Melancholy

Today, I only consist of complexes, half-truths and understatements. I have no idea if it’s related to the weather or to my emotional problems. But it’s easier to blame it on autumn depression, all in all - everyone is sad and grumbling at the moment, so I’m not the only one with it - I don’t stand out among the others.
No one expected, that Summer will leave us so fast, a slob came earlier this year, I haven’t enough time to change clothes for warm blouses, there are still summer clothes in my wardrobe!
Maja is the only one, who can find advantages of this weather. I would like to be so happy and carefree like she is.


Actually - changing clothes is pointless at the moment, because we’re going to meet Summer again in few days! We’ll spend one week in Rome, it’s another one dream which will come true! I have never been in Rome, so it’s the first but I’m sure that not the last time I’m going there. I have a lot of starred places, I’m wondering how I’m going to visit all of them in my life… But it’s true, that faint heart never won fair lady, isn’t it?

BARF diet is going well and worse at once. Good, because Misio and Purka like to eat it and I could even feed them only with it, but Amaya is grumbling. There is only one option to force her to eat healthy food - mix 2 teaspoons with the can she likes. I’m trying to increase the amount of BARF, I hope that one day she’ll eat only BARF food.


At the moment my cats eat raw chopped meat twice for a day and BARF twice for a day (Amaya gets BARF mixed with can). The target is to have all cats only on BARF food. Of course they’ll get raw meat without supplements for time to time, but I want to give it for them only as a tidbit.
So… still keep your fingers crossed!


Cats urine tests are really bad. Purka has the best results of all, because she still doesn’t have an ammonium magnesium triphosphates in her urine, and pH is around 6. But Amaya and Misio have a lot of crystals and pH is above 8,5. I’m worried about Misio the most, because tomcats have a long urethra, so there is a risk that it gets stuck and then we’ll have to put on the catheter.
Since we started using BARF diet cats got Uroval Manosa, calcium citrate in BARF and the methionine paste to acidify the urine - but it’s all for nothing.
The vet told me to change methionine paste for methionine powder, because sometimes it has better performance. I’m broken and terrified.


Misio’s pancreas is in better condition now, it’s almost healed. He feels good and he eats like a horse! But to make matters worse, Misio has IBD. It’s the autoimmune bowel disease and we can’t cure him. We can only give him medicines to the end of his life to make it nice without more problems and symptoms. Now he’s getting medicines once for a week, but we’ll try to gradually reduce the frequency to get one medicine per month (if we’ll be able to, it depends on the how he’s going to feel). His internal organs look like he would be 10-15 years old cat and the vet told us, that he’s around 7, so I’m still worried about him.
The vet told me also, that cats with IBD with medical care can live as long as healthy cats, so I hope that he’ll be with us a long time!
We’re going to repeat the USG test at the end of the October and then we’ll see how is Misio’s condition.


To be honest it’s really hard to not to be stressed, so I’m making some DIY to feel better. I’m making “lost in time” shawl at the moment. It was supposed to be mine, but I haven’t measure yarn well, so it’s going to be too small for me. But every cloud has a silver lining - I’ll finish it and Maja will have a shawl for late Autumn and early Winter.
All in all I was planning to buy her some nice scarf, so it would be perfect!
I really love the pattern I found, so I ordered more beautiful yarn and I’m going to make second one shawl after I finish this one. This time for sure for myself! :)
If you want to make your own shawl you can find the pattern here.


My driving lessons are nearing its end. We still didn’t talk about everything important to the exam, I still can’t make every maneuver, so I’m getting stressed out. But anyway I’m going to buy some extra driving lessons, because I don’t feel comfortable while driving. So I think my instructor will be able to teach me everything important.
We started to get interested in cars to buy. I like Land Rover mark and Citroen C5. Adam tends to choose the second one, because it uses less fuel than Land Rover. We still have a lot of time for think about it and decide, because we haven’t even tried to pass an exam.
My driving lessons are going quite good, but I still make some mistakes, I force precedence and sometimes I overlook some road signs. But the engine goes out less and less, I find the impulse to reduce a gear on my own and I can slow down gently.

We decided to buy a few succulents to make our flat nice and cozy.
We have some plants on our loggia, but when the Winter will come we’ll have to throw some of them out, some of them will lose all leaves - it’ll be gray and gloomily.
That’s why we made a little open greenhouse in glass dodecahedron. And we have also a few freestanding succulents.






Oh and I also read a lot of good reviews about airplants, so I decided to try to buy it. They’re easy to take care of them, so I hope they won’t die after a month :)




And also we’ll see how long our cats will let them live, because they’re trying to hunt them all the time, I think they want to eat them with the roots...


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Those who visited Bieszczady once will return there many times

Well… let’s go back to reality!
Our wonderful Bieszczady trip had to come to the end. I didn’t want to go back, but I missed my family and cats. That was a time, which I spent only with my mom, we didn’t have a lot of time for ourselves for some time, so it was a way to organize it :)


Bieszczady mountains is one of these places in Poland, where you can take a rest and feel this wildness and predominance of nature over industrialization.
A lot of people says: polonynas (that’s how we call a landform, an area of subalpine and alpine meadows in the upper zone of the Eastern Beskids) are crowded, there are a lot of tourists. If I compare it for the rest of routes in different parts of Polish mountains I wouldn’t tell, that they’re crowded. Of course, you can meet some people in every ~15 minutes, but it’s not a lot of people - really. I was even able to make some photos without anyone else ;)

We started our trips with visiting Wetlinska polonyna - it’s the most popular ridge in Bieszczady.



We decided to start from Wyznianska mountain pass and go via the whole ridge and Smerek peak at the end exiting with red track.


It was almost 16 kilometers walking, but views were incredible!



When we got to the Winnie the Pooh hut (original name ‘Chatka Puchatka’ - it’s the PTTK shelter) we met 2 cute kittens. They were hugging people and demanded petting. Here you have a photo of one of them. Well, tradition has been fulfilled already on the first day being here (I meet cats wherever I go)!



Next day we decided to visit Solina lake. It’s the artificial reservoir lake, which popular because of the huge dam.


There is a few swimming spots and rental of water equipment around. They also organize lake cruises. It’s a total commercial place, everything what is done is made for tourists and to earn money. I’m not sure if I’ll ever go there again, but if you haven’t seen the dam, it’s worth to go.




Next day we again chose mountains track, this time we went on Mala Rawka and Wielka Rawka peaks, we also decided to see Krzemieniec.



The way wasn’t easy - the track was sometimes steep and rocky. Krzemieniec (it’s tripoint of three countries - Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine). It didn’t impress me - just a marble pole in the middle of the forest. But I think it’s worth to see it, because it’s characteristic point in Bieszczady mountains.


You can meet here tourists of each one country sitting together, eating sandwiches and talking about stuff, the atmosphere is really great! You can really feel, that there is no difference and no barriers between us! Borders are just lines on a map!

When you’re going on Mala and Wielka Rawka peaks you can also meet the most popular Bieszczady ginger cat! It’s one of the inhabitants in PTTK shelter near Mala Rawka. Actually, there is a lot of cats there, but this one is the most characteristic and sociable!


This mottled cat is supposedly very selfish - he’ll let you pet him, but you have to give him something for exchange! People staying in the shelter told me, that he loves yoghurt the most! So probably it’s the key :D


The next day we decided to rest a little bit from going up and down, so we visited Sine Wiry reserve. It’s protected area near Wetlinka river.


The route is very easy - a pebble wide road, sometimes forest path, slight height changes, you can even wear sandals there. While we were walking a lot of cyclists and mothers with kids were passing us.


We also met a family of several. They were very loud all the time, kids were screaming, adults also were talking and laughing very loud. I still heard them, even if they were around one kilometer in front of us. Well, I was shocked, because I'm not used to such behavior, especially when you’re in protected area. I’m always trying to be quiet, because I don’t want to disturb animals living there. And most of people I know do the same. I didn’t like it, but they passed us quite fast, so it didn’t make any sense to engage in unnecessary discussion.
A few days later I was accidentally talking about this situation with one of the local bus drivers and I learned, that this family was right with such behavior! There are bears in this area… They’re living in whole Bieszczady National Park, but they are mostly near Sine Wiry reserve. In summer season they try to be far from all touristic places, unless you pick this track! :D
When the summer season ends the best way to visit Sine Wiry reserve is to take flare and use it every 15-20 minutes, it gives you chance to not to meet a bear!


After less tiring day finally came the time for visiting Bukowe Berdo - the most beautiful Bieszczady arete! We started our trip in Muczne village and we ended it in Wolosate village. The route is practically empty - we met maybe 3 people during our way through Bukowe Berdo, views were breathtaking!


That was this trip, which I was dreaming about the most! There is no more beautiful track in whole Bieszczady National Park than Bukowe Berdo arete - a lot of local people will agree with me.


The way from Muczne village is quite easy - sometimes it’s calm, sometimes more steep, but it’s really good even for people, who don’t walk in mountains a lot. The way through the arete isn’t very tiring.
Going forward you’ll reach GOPR mountain pass, the route is also easy, but a little bit annoying, because the way down and up are stairs - a lot of stairs! the difference between up and down is around 180 metres and you have to traverse it twice.


Going up from the GOPR mountain pass you reach the point under Tarnica - you can go up on the highest peak in Bieszczady, or go down from here. Actually it’s worth to go up if you’re so close, especially because it’s only 15 minutes walking. The track is also easy - stairs.
Contrary to appearances - the way from Wolosate village to Tarnica peak is the most crowded way. A lot of tourists want to reach the highest point. A lot of people can’t imagine how beautiful arete they have so close to them! They don’t know what they lose!




Ok, so maybe some practical informations:
  • The best way to get to Bieszczady mountains is by car. And even better if you have a group of friends with 2 cars. Polonynas are extensive, most of the people would like to go from one point to another, the way is usually around 10 - 15 km. That’s why I think the most comfortable is to split up into two groups and each group starts a trip from a different side. You’re meeting somewhere on a track, exchange car keys and return with second group’s car.
  • If you can’t go with 2 cars you have the similar option using 1 car. You have to also split up into two groups, you’re giving a ride first group to the place, where you (second group) are finishing your trip. And you park on the other side. And the same idea - you meet the first group somewhere on the track, you give them keys and they’re taking you from the palace, where they started.
  • We’re non-motorized, so we decided to stay in Cisna village, because we were sure, that it’ll be easy to get to the tracks from the biggest village in Bieszczady. Nothing more wrong - there is only one morning PKS bus going to tracks and some seasonal touristic buses (it’s a family company from Cisna), which are taking people if they have a full bus. It’s no more than 2-3 rides. And the same with returning - one afternoon PKS bus and private buses going between 3-4PM. But you have to know, that you can miss it because it can be already full… The best way for people, who don’t want or can’t use a car is going to Ustrzyki Gorne village, there are more buses there, but also not a lot of. Sometimes it’s a little bit easier to go somewhere from this village, but it’s the most far from bigger cities, so going there will take a lot of time.
  • It’s really profitable to have good relations with bus drivers - it’s important for them to earn money, but they’re also nice and helpful people. If they know you, they’ll treat you like one of their own. You can call them or reserve a seat for some hour - the bus will take you from the track even if it’ll have to go only because of you. You can also ask bus driver to take you to the place, where nothing else going, you’ll have to extra pay for it, but it’s a good idea if you don’t have a car and you want to visit some place in Bieszczady. That’s how we were able to get to Muczne and they picked us from Wolosate after we finished our trip. Bus drivers are trustworthy and they gave a fair price for a course (I’m talking about bus drivers from Cisna, but I think family companies from different villages are similar).
  • Ok, but what if you have a car, but you can’t organize a group of friends to go to Bieszczady mountains? There is also a solution in this case, but you need to cooperate with bus drivers. You can tell bus drivers that you’re going to enter the bus at some point on the road (it’ll be a place, where you end your trip) and you go there with a car. Bus take you at the beginning of your trip from the place you parked your car. It’s a good option because you don’t have to wait long for returning bus. Buses are going to tracks around 8-9AM and returning around 3-4PM. Usually, it’s too much time and you’ll finish your trip earlier. When we were walking up and down it took us around 4-5 hours to go 11-16km.
  • The last thing you can do, when you have some problems with going or returning from the track is using hitch-hiking. I really love the relations between tourists in Bieszczady mountains. You’re one big family, everyone passing you will say you ‘hello’ and smile! Have you finished drinking water? I’m pretty sure, that someone will let you drink his/hers. Have you forgotten the protection cream with a filter? there will be someone, who has it and let you use his/hers (btw - it’s better to not to forget the UV protection cream…) And believe me, if you’re waiting for someone, who can give you a lift - you’ll find it sooner or later! It was my first time using hitch-hiking because our PKS bus left just a few minutes before, I didn’t have bus driver business card in my wallet, and there were 2 hours left to their working hours. We found people, who helped us with getting Cisna after 10 minutes!
  • Let’s make an advertisement (not sponsored). 


    You have to mandatory visit Siekierezada, it’s the unique bar in Bieszczady. The most (I should tell the only) interesting thing here is how it looks like inside. There is a rumor, that it's built by local alcoholics, they made everything from start to finish with their own hands. Each one detail - axes pushed into the tables, paintings, sculpture and even stained glasses are handmade! They have a really great idea and it’s worth to see it. Unfortunately, food isn't very special, similar to the other restaurants nearby. The same with prices. Also not a big selection of beers - no local beers.

    If you want to eat something really delicious I can recommend you a restaurant called ‘Pod Kudlatym Aniolem’ in Cisna (it’s not in the village center, but not very far from it) - really great ‘fuczki’ (pancakes fried with sauerkraut), the best fried river trout, delicious baked potatoes and really great selection of local beers. The waiter can tell you something about each one! 



    On the other hand, if you want to eat the delicious homemade cake you have to visit Polanka cafe and bistro. There is also great friendly atmosphere inside, Sylwia is a very positive person, she always welcomes her guests with a big smile and some nice word! I can recommend tasty blueberries and strawberries shakes and a great selection of leaf tea. This cafe is the only one place in Cisna, where you’ll feel like you visit good friends!
Returning to Bieszczady mountains after all these years was the best decision which I could make. I've already forgotten how beautiful and calm they are! When I was on the track I felt free and I didn’t think about how imperfect my life is. There counted only ‘here and now’. That was the best mind restart ever!

For the end I share with you short movie with photos I made, some of them can repeat with these above. Music is a local band, who sings i.a about Bieszczady, I wish that you could understand the words!

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Let's travel!

I was supposed to write before my mountain trip, but I completely didn’t have a time for a blog.  Now I also don’t have a lot of time and I’m worried about my cat.
I think it’s going quite good with barf feeding, Misio and Purka accept it, Amaya can eat it only, when I mix 2 tablespoons of barf with can food, which she ate until we decided to change their diet. Additionally they have to eat paste, which contains methionine, so I’m not worried about urine problems.
The problem is with Misio now - he has acute pancreatitis. He was given strong painkillers and an antibiotic. When painkillers are working, he feels good, but when they stop he is miserable and sore.
He has to use special diet now - cooked meat and low-fat barf meal.

The worst thing is the fact, that problems always begin, when I have to go somewhere for few days and I can’t cancel or move my plans. I leave Adam with this problem alone, and to be honest - I’m terrified, because he completely can’t handle sick cats. He’s lost and he doesn’t know what to do…
I’m trying to not to worry about it before I got final decision how this treatment will look like, but I think you understand me...


I’m really surprised, because our trip with Maja was really nice, I really didn’t expect it to be. We were traveling only by trains, buses and local transport. I would like to group my story with places, not with the chronology, it’ll be easier for me to write about everything shortly and include everything I want.


Kudowa Zdrój

We started our trip in Kudowa city, our landlords were really kind and they had a very friendly dog (unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of him) and cute tabby cat!



This cat was visiting us very often, he wanted to pet him and to share the food with him ;) He wasn’t afraid of Maja, who welcomed him with very enthusiastic way, when he appeared on the terrace!




Kudowa is really nice, well maintained and clean city. There isn’t a lot of attractions for kids, but you can rest here, because it’s small and not very crowded place.



Kudowa was our base of departure city. We made a lot of trips to cities nearby and to Stołowe Mountains from here.
And what’s funny - there was a better selection of famous Czech Studetska chocolate here, than in every Czech city, that we visited during our trip!


Błędne Skały

The rocky labyrinth called Błędne Skały is one of the places, which you have to visit, when you’re in Stołowe Mountains National Park.
You can use a car to get really close to a labyrinth, but it’s not a fun in my opinion. It’s not very easy to get up (especially the last part of the track), but if you resign to walk there you’ll lose a lot of nice views, it’s really worth to climb there!
Walking through the labyrinth takes usually around 45 min (if you’re walking with a kid it’ll take 1,5 hour haha!). The view is incredible, you won’t see how amazing it is on photos (most of the photos in my post don’t give justice to the place).


I’m pretty sure, that you want to ask me the same question, which I got from almost all my friends: “How are you going to climb on the mountains with almost 2 years old kid?”
Well… Maja is walking quite good now and she loves it! When the route was easy, she got kid leash to secure her, when she was falling down and she could walk or even run (not always with the direction, which we would like her to go haha! So when the signpost told, that we have 1 hour walking to some place, we had to add 1 hour more!)



When the route was exceeding her abilities or when she was too tired to walk she was sitting in the special bag with a place for a toddler or in Tula baby carrier. Both were good, we were using them alternately, depending on this how much things we have to take to the trip. We were checking the weather forecast just before we go, because only then it was true.




Szczeliniec Wielki



The rocky formations on the top of Szczeliniec Wielki had really various shapes, sometimes the route between them was really thin or narrow.



Sometimes I had to take off my bag to squeeze between rocks, sometimes I had to crawl under a rock. The rocky city is the place, where you should wear clothes, which you can make dirty or even destroy.


In my opinion Szczeliniec is more interesting than Błędne Skały, but a lot of people had opposite opinion than mine ;)




The route to the top of Szczeliniec Wielki is quite annoying, because there are only stairs (sometimes very steep). In our case it was an insurmountable barrier for Maja, who is learning how to use stairs at the moment. She can walk upstairs only when the steps are low and wide.



Attractions for Maja were only on the top of the mountain this time.





And when you’ll have a little bit of luck, you’ll maybe meet a cat protector in the shelter.


Rocky city in Adršpach



It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen!




I think even more beautiful than rocky labyrinth and rocky city in polish Stołowe Mountains. I’m sure, that I’ll come back there someday!



People, who don’t want (or can’t) use a car have two options to get there from Kudowa. The first way is to buy organized bus trip, the second way is to go to Náchod city, catch the train to Teplice city and then catch the train to Adršpach city (timetables are usually connected, to not to wait too long, but to have enough time to switch the train). And contrary to appearances I recommend the second option, because organized trip includes only going through the way which is possible to go for disabled people or with a stroller. If you’re not one of these, you should definitely see the rest of attractions of a rocky city in Adršpach.





We bought this organized trip, but when we got off the bus Maja wanted to walk all the time, but the trip was too fast for her. That’s why we didn’t follow the group, we decided to see this wonderful place on our own and we returned to Kudowa with trains and local bus.







Kłodzko

It’s the small city, where the famous attraction is the fortress. Actually, we haven’t seen it… We were walking through small streets around the market and we had to stay when we saw any fountain… Later we went to shopping mall, because we took too little clothes for Maja from home (oh God, she was getting dirty 3 times more than usual), and we didn’t have washing machine in place, where we stayed...



Náchod

Very small Czech city, just near the Poland border. Actually it was the best point to switch trains and buses, which were going to different Czech cities and interesting places.


The city is quite nice and clean, the only one tourist attraction signed on the map is the castle and the market.


The best attractions for Maja was the toy store, fountain and the coffee shop, where they make delicious waffles!


Hradec Kralove

Another one Czech city, bigger than Náchod, but smaller than Brno.




Definitely the cleanest city which I saw in the Czech Republic. And what surprised me - with a lot of speaking English people (believe me, it’s a problem in this country with English speaking people, even when we visited the capital of Czech Republic - Prague 2 years ago, no one could understand us even on the airport, when we were asking about it in English…)




When you visit Hradec Kralove you should drink great coffee in Cafe na Kole and go to the shop with handmade items called Modry Atelier.

Wrocław

The city which I visit every time, when I’m somewhere close! I really love these beautiful small streets, kind people and lively old town at almost any time of the day or night!
We spend only 1 night in Wrocław, so we didn’t have time for visiting all nice places (like botanical garden or zoo). We went through old town streets, we saw the beautiful fountain and spend some time playing with soap bubbles with Maja.





Katowice

After visiting Stołowe Mountains and Wrocław we went to GOP (Upper Silesian Industrial Region).




I like Katowice for great coffee (Synergia caffe), but the city didn’t amaze me. It’s dirty, not a lot of people near the market (especially, when the weather isn’t really good), very heavy and stinky air...


And what disappointed me the most - every cultural place like galleries are closed every Monday…
I didn’t get used to it, it’s not a standard in the rest of polish cities. There is not a lot of unique and craft stores, but I found 3, which I can recommend you: Geszeft, Gryfnie and small store in the Rondo Sztuki building - I don’t remember the store name.


Gliwice



We had only 3 full days in Katowice, so we planned to visit Ostrava one day. That’s why we couldn’t visit all the cities of GOP, but we wanted to spend one day in one more city. There are very good connections between GOP cities, so we decided to visit Gliwice.


We went there on Monday and it turned out that Palm House and botanical garden are closed… We were very disappointed! So we were walking around the city, spent some time in the park and saw every fountain, after all we returned to Katowice.
We left Gliwice to visit next time, when we’ll be somewhere close.


Ostrava



Small but inconspicuous Czech city - it’s only 1,5 hour by train from Katowice. The market and small streets around are really cute, you should also visit Ty Identity store (very creative and cheap handmade things).



But the best in Ostrava is the industrial city called Vitkovice.


It’s old and not used iron factory, which was built on the carbon deposit.



Now it’s great place to meet friends, there are a few hipster coffee stores (one of them is on the top of the industrial city.




I regret, that we didn’t have a lot of time, because I would like to go on guided tour in Vitkovice area. That’s the only way to see some interesting part of the factory, which isn’t available to single visitors. Maybe next time, when Maja will grow up and we won’t have to take her in a carrier...





To sum up our trip - it’s not very easy to travel with a small kid, who wants to visit only parks and fountains all the time or watch every single bench, stake and every second stone haha! We couldn’t visit every interesting for our place, because Maja was angry sometimes. But it wasn’t a tragedy, we could move to different cities quite easy, sometimes she slept in the train. We also had to eat healthy food, because our daughter doesn’t like a meal like french fries or pizza! She prefers to eat potatoes with chicken breast and beetroot salad or carrot and apple salad! It was her trip, not ours, I didn’t expect to rest on this trip. To be honest - it’s impossible to rest, when you have holidays with small kid haha!
We’re planning to have real holidays in September! :)

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