We are heading south. Having crossed the threshold of the Kłodzka Basin just behind the Bard, we enjoy the magnificent views that surround us. It is really difficult to focus attention on the road, so every now and then we stop. Our goal is Duszniki-Zdrój, an unfairly slightly forgotten, but extremely charming small town in Lower Silesia.
Sudetes is a unique geographical region on the Polish map. Landscapes that could well be the scenery of more than one movie superproduction. Mountains, hillocks and hills giving satisfaction both to more ambitious mountain hikers, as well as the masses of skiing fans, mountain biking or Nordic walking lovers. And above all, the extraordinary history of these lands and the beautiful pre-war architecture. There is no way to resist the charms of the Sudetes, and the place to which we are heading is the quintessence of all their beauty and charm.
Why did we choose Duszniki-Zdrój for the autumn trip? Curiosity, above all, led us here. After all, it is a town much less obvious than Karpacz or Szklarska Poręba, additionally wonderfully entered into the surrounding Bystrzyckie and Stołowe Mountains. We know exactly what to expect from most of the Polish resorts. But Duszniki were a kind of mystery to us.
Usually associated primarily with Fryderyk Chopin, thanks to the festival organized here for 70 years, it was a typical spa town. It is hard to be surprised – the unique climate of this part of Lower Silesia and the healing waters are conducive to the process of improving health. However, we wanted to look at Duszniki from a slightly different perspective. After all, we do not have any significant health problems yet, which does not mean that we do not care about it.
Traveling around Poland, by which with every trip we take we are more and more enchanted, in addition to the will to explore, to get to know and a certain spiritual elation, we focus on an active form of spending free time. And so we intended to go to the Kłodzko Basin.
As the starting point of our departure we chose one of the idyllic guesthouses and immediately began planning the next three days. As it turned out, this was not an easy task. Each of us wanted to visit as many places as possible, but the limiting factor was the time. Meat must be had but work may stay, but nevertheless, we all treat the activities we make money from seriously.
The day began with a walk through the town itself, dating back to the 14th century. Although according to some sources in the immediate vicinity of already at the turn of the 9th and 10th century a wooden fortress was erected. Our problem was that by putting aside our passion for sport and a will to spend every spare moment actively, we are also passionate about history and architecture. The walk through the city stretched until late afternoon, because every more beautiful tenement house caught our attention for a long time. Renaissance gourmet, with a number of beautiful 17th and 18th century houses, unique beauty of Zdrojowy Theatre along with the surrounding park and, of course, Paper Museum. These are just some of the vintage beads that must be seen in Duszniki. Day ended with a delicious dinner near the Zdrojowy Theatre, while planning the remaining two days of the weekend.
A subsequent day we decided to start with the sunrise. A glance at the map and the surrounding Duszniki-Zdrój mountain terrain reassured us that we had a very intense two days ahead of us. We decided first to move towards the Bystrzyckie mountains to Zieleniec (few people know that it is an administrative part of Duszniki-Zdrój) and the next day go to the Góry Stołowe.
The plan was almost perfect. First of all, because it assumed spending the next few hours on a mountain trail. And secondly, because, as it turned out, the experiences we gained would be remembered for a long time.
It’s all about the Bystrzyckie Mountains. In many places wild, quiet, devoid of hum and noise, which can often be found for instance in Karkonosze Mountains. Extremely climatic, which is highlighted even more by many ruins of homes, which were certainly teeming with life before the war. There is something really unusual in Lower Silesia and especially in those areas, which is difficult to describe in words. All this you just have to see with your own eyes and experience to feel that unique climate.
Strolling, sometimes even off the beaten tracks, we reached the peat bog near Zieleniec. And here again the surprise – fabulous landscape, the awakening nature has made an impressive impression on us. “Why have we not been here before?” – we started to wonder. A quick lunch in Zieleniec, a cable car ride to the ridge of the Orlickie Mountains and further hiking, this time along the border with our southern neighbour. We would not have been ourselves if we had not jumped to the beautiful Czech hostel – Masarykowa Chata. Do not be fooled – a sip of delicious, poured beer in such circumstances, we will not be a disgrace for anyone, will it?. We had also planned to “capture” the highest peak of the Polish part of Orlickie Mountains, Orlice (1084 m) and return from the mountains to Duszniki. Our attention was caught on the way by another attraction – Duszniki Arena. We have to admit that we had no idea that besides the famous Jakuszyce, we have in Lower Silesia no less interesting place for cross-country skiing – and note – the biathlon. For a moment we even wished there was still now cover on the green slopes.
The last day of our stay in this part of the Sudetes we decided to spend in the Stołowe Mountains. Every one of us visited them many times, but it is a place of which one cannever have enough. However, we decided not to go easy and do not go to Radków by car. We chose a much longer variant, which is a walk along the blue trail, which leads from Duszniki right under Wielki Szczelniec.
Almost everything has been already said and written about the Stołowe Mountains. But they surprise us yet again with their climate, the shape of the terrain, and if one chooses less obvious trails and paths, the accompanying atmosphere is truly extraordinary. Skały Puchacza, Kopa Śmierci, view from Narożnik, and of course the Sudetic Classic, Wielki Szczeliniec – these are just some of the extraordinary whims of nature that can be admired (and photographed) endlessly.
Unfortunately, we did not have enough time because we planned to return to Duszniki in the mountains, but we did not want to be too late in our homes(we all had to go to work the next day – hurray!), We had to support the local communication.
Extremely intense weekend reassured us that Duszniki-Zdrój and the fabulous surroundings of this town are a perfect idea not only for the weekend, but even more for a bit longer stay. And to be honest, it is worth to take into account that this time can be spent extremely actively regardless of the time of the year. Apart from mountain trekking, Duszniki and its immediate surroundings are perfect for many sports – cycling and mountain biking, cross-country skiing (including cross-country skiing) and winter alpine skiing (Zieleniec), cross country and biathlon (Dusznik Arena).
We will definitely be coming here again. Perhaps we will pack our kids too, who are increasingly unable to sit still. And since in Duszniki and surrounding areas they can give off their excess energy, it looks like we will decide to come here sooner rather than later.