I am just back from an exotic holiday in Poland. I had planned to visit Dubai but my empty wallet put that on hold, so I decided to go straight to my sunny homeland. It was a nightmare. I donít remember when last I found myself in such extreme temperatures. During the day it was almost 35 degrees in the shade. The thermometer in the sun couldnít cope with the extreme temperatures. There was no respite at night. Itís not easy sleeping in an apartment without air conditioning when the temperature seems to be a million degrees.
In these extreme temperatures, my dad decided to take me for a trip to Zakopane. It sounds great but the trip started and finished the same day. So, after rising at five, we left the house at six and spent three hours in a Fiat Panda, sandwiched between pork chops on the back seat. I dreamt of coffee and cigarettes and later we ascended the mountains, took a few pictures, bought some local cheese as a souvenir, and in the evening returned home exhausted. Trust me, thatís how it was. I probably should be angry and complain, but not this time. It was really great to see Tatra again, to be at one with the verdant surroundings and take time to sit and look at the mountains as they reach heavenward.
It was also great to see all the places from the past, the small mound where I had my first skiing accident, the great restaurant in the town centre. The sweat ran down my back, the horses looked as if they were laughing at my terrible physical condition. Anyway, I was really brave and I walked along unknown trails thinking about this great town and the fat sheep and their woolly covering. I realised that Zakopane has really changed. Now, there are a million new shops, two million more tourists and millions and millions of new hotels. The mountains have stayed put and my favourite mountain, Giewont (which resembles a sleeping knight with a cross on his head), hasnít changed. He didnít change and he didnít even get married. The caves are also the same, empty with no-one living there. They just have more visitors.
So, take note, I have to say that Zakopane is keeping very well and Tatra has stayed put and after one weekís holiday in Poland in extreme temperatures, I returned to Roscommon and for the first time in my life, I was happy to see that it was raining. Now I definitely understand the phrase that you donít miss something until itís gone. Next week I will probably be cursing myself and my attitude to the rain, but at the moment I am really happy with the Irish weather and the next time the rain makes me crazy I intend to ensconce myself in an oven to remind me of my Polish holiday!