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9 best alternative activities in Poland

Posted by Damian Novitzky on 30/10/2019
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You probably saw hundreds of lists like “top 10 things to do in Poland”. Absolutely every guidebook will tell you about the prettiest and friendliest places to visit and sightseeing to do. Fortunately, you have a particular insider who would like to show you that Poland is much more interesting than good looking stuff. So, without further ado, this is my list of the 9 best alternative activities in Poland. Let’s get going!

Krakow-Czestochowa Upland, aka “Jura”

The Krakow-Czestochowa Upland is a geographical macro-region located in southern Poland. It is commonly called “Jura”, and the name comes from the numerous rocks and ostańcas. The attractions of Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska are worth discovering from different perspectives. Tourist trails are divided according to interests, so the land is crowded with hikers, canoeists, cyclists and amateurs of horse riding. Above all, reaching 341 meters, the Jura is a Mecca for climbers, speleologists and speleologists. It is the most popular region in Poland for learning and regular climbing. There are many schools offering climbing courses at similar prices. If you don’t know for sure if it’s something for you, don’t start with a weekly rock climbing course or make an appointment with an instructor for one day. Many rocks are officially marked, and the scale of difficulty ranges from II to VI.8.

Extreme Way of the Cross

It’s indeed extreme, because you have to cover a distance of at least 40 km at night. Be alone with someone, but necessarily in focus. No conversations or picnics. It must hurt to leave your comfort zone. This is where the real spiritual exercise begins because you can open yourself up for deep meditation. The organizers warn that this is a spiritual event, not just a religious one. During the journey, they do not ask whether anyone goes to church or is religious, because it is not essential. What matters is not who you are, but who you can become. It is a challenge for people who are looking for something more, meaning and a new idea for themselves in life. It all starts with a route. There are dozens of them all over Poland, so you can choose one that will suit you. EDK is not about sport. This is not an adventure. This is the way to meet yourself.

Historic reenactment

In recent years Poles love to recreate history, and all kinds of reconstruction events attract crowds. There is a clear trend towards saturating today’s identity with the signs of the past. Initially, the reconstructive movement was a fan movement. There were groups of people with knowledge of the selected period of history. They were able to produce weapons, costumes and were deeply immersed in the realities of the epoch. But suddenly it turned out that the market, demand and interest in such reconstructions were enormous, so the range of performances was expanding. The last decade was a real boom in all kinds of reconstruction activities covering the whole of history. From pre-Slavic times to the present day. Reconstructions started to be organized not only on the anniversaries of significant historical events but also at open-air museums, during various events or on the occasion of city days. Do you know any better way to find out more about the realities of a particular epoch than by physically visualizing them? Not really, so no matter if it’s a knight’s tournament or a Viking fight, you’ll find out more than just the guides!

Urbex

What is actually Urbex and who is doing it? In the purest sense, it’s “urban exploration” (often shortened to Urbex or EU). The term comes from English and means literally urban research, usually an invisible or inaccessible part of human civilization. In practice, it means visiting abandoned places, remote to most people. These can include old factories, forgotten hospitals, abandoned palaces or even underground tunnel networks, urban sewerage. Usually, the expeditions are accompanied by a specific historical motif, but this depends on the particular teams. The “serious” version of Urbex is an expensive game. The toughest and the most ambitious do not go into the field without specialist climbing or speleological equipment. Because gaining the inaccessible may often resemble a fight with nature. Deep corridors, flooded basements are all part of the fun and challenges faced by lovers of abandoned places. Therefore, a good flashlight and sturdy shoes are the absolute basics. W It is worth to have even a surgical mask with you. Some of the freely accessible places sometimes hide surprises in the form of wild tenants, who are rarely friendly towards explorers disturbing their peace. The most important rule to remember is: urbex is a team sport, lonely riders can get into trouble. Entertainment can be risky but provides unforgettable experiences and a lot of unobvious knowledge and historical facts.

Crown of the Polish Mountains

This is a list of 28 peaks of individual mountain ranges in Poland. It was supposed to be a list containing the highest peak of each scale. The difference lies in the fact that the highest peaks, on which at the time of establishing the Crown led a marked tourist trail, were considered significant. The Crown of the Polish Mountains was established in 1997. To become a conqueror of the Polish Mountains, it’s necessary to climb it by force of one’s own muscles over 30 thousand meters above sea level. Enthusiasts established “Club of Conquerors of the Crown of the Polish Mountains”, which already includes thousands of mountain lovers. Among them, more than 1600 people boast the dignity of the “Conqueror”. The Club brings together not only Poles, but also residents of several European countries, and even distant Siberia. It organizes for them expeditions to the crown peaks, mountain events, as well as meetings of the Conqueror Lodge, verifying the achievements of candidates for the Conquerors. If you are a true fan of mountains and climbing, this is an obligatory position for you.

Morning

Morning is becoming more and more popular, but it’s hard to call it a sport. Although some people perceive it as controversial, the number of people interested in it in Poland is growing rapidly. “Mors” is a collective term for a person who bathes in cold water, usually during the autumn-winter period. Morning for the first time can be stressful, but with each successive entry into the water, the body gets more and more accustomed to the cold. When you saw a group of people almost naked, entering an icy lake or sea, you probably wondered WTF and why “walruses” come with every season? It turns out that baths in cold water not only harden the body but also have a therapeutic effect such as improvement of the cardiovascular system efficiency, improvement of circulation, the better blood supply to the skin, faster regeneration and nourishment of the body, help with dermatological and allergic diseases. Do not hesitate to start entering icy water next autumn!

Runmageddon

Sweat, tears and blood. All that is true, but it’s also a great deal of fun! Runmageddon is a sporting event and an exciting challenge that involves overcoming unusual obstacles. By taking part in Runmageddon, the participants have the opportunity to get to know their maximum potential. They climb, crawl, crawl, muddy, jump, water and fire. When standing on the Runmageddon starting line, you need to be ready for anything. Overcoming it guarantees a massive dose of satisfaction and pride in your own achievements. Participation in Runmageddon helps to overcome inhibitory fears and makes you look bolder into the future.

You can choose from 5 different Runmageddon formulas. The youngest, aged 4-11, will face the task of completing a one-kilometre long “Kids” race with 10 obstacles. Teenagers aged 12-15 will be able to test themselves on the two-kilometre “JUNIOR” route with 15 obstacles. Adults and those over 16 years of age will have a choice of 2 formulas with different difficulty levels. “INTRO”, i.e. 3 km long section with 15 obstacles and 6 km long section with 30 obstacles “REKRUT”. People experienced in running and overcoming obstacles over 18 years of age will be able to face the 12-kilometre Classic formula with 50 obstacles. Everyone who decides to take part in Runmageddon can count on extremely positive impressions.

R10 – a cycling route along the Polish coast

Imagine a bicycle trip along the coast with the sun behind your back. It is a good idea to choose the end of the season because then it is not only easier to find accommodation for one night. But above all, you can avoid the crowds of holidaymakers. In turn, the relationship with nature itself will be much more intimate (in the best sense of the word). The axis is the bike route R10, but you do not have to stick to it all the time. It starts in the city of Świnoujście and ends at Krynica Morska.

There is no denying that the route is not light. It’s as much as 480 kilometres, not including additional ones for potential sightseeing. The expedition can also be much more tiring for cyclists with luggage. However, it can be done faster without watching or stopping at any wild beach. Because most of the route is hardened, you can drive at a healthy pace. However, I definitely recommend slower, because the forest and marshy areas make the views and impressions unusual.

100cznia / Electric Street

As soon as the train leaves Gdańsk Główny station, the colourful containers in the background of the shipyard landscape attract attention. This is not an accidental construction, but a perfect example of creative use of potential and revitalization of dead spots in urban space. “100cznia” (a wordplay meaning “shipyard”) was created in the area of the previously demolished old Modelarnia, inspired by twin initiatives in London, Lisbon, Berlin and Los Angeles. The Gdansk project includes 20 containers that were already used for sea transport. Currently, they are a space for various activities, including a bar, ten restaurants with kitchens from all over the world, and art studios. Visitors can also enjoy a tattoo studio, design and vinyl shops. The town also has a beach and garden with pouffes and deckchairs, workshop space and a vibrant music scene.

A raw alternative cultural centre of Gdańsk, operating in the post-shipyard areas and adjacent to the famous B90 Club and the creative space of the Plenum. “100cznia” and “Electric Street” is a place created spontaneously among containers, pallets, surrounded by scaffolding and cable reels. Concerts, electro parties with the best music producers, night markets and brunches take place here. Be sure to stop by, because there is no other street like this anywhere else in the world! The site operates from May to September, and its full address is Father Jerzy Popiełuszko 5.

This post is also available in: Русский (Russian) Ukrainian (Ukrainian)

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