Yey! I’ve got it! I finally made it to Bieszczady and conquered Tarnica – it’s highest peak (on Polish side) to the collection of the Great Crown of Beskid Mountains. Well done me! ?
Visiting Bieszczady was one of those things that I wanted to do for years, but there was always something that stopped me from doing so.
Ready for 2020 and…..bum! Here we go with pandemic…
When the pandemic hit the first time and I was scared and coffined to the 4 walls, I understood one, very important thing in my life – not wasting time and postponing my dreams any more. Life is never perfect and waiting for a perfect time is just waste of time. I understood that I need to take life as it is, and make the best out of it.
This was like an epiphany to someone, who wants to be so perfect in everything and don’t want to make mistakes. The one that usually ends up doing nothing and just dreaming, because is scared of making mistakes or ‘not doing my job properly’, or simply overwhelmed by my dreams and what’s required to tackle them. I know that this way of living is not living, it’s just existing, so I understood that I can’t wait any longer for perfect time to travel. You know, 2020 was suppose to be perfect. I had all I needed to travel: time and money. And guess what? Pandemic ruined it all! So I said to myself: Sod this! I will do what I can with what I have, instead of waiting for the perfect time/circumstance. Because there is not such a thing like perfect. We make things perfect by doing them!
This was also the breaking point that pushed me forward with this new blog. I’m not perfect and I w o n ‘ t pretend that I am. My English and writing aren’t perfect. My photography and editing skills aren’t perfect. My personality isn’t perfect either. But I know now, that with what we have, even if it’s not perfect, we (you as my reader and me as the founder of this blog) can create perfect place for searching souls. I know that HSPs – just like you and me, have something to share and we need to speak up. World needs us!
Uff! This is it with sublime comments ?
Bieszczady – basics
Now down to the earth, being more precise to Bieszczady.
When I refer to Bieszczady in this article, I’m referring to the part of Western Bieszczady that is located on Polish side and belong to mountain range of Eastern Beskids that is part of Eastern Carpathians. Tarnica is the highest peak of Polish Bieszczady (1346 matsl or 4416 ft) and Pikuj (1405 matsl 4609 ft), located on Ukrainian side is the highest peak of both parts of Bieszczady. We plan to visit this peak too as it’s one of peaks to conquer for the Crown of Ukrainian Beskid Mountains.
When you look on the map, majority of the peaks and interesting places in Bieszczady belong to National Park, so there are certain rules to follow and also you will have to pay for the entrance. It’s only a small fee (around £1.60 per person) to help preserve endemic species and the beauty of the Park.
Culture meaning of Bieszczady
Bieszczady were said to be a magic place. A place that kind of gives you a new life. There is even a popular saying in Poland: “Sod this and go to Bieszczady!” Meaning, that when you feel that you’ve had enough, you need to go to Bieszczady to figure it out.
Is this saying the truth? Do you need to leave your life behind and visit Bieszczady in order to find the meaning of your life? Do you need to go there alone and hide in the forest to understand yourself?
Well? Yes! But to some extent.
Bieszczady is truly a magic place. It is a place where life goes at lot slower pace than anywhere else, but you need to try to concentrate on the surrounding, not your worries (trust me, it will work). Bieszczady is a place where, if you want to, you can be on your own with the nature. It really feels like the end of the World. There is even a sign by the entrance to the National Park in Tarnawa Niżna, saying “Civilization in 50 km” and that couldn’t be more true! Also there is something mysterious about this forgotten little corner of Poland. Mystery that each of us need to discover for ourselves.
Where is the catch?
Well, I believe it might be in choosing the right time. Bieszczady are quite popular and apparently this year they were flooded with holiday makers. But we went there at the end of September, more precisely for my bday and our wedd anniversary and the trials were a bit busy, but not too overcrowded. I can imagine that at the same time, Tatra Mountains or Babia Góra would draw more people in. Weather wasn’t that great (we missed the weather window by literally couple of days), but we still enjoyed the magic of Bieszczady, with and without rain.
We left home at 4am on Monday morning, on my bday (says the sleep – lover!) and after about 5h driving we reached Ustrzyki Górne – our starting point to Tarnica.
The red trial that will take you to Tarnica and walk you through Szeroki Wierch is quite pleasant and not very challenging, ideal for kids too. Except that it might be a bit windy. Once you will get there, have a weather window and clear air, you will be able to see far away to Ukraine. I loved the views, even thou the sky wasn’t that clear! They were quite different to what I saw in other parts of Beskid Mountains. Perhaps because Ukrainian part of Beskid Mountains are higher than Polish, Slovakian or Czech. I’m very excited for discovering them in near future too!
On the top of Tarnica, you will also find some benches and a cross. A cross is very popular and important sign in Polish mountains (and not only). There are quite few peaks that have the cross on the top too, i.e. Giewont in Tatra Mountains. Despite of liberal influences in the country, Poland is still religious place, with majority of people being Christians. So the crosses or little shrines on the street is not unusual part of the landscape.
Birthdays suppose to be special, right?
I mentioned before that the day we set off, was my bday. So, I decided that I will do something rather unusual to celebrate 35th year of my life. Up to the summit, I carried a box with the slice of my bday cake (first one that I ever had and the first one I made myself) and a flask of my favourite tea – the fruit tea, to eat it with the spectacular view and my favourite human being – my hubby, around me. So I did! And it is something that I will surly remember!?
Even thou I liked the views from Tarnica and the hike itself, I was still feeling unfulfilled and little bit disappointed for not feeling the magic of these range yet. At that point I wasn’t sure what I was waiting and longing for, but I knew that I haven’t found it yet, until later…