Szklarska Poreba

I just got back from my holiday skiing holiday in Poland, yesterday, a day later than I had expected. I was at a resort called Szklarska Poreba. I was supposed to get back on Saturday, but the bad snow storms in Denmark made it impossible to get back to Næstved, so I had to go to Ejby instead until Sunday morning.

The holiday, was frustrating at times, as much of what we expected turned out to be untrue, with a lot of hidden charges that we had expected were incorporated into the cost. I don’t know if this was the fault of the resort or the maybe we interpreted the information we got from the organisers wrong, but either way it was a bummer.

The cues for the piste are ridiculous down there. It was 45 minutes just to get up onto the lift for the small slope, never mind joining another cue then to get to the top of the mountain. Speaking of the top of the mountain, the weather was bad for skiing on the top last week. Visibility was near zero, which made for some very interesting and dangerous moments skiing.

Speaking of dangerous and visibility, I can nearly guarantee, that the slopes would have been closed at other resorts, given the visibility and fog conditions we had some days.

Perhaps the most annoying thing about the trip, was the cues because, it seems that the polish people I met this week have no concept of what a cue is or how it works! When your standing in any cue, especially one that is leading up to a chair-lift that only two people can go on at a time you would expect an orderly cue of two’s all the way to the chair. After all, the cue can only move as fast as the chair lift right?

The Polish people, and I mean the Polish, there were Danes, and Germans there as well (and me), but it was the Polish that were the cause of the problem. They would push right up behind, you, pushing their skis into every spare millimetre, making it impossible for you to move your skis without falling over. Even worse, they stand on your skis, and thats the last thing you want when you got a set of 500 or 600 dollar skis on. I got rental skis this year, instead of bringing my own, and I’m extremely happy I did. The rentals were ruined by the end of the week. Literally! And Exs were absolutely destroyed. If I owned them I would have chucked them in the bin at the end of the week.

The rental place was another absolute joke.. I mean they were actually giving out bad and defective equipment, and wanting your passport as a deposit. NO THANK YOU!!! I had to return my skis 2 times on the first day before I finally got a set that would stay on…

Still… it wasn’t all bad! There was another hotel just down from where we were staying that I quite enjoyed. The drink there was relatively cheap (about half the cost of Denmark), they had 2 good pool tables, and the staff were very friendly and nice. I had one particularly good night at the bar with a member of staff from the hotel, who had just finished work, who was introducing me to the virtues of various Polish vodkas and other Polish drinks. But, damn those 10pm closing times!!

I must sound a bit bitter right now, but to be honest I’m not. I’m more tired than anything else. Knowing what I know now, I believe I could go back there and actually have a great holiday, but I wouldn’t travel with 30 people and I would stay in the hotel, that I spent most of my time in as opposed to the one we were staying in. It’s just that I had certain expectations before I went, which weren’t met. The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing!

I would NOT recommend first time skiers go to Szklarska Poreba, as you may have the kind of skiing experience that puts you off for life. However as a more experienced skier (which I’m not btw, but I do have a couple of years), there is some good off-piste skiing, and I’ve heard from members of my group that the cross-country skiing is very good. Just don’t use your own skis if you want to go slalom or alpine skiing as the cues will destroy them.

I think I’ll probably end up back in Szklarska Poreba, however it won’t be for a skiing holiday. It will be for a holiday with some skiing, if you know what I mean.

Oh.. before I go.. a tip for anybody that is going there. The cues normally become unbearable form about 12:30 onwards, so go do something else. If you’ve got daily lift cards, you can sell them to the locals, who won’t want to pay full price. Typically you can sell one lift card for around 10 to15 zlotys which will get you 3 beers, or lunch.