[Photos] 7 Things I Did in Zakopane, Poland

March 31, 2017

There are for sure many other travel tips on Zakopane that you can find online, I referred to them as well :D especially Trip Advisor (my all-time favourite). But in this post, it is more about me reminiscing memories of my solo trip to this southern part of Poland. 

I shared here some ideas that you can do in Zakopane, Poland within a day :D

My hostel provided simple breakfast every day as early as 7 am, so my day in Zakopane basically started with breakfast and a book to read. 

At 10am, I walked out to the center.. to be more specific to Krupowki Street. I need to change some money as I ran out of Polish zloty and after surveying the night before, the exchange rate in Krupowki Street was better than other places (like the bus station) even though this street is always full with tourists. 

1. Took pictures with this huge Zakopane board. 
On my way there, I saw this huge ZAKOPANE board :D a good one to take pictures. Well just look at the background... whitish snowy mountains, something I can not see routinely. 

To get here, walk to Dolna Rówień Krupowa - this board is located here (a small park along Tadeusza Kościuszki street)

The same park.

2. Walked along Krupówki street.
Krupówki is pronounced as 'crew-poof-key'

After few minutes walking, I arrived at Krupówki street, the main street in Zakopane. As expected, many people were already there but not as packed as Charles Bridge in Prague. Hehe. You can expect building along the street - they can be souvenirs shops, banks, restaurants, hotels, historical monuments, church as well. 

It was lovely to walk along it, especially when it served you with good atmosphere. If you are into shopping, this is the place you should go - almost all shops are here. 

Not easy to get picture without people here :p

Classic street.

I have no idea the meaning of this statue. 

Kościół Świętej Rodziny - a Catholic church. Poland is more religious than Czech anyway.

3. Walked along Na Gubałówkę street (Gubalowka Hill Market).
From Krupówki, I walked across the main road towards Gubalowka Hill. Along the way, there were a lot of shops with variety of stuffs you can buy - pastry, clothes (especially leather jackets), shoes, bags. From my reading, the market is open every day from 8am till late evening. 

I forgot to survey the prices though. Haih. 

The market looks like this.

4. Took a funicular to the top of Gubalowka Hill.
I had the idea to climb the hill, but naaah it's okay.. I took the funicular instead. The funicular is kind of similar to the one in Penang Hill, but of course the view is different ;)
Empty station before few groups of school children came. Haha. 

18 zloty for return trip. 

The best view was obviously from the bottom cabin.

The best part of this hill was it provided free WiFi! Hahaha.

I know it is better to disconnect to Internet to connect with the place I am travelling to. But, it was a solo trip, I made calls to people instead and shared the view. Lol, I was trying to be creative. The views were as expected to be mesmerizing. From the hill, I could see panoramic views of Tatras Mountains and the town of Zakopane itself. 


Another one!

Suddenly, groups of school children came. :D 

It was snowing that day. 

View from the funicular. 

5. Watched people gambling. 
On top of Gubalowka Hill, there were many shops selling souvenirs and I could see a ski areal as well. At first, I had no idea why so many people gathered there so I joined the crowd. Since the camera was always on my hand, I tried to record the situation. Hahaha, then I was scolded by one of them. Only then, I knew they were gambling!

Like, seriously gambling in an open space like that? 

Please do not take part in any of gambling activities, here or anywhere else! You will surely lose the money, stolen by these people!

6. Ate Crème brûlée in Góralskie Praliny.
This creme brulee was recommended by my junior who is studying in Poland. It is a dessert made of custard with a hard layer of burnt sugar caramelized by a butane torch. Wow.

It is tasty, but quite sweet for me that I need to remove the sugar layer. 

7. Bought Pierogi.
Pierogi = Polish dumplings. 

Most Eastern European countries have their own dumplings but I still consider dumplings in Poland as the best, especially if you bought them in Zapiecek. Wow, that confidence. HEHE

But, there is no Zapiecek in Zakopane... so I bought the frozen dumplings instead. 

My favourite - dumplings with mushrooms. 

Finally, I am done with Zakopane's posts :D

Till then,

HK, Czech

Of Doggie, Apple Cider Vinegar and Old Gentleman

March 30, 2017

It is hard to sit down and to write a new blog post properly. I had busy but memorable weekends since the past 4 weeks, alhamdulillah I am very grateful for that. In return, I need to cover all hours that I should study within the weekdays instead. :) Double triple the productivity, insyAllah.

Nope, it is not snowing anymore :)

As usual, after my lesson in the hospital it is time to go home. Oh, actually either to go home or to stay in the hospital's educational center to revise or to stay somewhere else to study. That somewhere else can be Cross Cafe or town library. I prefer these last two as they are closer to my flat so that I don't feel bad to cycle home in the dark.

I have many memories of each of these 3 places. Going to miss them so much. T_T

1. Educational Center. 
Oh, have I told you my experience that I almost hit someone's dog in the middle of the road? The memory is still vivid in my head, I just can not take it out. Scared, but I believe it is not fully my fault. 

Educational Center

I have cycled almost every day since the last 3-4 years, so I am well aware which road I can take and which one that I can't. There was one fine night, with slight rain... I was cycling home from the hospital around 8 pm. I saw a couple walking side by side. When I wanted to cycle passing them, suddenly a dog ran to the front of my bike. 

Sreeetttt. Emergency brake. 

I am still glad I was not cycling too fast, otherwise I would be the one getting bounce to the front.
I am glad I did not hit the dog. The dog looked so scared, as scared as I was!

I wanted to blame them for leaving the dog 'wireless', I mean without any leash. Instead, I was the one saying sorry to them... hmmmm. 

2. Cross Cafe.
This is my most favourite place to study (except the fact that I need to spend some money on the food).

It has good WiFi, good study tables, good random study companions. I mentioned few times that I love to study here, at least if I am revising for understanding... not the memorizing phase. 

Random study companions can be Malaysians or any international students. Most of them are regular there, just like me. If you go there every single day, you will meet almost the same faces and even the cashier will recognize and know the menu you ordered everyday. At least, it happened twice for me. 

There was one time I was short by 2kc to pay by cash, surprisingly the cashier just took the coins that I gave. 'Never mind, you are always here.' T_T

I love the idea that they serve different vegetarian soup every day. :)

Another experience when I studied there, some of the students were talking about the taste of apple cider vinegar. I randomly joined the conversation by saying some health benefits of it to lose weight. Well, apple cider vinegar will not help us losing weight as much as calories-intake control and exercise but it can help blocking digestion of starch - a bit with anti-glycemic effect. It simply means, it slightly prevents raising our blood sugar too quickly. 

Then, the guy in front of me offer me a cup (he bought a bottle though) but quickly withdrew his hand. "Oh, I am sorry but I think it contains a bit of alcohol."

Can you imagine how happy was I? 
At least, he knew Muslims don't drink alcohol. 

3. Knihovna města Hradce Králové
Not many international students know the existence of this library. In my town, there are at least two other libraries (Medical Library, Cheese Library) closer to the areas where international students live. 

Not this one. 

This is the closest to my flat, with free WiFi (with different passwords every day that I can just ask the librarians). It is divided into different blocks like for adults, children etc. My favourite spot is in the musics room, well can you imagine there is a piano, violin in a library. And yes, this library is not that quite that I even Skyped with my dad few times. 

Piano on the left :D

A thing I need to remember about this library is on Tuesday, it opens at 12pm instead of 8am on other days. I always forget this fact and need to wait in front of the main door with other people who forget about this opening hour as well. Hahaha.

A smile can start a conversation. 

An old man about 75 years old looked at me and I smiled in return. Then, he asked "odkud jste?" simply means where are you from. A life lesson I learned about this gentleman is to never get bored reading. He said he will come to this library every two weeks to borrow some books to read. Can you believe, he is 75 years old!


I have love hate relationship with my bed, so studying at home is not really on my list. Unless I reach the limit of my monthly expenses, the weather is bad to go out, I am memorising yada yada. 

Hmmm, a lot of drafts on my dashboard, I wonder when I can get them done. -_-'

Till then.

HK, Czech.

One More Step

March 23, 2017

I was walking home with my friend, talking bits of this and that.. then we separated at the junction as we were heading to different direction. Along the way back home, I realized the flowers started to bloom. Yes, it is spring now people.

Actually, the spring had officially started last Monday. The funny thing was even though I already lived in this four-seasons country for more than 5 years, I do not really know when spring officially begin. For me myself:
  • Winter is when it is getting very cold and snow starts to fall.
  • Spring is when flowers start to bloom and I can see green, fresh grass. 
  • Summer is when I need to wake up at 2-4am for Fajr.
  • Autumn is when leaves start to change color into golden and fall. 

Hmmm, I am not sure what actually I want to share about in this post. 

Maybe about...

Every time I see flowers blooming or seeds start to germinate, these natural phenomena remind me of one thing, hope. Hope is a very big and crucial thing. It is what keeps us strong and going. Even though sometimes things happen not according to our high hope, please... don't give up on hope. 

A lovely person reminds me that we still need to plan and put hope, nevertheless. With planning, at least we have something as goals to fight for, otherwise our life will be aimless. Either we achieve it or not, it is a different story. The thing is, have we done our best to approach it? Have we plan well how to achieve it?

Looking forward for this in Spring :) | May 2015
Suddenly writing about this reminds me of Surah Al-Balad which literally means the city (of Makkah) and generally teaches us about the reality of human's life. 

"We have certainly created man (to be) in hardship." - Al-Balad 90:4

Life is a struggle. 
Not only to human, even to plants or trees. 

I don't think trees can easily survive in harsh winter without proper adaptation given by Allah. Take a small seed for example, we plant it under the ground and we put good quality of soil and water so that the seed can germinate easily. What do you think will happen if the seed need to overcome solid, hard soil in order to show its shoots?

It can still grow but with hardship. It can still grow despite all the hardships. 

The reason is... it uses all hardships to improve itself from a single seed into a small plant and then into a tree. Allah provides it with that kind of adaptation ability and of course the seed knows why it needs to grow. To provide shelter from sunlight, to provide woods to human, to provide food as well and those give hope to seed to continue growing. 

Same goes to human - to know the purposes of living and put hope to live properly. 

Use the hardship to improve ourselves, to take us to better level and to give benefits to people around us. All in all, aim that everything will leads towards Allah. 

I'll come to you one day,
I'll hold your hands for you, 
I'll run even I'm out of breath.
I'll confess one day,
I'll take courage for you,
I'll run even I'm out of breath.

Lyrics can be exaggerating sometime.. maybe because I usually appreciate melody more than lyrics, but I found this song as one that gives me hope, indirectly. :) 


I think I don't have new collections of random photos lately. Blame my laziness.

Till then.
HK, Czech

I Thought Yesterday Would Be Awful

March 17, 2017

"Oh, I do not know I have a student today. Well, I have many patients now, I don't think I can help with your lessons."

Ouch. That. Feeling. 
I felt rejected. 

Total replacement of knee joint.

It was not the first time to receive this response, as there will always be some miscommunication between education department and hospital. Well, sometimes they plan well but let's say that the doctor who is supposed to be in charge suddenly take an emergency leave, the secretary need to re-organize the schedule. 

I know this is an advantage for students who love to skip classes (yes, there are few) but I do not feel good to do so. I just replied with, "It is okay, I can just stay in the room and watch you treating patients."

I quickly took out my phone for Internet and Google Translate. Well, not every single Czech words are recorded in my brain anyway. Heee. Some medical terms are also used in local language so I need to know the universal one.

Honestly I thought I was doomed for that day. Maybe because my day started with something embarrassing very early in the morning... I don't think I want to share it here.

Surprisingly, the doctor was very nice actually. Despite the first response and patients' list kept increasing, he actually tried his best to teach me while treating his patients. He explained why he did this and that.. and answered my questions. Since I was in Orthopedic department, there were quite a lot of procedures need to be done - joint aspiration, X-ray, casting, bandaging, wound dressing. 

Orthopedic = a branch of surgery on musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons etc)

I mentioned in my Twitter that patients here love to give food to the doctor and nurse who attend them. It can be bread, a big jar of Nescafe, fruits, cakes, chocolates etc. This looks like a tradition.

For yesterday, my doctor received a box of cake & cookies, a bottle of Whiskey, a box of Ferrero Rocher. I believe he received more that these towards the end of the day.

He even offered me to eat them. "We have a lot of these," he said.
HAHA asyik makan manis je dah akhir-akhir ni. 


Maybe we can try this habit in Malaysia :D Even though I am not sure if doctors and nurses will have enough time to eat all of the food or is it proper to give something. But I have the feeling that this habit will make them smiling the whole day. Hehe.

Salam Jumaat, everyone :)

HK, Czech

How I Deal With Loneliness While Travelling Solo?

March 16, 2017

I am okay with both travelling solo and in a group as I have been in both. From general views, there are many advantages of travelling with someone you are comfortable with and most important, you can trust and rely on each other. 

However, travelling solo can give sparks in our heart for something we don't expect and by hook or by crook, we need to survive. Although travelling solo is always laced with thoughts of loneliness but... it is not that bad, actually. 

If you happened to be travelling alone, you can try these ideas which I personally use. <3

1. People watching
Do you know that this is actually a real term? :D

I love watching people and try to figure out what are actually on their minds. 
  • Some people are rushing I bet maybe they are late for work or to catch any trains.
  • Some people have fun chilling with friends and you can listen to their gossips and stories. 
  • Some are spending time with the family and you can see how different people treat their family members. 

While the husband push the stroller, the wife will hold the forearm of the husband. Not forget to mention, small kids (age around 10-15 years old) holding hands with their grandparents. Fuh, I can go diabetic watching all these. Sweet sangat. 

Chatting with a couple from Brazil - it is all started with people watching | Postojna, Slovenia 

Sometimes there are also awkward moments to watch people with PDA. Haha, yang single tu pandang tempat lain je lah. I witnessed few arguments as well... for example there was a time when a couple argue over something like "why don't you tell me it will be like this". The girlfriend even cry while the boyfriend walked away leaving her alone. :O

2. Take a lot of photos.
...of random things. ^_^ Sometimes words in different language can be interesting. So, go for signboards. Selfies are okay as well haha although it feels awkward to see your own face in the camera's gallery. Otherwise, walk along a group of family and usually they will surely ask you to take their group photos, that is amazing as you can ask them to take yours in return.

Dania can be a Malaysian name :) But it can also represent Danish (citizen of Denmark) / Denmark. Observe the out-of-nowhere ATM. Hehe | Zakopane, Poland

3. Video calls with beloved ones.
I found this to be very effective, especially to feel like you are cafe-dating with someone or you are never alone. Hard to find good WiFi connection? Just drop by any restaurant or cafes. You don't have to order expensive food, maybe a cup of coffee.. just not to feel guilty to stay there. 

Whatsapp video call. | Zakopane, Poland

With Whatsapp video calls nowadays, everything is just few touchs away. And you can directly enjoy the views with them. For example in Zakopane itself, there is a street called Krupowki street which is quite famous among tourists. I could access to *Zakopane_Free_WiFi* along this street. Isn't it awesome? :D

4. Read books. 
If you are tired of walking around or you are done for the day, lie down on the comfy bed at the hostel and read novel. I don't study when travelling unless I really feel I need to do so. Usually, I will bring a novel / any reading material (as I don't have any e-books). 

I feel like it does not matter if I only managed to read 50 pages or I am not able to finish the whole book. Why? To finally read a book (other than anything related to my course) is an awesome achievement for me. Hahaha

5. Mingle with other travelers.
...or talk to the locals and ask what they actually recommend like hidden gems that travelers would have no idea about. Somehow it is even hard for me to talk to locals unless they speak English. :D

When we travel in a group among ourselves, there are other advantages like getting to know each other. But, now you are travelling alone, it is time to get dissolved in the society. But, mind the limit. After travelling to some European countries, I realized that the places where travelers love to hang out to meet new people are pubs or bars. 

With Julia | Ljubljana, Slovenia

It depends actually, some travelers who already know you are Muslims, they are being good enough to offer to opt for any pizzas or Chinese food (for example). You just need to order your own food and continue with the chit-chat happily :)

If you can keep in touch with them, it sounds better.

6. Free walking tours 
I am not that familiar with free walking tours but I once used the Turkish Airlines transit city-tour service and it was amazing. You get free transport to- and fro- the airport, free breakfast and lunch, free entrance to tourist attractions and obviously free tour guide as well! :D

The best part of free walking tours is you can listen to history of every attraction you are taken to, you can try food recommended by the tour guide etc. Although it is free, you can give some amount of money as a token of gratitude or people call it 'tips'. 


Travelling solo is okay, as long as we try our best to stay safe by taking all precautions, all safety measures and of course, do our reading about the places we want to solo-travel. :)

HK, Czech

[Photos] Walking On Frozen Lake of Morskie Oko, Poland

March 14, 2017

I am currently in surgery rotation and going to have a final exam at the end of April. For surgery, my friends and I were distributed into few subgroups and unfortunately Malaysians are not in the same subgroup. Within 2 months, every group will be given a week off. Actually... 3 days off. And they are IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK! Hahaha.

I really cannot brain why they give every group holidays on Tuesday-Thursday. Mine was 28/2/2017 - 2/3/2017.

That was the reason why I was alone for this trip. -_-'

Yeay, a full portrait of myself with Morskie Oko frozen lake as the background, together with the mesmerizing mountains. 

Morskie Oko was already in my travel bucket list for a while. But, actually the route that I would love to try is to start from Poprad, Slovakia then sleep over at one of the cottage in the middle of mountain, then continue to hike to Rysy peak, end the trail with Morskie Oko, Poland. The route may take up to few days to make it more enjoyable. 

But, this type of hiking plan will only work well during summer, in which I always use this opportunity to go home. :)

High Tatras National Park.
This national park mainly covers the mountain area of Slovakia but since the mountain is basically the border between Slovakia and Poland, you can expect there are few areas on Poland included as well in the national park. And in Europe, you literally need no passport to show at the top of the mountain just to cross the border. But, of course if you are a foreigner and you don't have EU citizenship, I would really recommend you to take the passport with you.

Another border I know that happen to be in a national park is between Czech and Germany, it is Bohemian-Switzerland / Saxon-Switzerland National Park.

Miss this view!
From my reading, you can get most information in this website, emilysguidetokrakow.com, like I've mentioned in previous post about Morskie Oko. :)

Here are few basic instructions on how to get to Morskie Oko (refer the pictures' captions)

1. In Zakopane, get to this station. It is NOT the one you arrive in Zakopane from other cities. This specific station is for transports within Zakopane itself. Not that far, these two stations are next to each other, together with the train station.

2. Take a mini-bus / mini-van at the bus station. It will be at the very first platform and you can see the destination in front of it. The driver will charge you 10 zloty for one way. Pay only when you arrive at the parking area closer to Morskie Oko. Same goes to the return journey. Get onto the van and pay only when you arrive in Zakopane again. 

See, platform number 1 to Morskie Oko.

Before we can continue to Morskie Oko, we need to pay the one-time entrance fee to the national park. That was my first time paying this kind of fee. It is about 5 zloty per person. If you are a student, a senior (about 60years old), a person with disability or a soldier in active service (hehe I don't understand why), you are entitled for 50% discount, so... it will be 2.50 zloty.

So, prepare your identity card if you want this benefit. 

1 Polish zloty = RM 1.10

I felt pity to those horses. -_-' They look so tired with lots of bulging veins. 

Then, we can choose to either walk-hike up the trails or simply use the horse carriage. I am not that sure the price but I have set my mind to choose the first option. :)

The trails were not that hard, I mean not that steep, alhamdulillah. Just, what made it harder that time was the roads were icy, slippery enough to make me walk just like a penguin! Haha.

Okayyyy, nothing much to say. Let's enjoy the view around Morskie Oko area. :D
I will share details as the captions yea.

We can see this board every 1km. 

I was glad they road was cleared from snow. Otherwise, my feet would be wet from the very beginning. 

Can you detect the waterfall?

This kind of view was I think after 1-2km of walking. 

Standing against the sunshine to capture memories with this background... you cannot see my dark face. Haha. 

Many people, you would not feel that lonely. 

Again, you can expect this view almost through out the route.

Oh yea, other than using pavement roads that are more for cars, we can also use this trail between trees. Just, mind our steps, it is far more slippery! :p

Look at the ground. Dirty ice. Haha. That's the best spot to fall. Painful and wet. 

I have no idea why I love to pose like this. Trademark maybe hehe. 

A quiz for you guys, guess what is inside this picture?

Morskie Oko

After walking about 3 hours (maybe), finally I reached the lake. As expected, the lake was frozen. Here, I shared few facts about Morskie Oko that can be found on the board there.

  1. It is the largest lake in Tatras Mountains, about 1395 meters above sea level. 
  2. Morskie Oko means 'Eye of the Sea', called by the tourists. It was said to be connected to a sea (like beneath the mountains), but... seems impossible. 
  3. Other than Morskie Oko, there is another popular lake just below Rysy Peak named Czarny Staw. Staw = pond.

The frozen lake. 

I should have wear a brighter tudung. :D

This is a lodge, where tourists can have meal while enjoying the view. And advantage for people coming during winter, we can warm ourselves in this lodge and toilets are provided with a fee of 2 zloty. Meals' prices are okay range 10-20zloty on average. I have prepared myself with food so no need to spend money here.

Get your souvenirs here if you want to :) Postcards cost around 1.50 zloty/piece. 

See, so many people. This lodge was very busy that day. Oh yea, it provides free WiFi! Can you imagine you can get connected from a mountain for free? :D I tried video call with my dad, but the video was not that clear. But, I had no problem to send videos on Whatsapp / scroll FB or Twitter timeline hehe. 

Going down to the starting point was faster as my feet were already wet and I need to perform my prayers. I planned to pray around the lake, but the wind was very strong I could not even open my eyes most of the time, what else to take wudu'. Cold and freezing enough.

Since Polish people are more religious (at least compared to Czech), it was not that awkward to pray in public. :) But, after reading few articles and international news, maybe I should be more careful as non-Muslim actually do not understand the movements in our prayers. Yes, we need to be 'izzah (proud) to perform salah but does not mean you need to expose yourself to danger. I've been told that some of them always feel threatened that we will do something horrible after that. Hmmmm. 

Okay guys, for the next posts, I will try to take you around Zakopane. This small town is interesting as well! :D

HK, Czech

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