BC, 2100 or so years ago. It’s also a lot bigger than it looks. It can hold around 5000 spectators. You have to walk a long and narrow path to get to the theatre, so I can imaging the queues after performances would have been pretty long…
The Tower of Markellos is in the middle of Aegina Town. It was supposedly built in the 1800’s, and it used to be the main government building. Now it is used as a cultural centre, in particular for exhibitions.
The strange thing is nobody actually knows when it was built. Legend says the 1800’s, but the architectural style says 1700’s. Nobody really knows.
This ski lift operates throughout the year, so even when it is not snowing you can use it to ride to the top or the bottom of one of the many ski slopes in Zakopane, Poland. Of course if you are feeling active you are welcome to walk up or down on the grass, but it is a very long way down, and since I had already down a crazy run in the mountains, I decided that the ski lift would be a far more civilized route to take.