Saturday, 27 February 2016


Today we will visit a place that is a geological wonder - a mofeta. The one that I will take you to was discovered by professor Henryk Świdziński in 1938.

It is located in the south of Poland in a village called Złockie, close to Krynica-Zdrój. Let's follow the sign.

At first sight I was really disappointed - all that fuzz about a little mountain spring?

Alright, it is orange, which is quite unusual. But still - all that fuzz about a little mountain spring that is polluted by some chemicals?

Well, a mofeta is a place on the surface of the Earth by which the carbon dioxide from lower layers of grounds  is released. Carbon dioxide is a gas that has no colour or smell. But in the mofeta it can be seen through bubbles in the spring.

A static picture does not allow to fully understand this phenomenon. So I have prepared for you a little movie. Make sure the sound is turned on!

On one of the banks of the spring you can spot two strange pipes.

When you look inside you can see, and yes again, bubbles.

The scientists say that through these pipes you can hear "the breath of the Earth".

The mofeta in Złockie is small but I must say it was an unusual experience. I hope that you have enjoyed it as well. Let's have a last look at the friendly orange bubbles ...

... and we can cross the bridge to be back on the road again.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Neuschwanstein Castle

A visit to Bavaria would not be complete without a visit to the most magical place in this part of the world - the Neuschwanstein Castle. It was built by the Bavarian king Ludwig II, called by his people the "fairy tale king", it was also the ultimate inspiration of Walt Disney.

fot. Bildagentur Huber

This is also one of the most crowded tourist attractions in Germany since every year over 1.300.000 people crosses its gate. To avoid huge queuing, all guides recommend to be in the ticket office before it gets open. I have decided then that we need to arrive to the town of Schwangau the evening before. The moment I looked up, I realised it was a great idea. At night, you can almost touch the magic of the place. 

In the morning the castle still looks great. As you can see, it is located on the top of a hill, between steep alpine slopes.

Let's pass quickly through the ticket office. Luckily, I have made a reservation.

As we pass the ticket office, you can notice a yellow building behind it. It is the Hohenschwangau castle. You ask me why someone would build a castle just next to an existing one? Well, there must be reasons why the people of Bavaria believed that the conceiver of the Neuschwanstein Castle was insane.

The road to the Neuschwanstein castle is closed for mechanical vehicles. It can only be accessed on foot or by a horse carriage. Yes, I know which option you chose.

The road is winding but not too steep.

The hill is cut by numerous small brooks, creating lovely waterfalls.

Finally, we arrive on the top of the hill. The castle is quite large ...

... and quite high. Do you think Rapunzel could have lived there?

Let's go towards the main entrance.

On top of the porch you will notice the coat of arm's of the king.

The inner courtyard is spacious. Still, I felt a bit overwhelmed by all these decorations, balconies, etc.

It is forbidden to take pictures inside the castle. But without seeing its interior you will not be able to fully realise its splendor. I will show you then a few postcards that I bought in the castle's shop. First let's look at the throne hall.

fot. Bildagentur Huber

And this is where the throne itself was supposed to stand. If you have a feeling that you are in a church then your intuition is correct - the inspiration for this place was the byzantine Hagia Sophia church in Istanbul.

fot. Bildagentur Huber

A few steps from the throne hall, you will enter into the bedroom of the king. It looks a lot like a chapel as well. Honestly, I would not like to sleep in a place like this. I would feel like preparing for my own funeral.

fot. Bildagentur Huber

The largest room of the palace is the Hall of the Singers which was designed to be a mixture of a ball room and a concert hall.

fot. Bildagentur Huber

I propose that we go now to the balcony. On the left we can see from there the Mary's bridge (Marienbrücke), over the Pollät gorge.

 And just in front of us the wonderful panorama.

Down in the valley comes the Hohenschwangau castle.

And when you look up, you will see the snowy tops of the Alps.

I must say that I was really impressed by the Neuschwanstein castle. The history has proven that the alleged madness of Ludwig II has given to the world a real jewel.

Saturday, 13 February 2016


We will visit today Regensburg, another major city in the German state of Bavaria. The city takes its name from the river Regen and is called literally "the castle on the Regen". But the river you see here is not Regen, its Donau, because Regensburg is located where Regen flows into the Donau.

The history of Regensburg dates back to Roman times as it was established by the third Roman Legion in the second century after Christ. But the city was mostly marked by the Middle Ages. It is nowadays considered as the only authentically preserved large medieval city in Germany and as such it was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The most important building in the Old Town is of course the Saint Peter's cathedral.

Next to it you can find a monument of the Bavarian king Ludwig I. And his horse obviously.

The Regensburg cathedral is a magnificent example of gothic architecture. You will notice it immediately by the high ceilings.

The altar is beautifully ornamented.

The chapels on the side of the main altar are separated by structures that look like balconies but are here only for decoration.

As in all gothic cathedrals, the stained glass windows are a piece of art.

So are all the smaller chapels.

Unlike in most of the churches, the organ is not in the back but on the side.

It is because in the back comes one of many graves of important bishops.

Let's have a walk in the Old Town again. Here comes the baroque Old Town Hall.

Like in any medieval city some streets are narrow ...

... and some others are wider.

Now it is time that we turn into the direction of the river Donau.

Here comes on of the main attractions of the city - the Stone Bridge.

Unfortunately, as you see, it is currently under renovation so it is hard to admire it. But this is what it looks like below those curtains.

"Regensburg - Steinerne Bruecke ohne Dom" by Hytrion at the German language Wikipedia.

Next to the Stone Bridge comes Sausage Kitchen, which is believed to be the oldest still operational cookshop in the world. A type of fast food in a sense.

On its walls you can see the level of the river Regen in years where it was flooding the city.

Some of them are higher than a horse.

I propose we take a break now and taste the famous Wurst. If people still buy them after almost 900 years (yes, nine hundred!) they must be really tasty. Enjoy!