Deep into the woods: Masurias magic soul

in Pinmapple5 months ago (edited)

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We want to go to Poland, a country near and far away at the same time. What adventures are waiting there? Today we are reaching the starting point for our planned water experience on the river Krutynia. 

You can read the first part here, second here3 here and 4 here and the 5 here, 6 here, 7  here

It is only 200 kilometers from the Baltic Sea coast near the Vistula Spit to where the hare and the hedgehog say good night to each other. It used to be a world trip, because Poland was not a country with a well-developed road network. Even the major roads had no more than three lanes, and if you wanted to overtake, you had to wait until there was no one coming from the front to overtake on the opposite side.

The very old house of Heinrichshöfen
The very old house of Heinrichshöfen

Speedy highways

This only changed when the 2012 European Soccer Championships were awarded to Poland and Ukraine in 2007: Now a construction boom broke out, the Chinese construction company Covec had beaten all European competitors out of the field with cheap prices. Even though it did not meet its completion deadlines, everything went very quickly compared to Germany, where the construction of 30 kilometers of highway can take 30 years or more.

The lake you have to start the paddling tour
The lake you have to start the paddling tour

Ten years after the European Championship, the polish motorway is now speeding east, right into the middle of the huge, quiet forest area of the Masurian Landscape Park, one of the last natural wildernesses in Europe. Construction work is still going on, excavators and construction vehicles are still pushing the roads further in the direction of Belarus.

The wild garden of Heinrichshöfen
The wild garden of  Heinrichshöfen

But if you turn off in the direction of Sorkwity, a place that was still called Sorquitten under German rule, you will soon find yourself in a landscape dominated by typical Masurian wooden houses, small farms and village stores that make the everyday life of the people seem as if time had stood still here.

Outskirts of Nowhere

The hotel in the park on the outskirts of Sorkquitten also looks like this. It is an old manor house that was left to decay in socialist times. Situated on Lake Lampasz, where the Krutynia paddling route begins, Albrecht von Klitzing discovered the Heinrichshöfen estate during a tour of the area. The brother of Nobel Prize winner Klaus von Kitzing, descended from a line of East Prussian nobles, decided to bring a piece of traditional estate life back to life here.

Sorkwity now in former times called Sorkquitten
Sorkwity now in former times called Sorkquitten

Von Klitzing invested millions in the traditional country estate surrounded by over 600 hectares of woods, meadows and farmland to fulfill his dream of a "hotel in the park," as the house is called today. The old manor house houses the reception, the hotel rooms and a cozy fireplace room, the farm buildings became the restaurant and an apartment house with sauna and fitness area. In 1996 the house celebrated its opening and today it presents itself as an old manor house from the 18th and 19th century, restored with great care.

Heavy cliuds over our path
Heavy cliuds over our path

It is the ideal starting point for an expedition into the wilderness of Masuria, an endless chain of lakes, which form the ideal ambience not only for relaxation and vacations in nature, but also real adventures in the outback. 

The restaurant, see an inside shot below
The restaurant, see an inside shot below

A magic place with soul

The Hotel in the Park is situated in the middle of a beautiful park, a magic place with soul, where old beams crackle, the wind rustles and a fireplace beckons as well as a billiard room and an excellent restaurant. There is plenty of activity all around: nearby Żywkowo is considered to be a village rich in storks in this stork-rich region, in Kadzidłowo there is a game park that attracts families in particular, Kosewo Górne has a deer farm with guided tours and observation, and Popielno a breeding station for the famous Polish wild horses.

We have a nice walk outside
We have a nice walk outside

Especially worth seeing is the massive Sorkwity Castle, a piece of English country life in the middle of the Masuria. The brick towers and turrets of the Lost Place, built in 1788 by the Polish Bronikowski family manor house on the shore of Lake Lampackie, rise up to the sky like this is a place in England.

And we find this lost place with so much history
And we find this lost place with so much history

With the changing times, the ownership also changed frequently: in 1804 the German von Mirbach family became the owner, who expanded the house and turned it into a neo-Gothic brick castle in the style of the English manors with battlements and towers that were fashionable at that time.

Flowers on the lake
Flowers on the lake

Exploring an old palace

Next to the castle building he had a carriage house built, in front of the entrance there was a landscape park in English style. During the First World War, the castle was captured by Russian troops, who - intentionally or accidentally - set it on fire. In 1922, the von Paleske family started the restoration, but at the end of the Second World War, although it did not burn again, the building was plundered. Poland then made the magnificent building first a state estate, later it served as a vacation home for the Warsaw tractor factory Ursus.

The rough way to the hotel
The rough way to the hotel

Only since 1998 has Sorkwity Castle (Pałac Sorkwity) been back in private hands, but more unhappily than Heinrichshöfen Manor. A hotel went bankrupt, the grounds are now empty, a tightly barricaded gem that can only be admired from the outside.

A paddling man, made by wood
A paddling man, made by wood

What a contrast to the surroundings, which consist only of nature. Dusty are the side roads, rather paths than real roads, few people live here in isolation, but animals in incredible numbers. On mornings, the brave ones who want to tackle the really big tour gather at the canoe station in Sorkwity.

If youneed a castle this could be yours
If youneed a castle this could be yours

Searching for the wilderness

100 kilometers through nowhere, exposed to the wind and the unpredictable weather in the Masuria. The sun can be followed by a heavy thunderstorm within minutes, while rain and storms are followed moments later by lakes as smooth as glass.

The green is fine
The green is fine

In the next few days we will venture out to where at this moment a heavy rain is falling. It is summer, we are in the Masuria and we have a rain jacket with us. About 100 kilometers on the water lie ahead of us, through narrow streams and over wide lakes, far away from civilization. Let's see what adventures time brings us.

Heinrichshöfen by night
 Heinrichshöfen by night 

Thank you for reading and if you like my work please follow me          on HiveTravelfeed or Steem or visit my homepage koenau.de

A few more pictures for you:

Heinrichshöfen in former times, a ruin after the socialist era
 Heinrichshöfen in former times, a ruin after the socialist era 

Now it is so beautiful inside
Now it is so beautiful inside

The restaurant too
The restaurant too

Albrecht von Klitzing, the saviour of the house
Albrecht von Klitzing, the saviour of the house

Cheers!
Cheers!

Art in the outback
Art in the outback

So much country, so few people
So much country, so few people

Mermaid of wood
Mermaid of wood


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wow....beauty of nature.....I love this place....

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