(From Wiki) The climate of the Karkonosze Mountains is marked by frequent weather changes. The winters are cold and snow depths above 3 metres are not uncommon. There is often dense fog at the higher altitudes. On average, Mount Śnieżka is at least partly hidden in fog and/or clouds on 296 days, and has an average temperature of about 0.2 °C, which is similar to places much further north, like Iceland. The main ridge is one of the most wind-exposed areas of Europe.

As you can see these mountains have to taken seriously, especially in the winter. A few pictures from my latest hikes below. More in Karkonosze gallery.



It was an interesting experience to visit Spain again, after more than 20 years! You're always worried that you'll be disappointed when comparing to your memories, but Sevilla was still just as beautiful as I remembered, and Granada was even more so, because we had amazing weather. It was also great to see some different parts of the coast, like Torre del Mar, with its spectacular sunsets. Spain is an incredible country with something to please every traveller, I can't wait to go back for a 3rd time!



You can't visit southern Spain without spending a day or two in the Sierra Nevada mountains, as they are easily accessible from the city of Granada. The weather was spectacular, trails in good condition (and empty!), views from the summits amazing. The main prize - Mulhacen  (3479 m, the highest point of continental Spain), but I also managed to summit Cerro los Machos (3327 m) and Puntal de Laguna Larga (3179 m). It was a very successful trip.



Oh, to visit Portugal after 30 years! Honestly, I was worried that I would be disappointed after all that time but it felt exactly the same. I can't say enough about how much I love Portugal. The insanely beautiful beaches and the super friendly people, the quaint towns and villages, it's all wonderful, and really nice to be with Andrzej for his first visit to this amazing country. We just stayed on the Algarve for this visit, but we thoroughly enjoyed exploring Faro and the local beaches and villages around Albufeira. I can't wait to go back!



From the Pyrenees we headed south-west towards southern Portugal. We decided to break the long and boring drive with a couple of days stay in the city of Salamanca.

Salamanca is the capital of the Province of Salamanca in the autonomous community of Castile and Leon. The city lies on several rolling hills by the Tormes River. Its Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. The city's economy is dominated by the university and tourism. The University of Salamanca, founded in 1218, is the oldest university in Spain and the third oldest western university.



Only 200 km west of Andorra, in Spain, lies the town of Benasque, which is a gateway to Parque Natural Posets Maladeta and Pico Aneto (3404 m). Pico Aneto is the highest mountain in the Pyrenees and the third highest in Spain, after Teide (3718 m) on Canary Islands (Tenerife) and Mulhacen (3479 m) in Sierra Nevada, Andalusia. The drive was only 200 km but the roads are winding and narrow, so it took us almost 4 hours to get there.

The day after our arrival, after starting at 4 AM, I managed to successfully climb the summit of Aneto. The hike is a long and exhausting one with some complicated navigation (especially in the dark). Sadly, the Aneto glacier is in a major state of decline, but crampons and an ice axe would be useful. The most interesting section, just before the summit, is a short rocky ridge called the Bridge of Mohammed with an exposed drop on either side, proceed with caution. Views from the summit are very impressive.



Andorra - skiing and duty free shopping in the winter. Hiking, mountain biking, and duty free shopping in the summer. Did you know that Andorra is the most mountainous (by average height above sea level) country in Europe, and the sixth in the world (after Bhutan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Lesotho)? Now, you know, lol.

We spent a couple of days in the town of Arinsal, on the edge of the Parc Natural Comunal de les Valls del Comapedrosa (established in 2003), where I had a chance to do some interesting hiking and summit the highest mountain in the country – Coma Pedrosa (2943 m).



Slowly making our way towards Spain, we made a quick pit stop in Monaco, so we could see the famous Monte Carlo Casino. It's a spectacular building and there are beautiful gardens you can walk around. And, who says you can't visit the French Riviera on a budget?! We found a great campground on the Giens Peninsula, near Hyeres on the Cote d'Azur, and it was quite close to the water. Sadly, I was quite sick and didn't really get to enjoy it, but at least I got a good photo, lol.



After a relaxing break in Croatia we drove further south to Italy. Italy is all about sight-seeing, so after a few days in interesting Rimini, and short visit to San Marino, we went west towards Pisa. On our way to famous Pisa, by pure accident, we came across a town completely unknown to us, the spectacular and visited-by-billions-of-people tourist trap - San Gimignano.

It was our second visit to Pisa (first time in 2000), first for Felix though, lol. The city is not only about its leaning tower, but contains more than twenty other historic churches, several medieval palaces, and bridges across the Arno, so a few days of wandering around is a must.

Making our way further west, towards the French border, our drive took us through some beautiful places like Genoa, Cervo and San Remo. But, honestly, just driving leisurely through the sunny Italian Riviera, with a constant view of the turquoise Ligurian Sea, is an adventure on its own.



So, we decided to go on another epic road-trip at the beginning of September. Shocking, I know! We started with a quick visit to the beautiful city of Linz, Austria, then on to the spectacular Lake Bled, with a beautiful church on a little island in the middle of the lake, in Slovenia. We finished off the first phase of the trip with a stop on the island of Krk, in Croatia. We were lucky to get a great spot in a really nice campground there so we enjoyed a few days of relaxing, after so much driving and sightseeing. So far we've really enjoyed every visit to Croatia, and September is a great time to go. Less people and still beautiful weather.



A new life experience, the Izerska Grand Loop in Szklarska Poreba. The highest and (according to some) the most difficult mountain half-marathon in Poland. An elevation difference of 350 meters, murderous ascents, and difficult descents (each wrong step could end up with a serious injury). I survived. My time: 02h, 08m, 11s.



After our arrival in Kiev we headed straight to a bar and celebrated the fact that Ukraine was my 80th visited country, by sampling some good local beer, of course. Yeah!



Part of our trip to Georgia and Armenia was a short stop in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, on the way home. Kiev is a beautiful city with very friendly people. There are plenty of things to see, including some truly spectacular Orthodox churches. And I finally got to see a Lenin statue! Lol, I've been wanting to see one since our trip to Russia in 2000 when I was disappointed to find none. We also had fun people-watching in Independence Square, while we enjoyed the beautiful weather.



Georgia is the perfect starting point for visiting Armenia. Unfortunately, the Armenian-Turkish and the Armenian-Azerbaijani borders are closed, so to get closer to Mount Ararat, only 40 km away and visible from Yerevan, one needs to go back to Georgia, and from there proceed to Turkey. Fucking politics. Yerevan is interesting but, due to the semi-modern, early-communist architecture, lacking any character. A lot of sites (churches/monasteries mostly) are outside the city, so you might want to book a couple one-day trips in a travel agency. The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is a must.



So, WizzAir started flying from Poland to Georgia, with really good deals, so we decided to take a quick trip to visit Georgia, Armenia, and Kiev, Ukraine.

We managed to see quite a bit of this beautiful country, starting in Batumi which is a small city on the Black Sea. The place was virtually deserted as it was the off-season but It seemed like a nice place to spend some time by the sea. Tbilisi is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a rich history. Then we got a chance to get closer to the mountains, with a visit to the Kazbegi area. Here we got to see the spectacular Gergeti Trinity Church which is a must-see for any trip to Georgia! And we also managed a visit to wine country. Speak to any Georgian and they will tell you that their country is the birthplace of wine, not sure if it's true or not but they are certainly passionate about the subject. We spent a couple of days in the town of Sighnaghi, where we enjoyed some incredible local wines ...and I even got a marriage proposal! Hahaha ...no joke!



The first ever Half-marathon in Jelenia Góra . A little bit warmer than Sobótka. Despite an intense rain I managed to have a really good (at least for me, lol) result. My time: 01h, 43m, 15s. Yay me!



I just ran the Half-marathon Ślężański, in Sobótka, for the second time. Two years ago, I bitched about the nasty weather. This time was even worse, hahaha. Wind chill minus 10 C and ice cubes instead of water at the drinking stations.
My result: 01, 56m, 14s.



Our first winter in the Karkonosze Mountains. Although not as outdoorsy as planned (unfortunately, boring side of life steals a lot of time), we managed to do some cross-country skiing and some winter hiking, so no complaints.