Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Something about Jura and Pieniny

I cannot hide that I belong to this kind of human beings who are really fascinated with nature and have this blessed gift to see its glory and admire it easily everywhere. Of course I realize both how cruel nature can be and that my love towards nature not always have to be returned back to me.
However today I would like to write to you some interesting and mostly nice things about Polish nature not far from my place of birth and living.
First I would like to present to you some links with postcards from Jura Cracow-Czestochowa.
I do think that I am living close to very interesting area. Jura is created by limestoned outcrops that stick out from the earth surface and create rocks in different shapes on the surface of the earth (so called pinnacle erosion forms of the Upper Jurassic limestones). Some of these rocks have really strange shapes and people named these rocks after the shapes they resemble. Look at the English version of postcards from Jura Crcow-Czestochowa to see more:
These limestone rocks are very interesting not only for people who try to climb them up with the help of advanced equipment but also for local flora scientists who try to explore their plant cover. As you can suspect the last isn't too aboundant on such an unfriendly surface but still totally interesting and unique compared to other components of local flora . On a picture above on the right you can see an example of plants that grow on limestone rocks of Jura. I think they are really beautiful.
Moreover, on the postcards in the link above you can see that many castles/ruins of castles are present within area of Jura Crakow-Czestochowa. It is easy to explain. Polish King Kazimierz The Great during his longlasting reign (1333-1370) decided to build about 80 different defensive castles/fortifications in case of war on the south border of his country. Within area of Jura there were several of them and they created a system called as a Trail of Eagles Nests but today most of them are only ruins that enrich landscapes of Jura as you can see on the picture beneath on your left.
As you can expect (like everywhere around the world) the needs of climbers and flora researchers clash in the area of limestone rocks of Jura Crakow-Czestochowa. The first need more and more rocks to practise, the other want to protect unique environement. The most valuable parts of Jura Cracow-Czestochowa are protected by having a status of Nature Park and still many people would like to establish National Park within Jura limestone rocks that would probably reduce tourism with an advantage of wildlife.
Another thing that I would like to tell about today is range of Polish mountains- Pieniny. The picteresque range of limestone Pieniny mountains is not far from my home and not too high to hike. The highest peak (Three Crowns) is merely 982 m high. Its biggest touristic attraction for people who visit Pieniny mountains is about 2,5 hour long flowing down the river Dunajec in special rafts navigated by local carriers via beautiful gorge formed by limestoned mountains in the river valley. Look and admire:
It is recommended, however, to be very cautious when boarding these lovely rafts cause some carriers happen to be tipsy and from time to time bad news on TV that some people sunk in deep and cold waters of Dunajec river because they didn't have any safety jackets and a tipsy raftsman wasnot able to avoid river whirls. Of course such things shouldn't happen at all but life is full of different surprises. Not only nice ones.
I have been in Pieniny Mountains several times till today and hope to come back there soon again.


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