Through the eye of the Eco-discoverer - Wandering with literature. Non-obvious titles leading to the Low Beskids and Gorce

Turysta z plecakiem na podhalańskiej drodze, w tle Tatry
It is said that every journey begins with the first step. It also happens that it starts much earlier - while reading an interesting book. And it does not have to be a travel book or a reportage describing a selected city or country. We can also find inspiration for a journey in fiction, the more and less known, the less and more obvious. What paths will it lead us on?

For example, crime fiction can invite us to interesting corners of Małopolska. Two volumes of the series with commissioner Nina Warwiłow were placed by Jędrzej Pasierski in the Low Beskids. And although the crime is committed in a fictional town, the region itself has been described realistically, atmospherically and invitingly. We can find there Gorlice, Biecz and the Klimkówka reservoir, known from the map. We will feel the beauty of the area, with mountain streams, forests and steep roads. We will learn about the multicultural nature of the area, its historical complexities, but also culinary delights.
Pasierski's heroes - both living in the Low Beskids and only visiting it - see the beauty of the world around them. The main character, looking at the Beskid landscape that she chose for her vacation, says to herself with satisfaction: "Who needs the Mediterranean Sea, a Turkish wholesaler of reheated chicken and »all excuse me «? " (Jędrzej Pasierski, Liar).

Zalesione góry

After reading, when we have solved the mystery together with the protagonist, it is hard to refuse to go to the Low Beskids, look for Lemko traces, try cheeses from Zagroda Banicka and admire (at least) hucul ponies in the landscape.
It is also worth carrying out a "literary investigation" and look for writers, not necessarily contemporary, related to the region that we find interesting. Do you like Gorce and the forests of Gorce? Have you heard about Władysław Orkan? 
He was a writer and journalist who wrote in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Gorce was very important to him, and his work and activity were equally important to Gorce. His real name was Franciszek Smaciarz. He changed his name to Smreczyński, but he published as Władysław Orkan. His prose is a great source of knowledge about the Gorce highlanders and the nature of the Gorce Mountains. No wonder it is often quoted in travel guides - both old and new. In 1903, he published a novel titled In Roztoki, which was very popular and compared to the Nobel Prize winner Peasants by Reymont.

See for yourself how beautifully he wrote about the Carpathian Forest (it's best to read aloud; then the melody of the old Polish language ceases to be difficult): “During the day, the roztoki roared with multicoloured life, rustled with waterfalls and the monotonous song of trees, chimed with the bustle of birds, sounded with the murmur of animals, resounded with swarms of bees - they played with the powerful harmony of the forest.
With the night they fell into silence and looked in the dark like masses of blackish troops lying in the mountains and valleys, deeply asleep and threatening in their sleep. And when the moon rolled over them, they completely lost their forest reality and remained - you could see - suspended in mid-air, like a frozen dream about a forest, flooded with a bright glow, with bluish fog, dusty, the silence taken to the bottom, indeed fabulous ...
From that time of the dead I dream of a reality - a fairy tale ... When a man came to the roztoki, filled with natural, epic lives, and he dragged the drama with him "(Drzewiej, pp. 4–5).

Zalesione góry

You will feel the spirit of Orkan's prose while wandering all the trails in Gorce, but it is also worth visiting a place especially associated with the writer, i.e. his home. 
"Orkanówka" is a wooden house in the Zakopane style perched on the slopes of the Gorce Mountains, with a glass veranda and a beautiful view of the Beskid Wyspowy. Orkan built it with the money he received for the novel In Roztoki. A beautiful avenue of ten sycamore trees leads to the building, which the writer planted in thanks for the happy return from the First World War. 
Today, it houses a biographical museum - it collects memorabilia of Orkan and relics related to the culture of Gorce highlanders, but most importantly, it is largely an authentic, unchanged interior and perfectly reflects the atmosphere in which Orkan created his works. On the desk we find his inkwell and the kerosene lamp next to which he wrote. On the porch there are wicker armchairs, in which he surely sat and admired the panorama. It is easy to imagine the literary meetings that took place here. Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer, Kornel Makuszyński, Leopold Staff, and Jan Kasprowicz (writers we know from Polish classes, although Orkan himself is mentioned much less often) visited here. 


Sielska droga

"Orkanówka" can be reached from, among other places, Koninki, following the gentle yellow trail leading along an asphalt road. And if you prefer more challenging trails, choose the green trail from Niedźwiedzia to Turbacz, which runs next to the writer's house. A visit to the museum will be a good start to a journey through the Gorce Mountains, about which he wrote in the opening of the aforementioned novel In Roztoki (this is the first literary description of Gorce): “Opposite the Tatra Mountains, between the Nowy Targ valley and Raba's serpent basin, a wild Gorce nest has climbed. They were separated from the romantic Pieniny by the rapid Kamienica stream, and from the Spiš region by the swift Dunajec. They stand alone over the hills. And above the father of their family, gloomy Turbacz, carries his head. It is not known who named him that and why. Perhaps it is because he wraps his bald head in a turban of fog before the rain, or rather because he has always been seen in eternal turbulence”. 
Titles that will guide you in the Low Beskids and Gorce Mountains:
1. Jędrzej Pasierski, Melts
2. Jędrzej Pasierski, Liar
3. Władysław Orkan, In Roztoki
4. Władysław Orkan, Drzewiej

The author of the text: Magdalena Petryna - editor and guide of the Beskidy region, promoter of local and conscious tourism, wildlife educator and blogger.

Project entitled "Małopolska Ecotourism - sustainable tourism development of the region" is implemented by the Partnership Fund as part of the EcoMałopolska Programme from the funds of the Małopolskie region.

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