Countryside is always beautiful and something which attracts me all along. Be it a journey through these small towns and villages, or visiting them even for a short time makes me extremely happy. Being in the lap of nature, the changing landscapes during the journey and a get away from the busy schedules of daily life makes it extremely pleasant. Winter is not the best time for a trip but I chose to travel in February to Giżycko along with a visit to Kętrzyn.
For making this journey, I purchased bilet weekendowy from the major polish train company, PKP intercity. This allows unlimited travel in IC and TLK trains of PKP from Friday 6 pm to Monday 6 am. This ticket gets an extended validity of additional days if Friday or Monday are holidays. The journey started from Warszawa with a connection at Białystok. From Białystok another train to Kętrzyn. The stay was at Giżycko. While return a direct train to Warszawa Zachodnia was taken.
The journey itself was very interesting. The trains passed though many small towns, villages and forests. There were multiple frozen or partially frozen water bodies on the routes when train traversed through the forests
The one hour at Białystok was used to explore a part of this small town. The town is very calm and has many beautiful buildings and is blessed with natural beauty.
Białystok is the largest city in northeastern Poland, located in the Białystok Uplands. This city is located in the Podlaskie Plain, on the banks of the Biała River. Biała river is a tributary of the Supraśl River making it a sub-tributary of the braided river Narew. Białystok has traditionally been one of the leading centers of academic, cultural, and artistic life in the historical Podlachia region of Poland. In the modern day Poland it is the capital of of the Podlaskie Voivodeship.
Kętrzyn is a small town situated in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship (previously in Olsztyn Voivodeship). Historically it is one of the most important town playing major roles in both world wars. The city has a beautiful backsteingotik (Brick Gothic) architecture.
The town was formerly known as Rastenburg. The First World War‘s First Battle of the Masurian Lakes and Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes took place here. This city was a major site during the Second World War with Adolf Hitler’s wartime military headquarters, the Wolfsschanze (Wolf’s Lair) situated in the town. Despite most parts being in ruins and surrounded by minefields, the bunkers can be visited safely.
Giżycko is a small beautiful town situated between Lake Mamry and Lake Niegocin in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship (previously Suwałki Voivodeship). History of this town dates back to Roman era. Situated in the narrow pass between lakes Niegocin and Kisajno, the region is very beautiful. In winter the lake are frozen and is not as attractive as they would in the summer.