the desert in poland

Why we travel:
Many have been seduced by the prospect of a backpack, a few maps, and a string of train tickets. In fact, there are few things more seducing that diving head first into a foreign environment. There is always the opportunity to taste a new flavour of life and to embrace a new side of one's self. That said, the highlight of any of trip for me is the unexpected. Eating pizza in Sienna is delicious and wonderful, but I am more easily seduced by Korean food in Cairo, deserts in Poland, and drag-shows in Prague.

Slowinski National Park stretches across 33 km of white sand beach west of Gdansk and east of Germany. The park itself is much bigger, spreading south in both directions to claim four lakes and a Polish version of a desert. 5000 or so years ago, the fierce Baltic winds began to blow sand from the beach further and further into the forest. What has resulted is a striking landscape that juxtaposes endless white sand with a lush green forest. After walking five kilometers from the eastern entrance of the park, one is greeted by green trees peaking over piles of sand. The landscape is one that would inspire poets and artists to new heights, that is if the Polish desert was a bit more on the radar of more travellers. Its rather emptiness, however, makes it more charming, more mysterious. What one experiences is lush forests (full of wild blueberries to boot), sand that recalls a desert, and an endless Baltic Sea perfect for washing sand away or cooling off. The Baltic Sea provides the sound, with notes of the whispers of a Polish family vacationing here and there.

Flanked by spending the night in Bismarck's former Baltic Sea summer "shack" and buying wild blueberries and mushrooms from the edge of Polish highways, the Polish desert was the star of my summer road trip.
Deserts in Poland, who knew?

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