It was 3 years ago, with 3 friends, on weekend in June. Now I know better what I can expect in Tatra mountains, but that time I didn’t know :) We didn’t expect so much people and so much snow.
First surprise was on trail ascending to Zawrat. It isn’t the most difficult trail in Tatras but that time there was pretty much snow and chains which should help on the path were in some parts covered by snow. It was frozen very slippy snow and I even didn’t have trekking shoes. I wore very comfortable shoes for running ;) One of us has fear of height and for her this trail was very difficult. For me it wasn’t so hard but I also was afraid on some parts.
But we managed it :) In the evening we came to the hut in Dolina Pięciu Stawów, we ate dinner and we started to look for a place on the floor. We were prepared for sleeping on the floor because we knew that Tatra Mountains are crowded and it was weekend with good weather.
“This place is busy.” “Sorry, five places are reserved here.” “No, you can’t lie here your things, it’s already busy.” “No, sorry, we’re sleeping in this corner”. We were late! It was before sunset but tourists who came earlier reserved the whole floor in the hut. And it wasn’t high season. It was already June and in July and August there are even more tourists in Tatras… So we went out and we reserved places in front of the hut but under a roof. We were lucky that we managed to take this places. Few tourists didn’t have time to find a place under the roof. Fortunately (for them) it wasn’t raining at night but unfortunately (for us) it was pretty cold. I think it was about 0-5°C before sunrise and my sleeping-bag was designed for minimum 15°C.
That’s me in the morning :) I survived but I don’t like crowds and I told myself it was my last summer weekend in Tatras.
Next day we went yellow trail to Morskie Oko. Go to mapa-turystyczna.pl where I marked our trip. First part of trail can be frightening for persons with fear of height. Our friend again was very frightened but she is brave and she pulled through!
Beside scaring moments our whole trip was full of lovely views. There were a few ponds close to the paths: Czarny Staw, Dolina Pięciu Stawów and Morskie Oko. And high tremendous mountains.
Path descending from Morskie Oko isn’t nearly as interesting. It’s 9 km of asphalt in a forest. You can go it by a horse cart but these horses are so tired of ascending and descending whole day that I wouldn’t have heart to do it. We finished at Palenica Białczańska, from where you can easy return to Zakopane by one of many private buses.
Last but not least – watch out on nutcrackers! One of my friends lost his lunch cutlet at Morskie Oko (there’s a hut with good cooking) and another one was twice nearly hit by bird’s wing because he didn’t want to give his cultlet :) They are not scared of people. You will turn your head and it will fly and take your food! ;)