Jakuszyce, pronounced Yakooshyce, is a suburb of Szklarska Poręba known as a cross country capital not only in the Lower Silesian region, but in entire Poland as well. It’s only about 150 kms away (90 miles) but a 2.5 hour drive due to lack of anything resembling a highway. Unique micro climate in Jakuszyce allows for great snow conditions for up to 156 days out of the year. This, combined with hundreds of kilometers of prepared cross country trails, makes for one hell of a cross country ski trip, assuming you know what to do.
Karolina and I both put on cross country skis for the very first time this past Sunday. We rented our equipment for 25 złotys a day ($8 bucks) which seems like a really sweet deal considering buying all equipment for keeps hovers around $300 dollars. Cross country skiing seems easy at first and it’s all very straight forward; put one foot in front of the other, try to slide a little to gain momentum, alternate ski poles; opposite leg to opposite hand, easy. And then comes a small downhill and you realize that no one ever bothered to tell you that going downhill on narrow cross country skis really sucks. Bam.
I’ve skied before so I know the way to stop or slow down is to do the plow thing, but not once your skis are two inched deep in narrow grooves especially made for this sport. Once you’re in, it’s hard to get out of the grooves under regular flat conditions, and especially hard going down hill. Bam.
My uncle Bogdan and his family, who all cross country ski and who we tagged along with on this trip, said we did well for our first time. I tried and failed to race my 12 year old cousin, twice, and ate snow both times as a result but did score high on the art of falling down. Apparently I am capable of doing a double twist with a hand grip just before hitting the snow, hard. We ended up skiing 10 kilometers (6 miles) in about 3 hours. I’m looking forward to at least one more cross country ski trip this season.
This photo collage was put together from a series of photos my cousin took. The idea was to take one “together” photo, but then for no reason what so ever, while standing perfectly still, Karolina took to the ground…while I kept posing for the shot.
Here are a few photos from the trip. I’ve got a short movie of us skiing as well, I will upload that shortly.