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Snow Plough on freewayToday we are driving to Arlamow through the snow. Piotr and Grace collected

A4 Freeway

A4 Freeway

us from Villa Carpatia in the small Citroen; the big one having been sold. We headed off south through the snow. My first observation was a dad pushing his son on a sled along the road. Wow. Everything is white. The roofs have a lovely coating and small snowflakes continue to fall.

After a few kilometres we get onto the freeway. It is still snowing quite heavily. So much so that at some points the freeway is down to one lane. We see many snow ploughs. They clear the snow up front and spread salt out the back. They do such a good job that we are soon travelling at 120 Km/h plus.

20161113_arlamow_21We drive past the now familiar Przemysl and then things get wild. We head off into what looks like the unknown. It appears that there is a road but it is hard to tell. The snow is now quite deep.

We are heading to the Arlamow Hotel. It is something of a resort and sporting 20161113_arlamow_24facility. It was originally a spa for high ranking communists but now has been modernised and is a 5 star hotel facility.

The more we drive the tougher things get. It is hard to tell where the road is. The fields are pure white. The few houses have a thick coating of snow on their roofs. Anna expresses her concern to Piotr that we wont make it. Piotr says that we will. There are enough people to push.

The further we go the worse the road gets. Now we are climbing. We do not have snow chains and I wonder quietly how this front wheel drive car is able to progress. Shortly after Piotr explains that we have winter tyres. Soon we are moving down a Wrong tyressteep incline and there is a group of cars coming up… or are they? It appears that not all of them have winter tyres and some are really struggling. There are a lot of people out of the cars. We pass them and continue on our way. I wonder if they will be there when we return?

Sometime later (we are travelling 30 Km on this piece of road but it feels much longer) we come to a steep incline. It is the last mountain before the hotel. We are behind a four wheel drive Lexus. The driver is very conservative and virtually stops every time he sees an oncoming vehicle. He is also very slow. This is not good for us because momentum is the key.

Eventually the inevitable happens. The Lexus stops on a steep incline to let downward moving cars pass. Piotr is not happy. We upward moving vehicles have the right of way. They pass and the Lexus moves off. Not so us. Piotr eases away but the wheels spin. Will we need to push? Piotr reverses and tries again a few more times and finally we start to move forward. Thankfully the Lexus is long gone and we can make our own pace.

ReceptionWe can now see the hotel but there remains one final hurdle. There is a steep downhill and an equivalent uphill to get there. I hold my breath but we do make it and park in front of the hotel.

Anita Wlodarczyk

Piotr shows us the convention hall/ ball room. It is vast and then we head up to the Restaurant Carpathia for lunch. We have the buffet which has three very nice courses plus a soup which we passed on. Salmon, cheese and olives are in the entrée. Ahhh. Food with flavour. Then for the main we have dorsz fish, seafood linguini, potato pancakes, venison stew, ribs and vegies, including broccoli. Truth be known, I have seen enough broccoli in the past week so I pass on it. Dessert was another six choices. I think I had four of them. I washed this down with coffee and later tea. That was some lunch.

A real bonus came after lunch. We met the world record hammer thrower, Anita Wlodarczyk. She looked so much smaller than on her internet publicity.



Piotr then took on a tour of the hotel. We started by going outside to see the view. The snow was knee deep outside and the doors were locked but Piotr convinced them I had travelled “all the way from Australia” to see the view. They relented.

Swimming pool

We trudged the 20 metres to the look down. It is quite challenging to walk through powder snow up to your knees. The only thing we could see was a heated open air pool below. We chose not to swim today.

Back inside we were fussed over by Anna and Grace to get the snow off. Actually, despite the amount, there was almost no water. It was so fluffy.

We continued to walk through the hotel. They had a marvellous collection of minerals on display. There were also photos of dignitaries who have been to the complex including three past presidents.



Then we went to the sports complex. On the way we passed a herd of horses that had just been released out of the stables. They were frolicking in the snow. It was quite charming. There is an indoor riding arena but no one was using it and it was dark.

Further on we saw photos of various sporting teams as well as indoor training facilities. There were plenty of windows so the view out onto the

Piotr's Citroen

Piotr’s Citroen

snow and back on the buildings was captivating.

Finally it was time to leave. Lucky Piotr was driving. The snow was so even I had no idea where the road was. We started down the hill away from the hotel, knowing we needed a bit of a run up to ascend the other side. Of course there was a car stuck half way up our side and his movements were erratic as he tried ineffectually to get his car moving onward and upward. Once past him we accelerated and got up the other side. I could breathe again.

Where is the road?

Where is the road?

The return trip was just as exciting as the outward journey except that it was now dusk with darkness fast closing in. At one point we were stopped by a mother deer and her fawn. It was sublime to watch them head off into the snow laden woods.

Surprisingly none of the vehicles that we saw stuck on our trip out were still on the hill. Goodness knows how they got out. I was in fact surprised that, despite the horrendous conditions, we did not see one accident.

Finally we made it back to Przemysl and relatively cleared roads. Then the freeway and back to Villa Carpatia. I think we had been very lucky. It was quite clear that as we returned to Zolynia the amount of snow rapidly reduced. Our place had had nothing like the wonderful falls we experienced earlier. And so ended a day in fairyland.