Sunday, 3 April 2016

Zalesie Górne, Wisła Resort

Both Easter Sunday and Monday, against long-term forecasts, brought clement weather. Though the temperature did not hit balmy +20C (it is bound to get that warm tomorrow), cloudless skies and warm breeze definitely carried the first whiff of spring in the air.

I spent most of the Sunday in Ursus with the family, yet was free to organise some leisure for myself on Monday. Since the bike was not ready for jumping on the saddle and cycling away and I did not feel like pottering about, I opted for a bit of further travel option – by Koleje Mazowieckie train, to Zalesie Górne to check whether the Wisła Resort, whose best days were seen in 1970s and 1980s, holds up well.

Kind of shame to admit, this was my first journey by Koleje Mazowieckie for which I had to buy a separate ticket (until then I could do with the Warsaw travelcard). Before setting off, at home, I checked how much the trip would set me back. Koleje Mazowieckie’s fare list is a pitiable example of lack of simplicity. The very fare tariff is 162 pages long, while the attachment to it is composed of another 64 pages (hint: relevant information can be found on page 13 of the attachment). A passenger who wishes to take a train wants to simply know how much they would pay, instead of learning rail operators recognise more than a dozen types of discounts and by what documents carried along they need to be proven. Then a penny drops – the service search tool, apart from finding suitable services, calculates the cost of a journey. Quick, yet not entirely intuitive.

My no-discount return ticket from NI to Zalesie Górne and back (16 kilometres there and back) would cost me PLN 10.73. Actually this is the price for experience of train travel, since had I chosen to get there by car on my own, the very petrol would have set me back some PLN 6.00, not to mention if I had taken three passengers to the car, the journey by car would have been six to seven times more economical…

My train was due to depart at 13:51. On my way to the station I realised I had forgotten to take the camera. Too late to go back home, I had to do with the smartphone, hence the skimpy photo coverage. The nearly empty KM train pulled up at time. As a passenger willing to purchase a ticket, I boarded the first carriage through the first door, as instructed by Koleje Mazowieckie. Not a ticket collector in sight; I walked the first set of three carriages from end to end twice and did not find any crew member. Eventually, I ended up free-riding (for the first time in my life) to Zalesie Górne, as there was no one who could sell me the ticket. The nearly-empty train trundled from NI to Piaseczno for 15 minutes. The reason for ultra-low speed is the on-going modernisation of Warsaw-Radom line, resulting in trains running in contraflow down to Piaseczno station (then the journey goes smoothly). I feel sorry for commuters riding from Piaseczno every day if it looks bad like this, yet after they endure the repair and reconstruction, they will enjoy far faster and more comfortable SKM services.

The entry to Wisła resort is just next to the railway station, then one needs to walk some half a mile to reach the ultimate destination, ponds / small lakes which are the core attraction of the place. The resort is kind of derelict, yet to judge the extent to which its glory is gone, I will need to venture there, that time by bike and with camera, in high season. There are several facilities for visitors seeking leisure: open-air swimming pool, canoes, water-ski-lift, a few bars and canteen. The place appears then a good nearby destination of a one-day foray for resident of Warsaw and Piaseczno.

I strolled around the place for an hour before heading for the station to catch my train home (the journey back also took 20 minutes, but I did buy a single ticket, for PLN 5.80). My social observation was that I was the only person sauntering there alone. It might have been a matter of the specific day, or just a coincidence, yet I wonder whether it takes a lot of courage to organise and spend time on one’s own if fate brings such situation on us. Definitely, if there is no one to keep you company, it is better to go out, move one’s a**e, breath in fresh air lap up the beauty of the nature, then spending time at home…

Enough writing for today, the bike’s ready for the first ride in 2016, off to Powsin leisure park for the whole afternoon!

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