Winter journey, eastern melancholy and fado

40 kilometres and 30 minutes drive from the busy downtown, road across the boreal forest of majestic, soaring pines and firs, all covered with thick layer of snow. I can’t imagine a week without a trip to this primeval forest. It is one of these places, where you are not able to believe that God does not exist. Silence, mystery, beauty and emotion, intuition that He is.

But the outskirts of the forest are not less mysterious and beautiful. When you add to all of these melancholic fado flowing slowly from the car speakers and interviewd fado singer Mariza talking about her love of journeys and Portuguese melancholy, it gets just real wonder!

to be continued…


Winter boreal forest

About one week ago, in Knyszynska Forest, boreal forest in the north eastern Poland.

Unfortunately, I was not lucky enough to take the picture of the small doe, staring at me with interest. It was waiting, standing on the road as enchanted, but I could not take my camera out of the case, as my fingers were stiffen, and when at last I managed to do it, it just ran to the the forest and disappeared between pines and firs…

Late autumn forest

Boreal forest, almost 20 kilometres north of quite big town (300.000 inhabitants) – Knyszynska Forest, not more than 30 minutes drive from the downtown, taking into account staying in traffic jams. Mystic, majestic and mysterious primeval forest. 

I leave my car on the sandy road and walk it down. That road is straight as an arrow, on the both sides of it – slender, soaring pines and firs, only sometimes I may notice maples, ashes, elms, sycamores or birches. Traces of the does, elks, deers, wild boars on the sand. Sometimes it is possible to hear the tramp of the fleeing unnoticeable animals.

And I am recalling the story read in a local magazine about a woodsman, who found somewhere here part of the sword’s edge lost in the Middle Ages…

Knyszynska forest – Puszcza Knyszynska

Only 15 kilometres north of  quite big town (almost 300.000 inhabitants), no more than 20 minutes drive from downtown. I remember times, when it was possible to reach this place by bike. Now it is task only for stronlgy determined people, who do not mind taking real risk. The road was planned as a Via Baltica connecting southern and northern Europe. In fact, plan has not been realized, but it is used by countless TIRs going to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia.

Even though, the forest is one of the most mysterious, mystic and beautiful places, whiche I have ever seen in my life.  Lavishly green even in November (these pictures were taken on 11th November), fabulous as if from The Chronicles of Narnia, ideal to contemplation, full of magic and inner hidden life. When I was approaching a pasture, heard the tramp of fleeing animals, probably herd of does, maybe even deer.

Soaring, slender and majestic pines and firs, lavishly green and soft as a pillow moss, delicately shrouded in the mist, create unique atmosphere of this place. There are no villages in the vicinity, not to mention towns. Only blissful quiet and peace…

Next time we will go in the search of human traces in this forest, especially in its rich history…

To be continued…

Rybniki – village in Knyszynska forest, early spring

Old cobblestone road across the village.

One of the most picturesque villages in Knyszynska Forest (North Eastern Poland, 15 kilometres north of Bialystok).

During the Second World War place of the Polish Home Army’s vivid activity.

Old wooden village, located in the vast clearing, surrounded with sky-reaching pines, almost always silent and melancholic, even though near it busy road cuts the forest. Red-tile gable roofs glimmer in the spring sunshine.

Spring forest 2010, somewhere between Ponikla, Kopisk and Rybniki in Knyszynska Forest

Road form Ponikla to Kopisk in Knyszynska Forest.

Road to Rybniki.

When on one sunny and warm April day I travelled by bike across Knyszynska Forest, a thought came to my mind, that all those places are proper to be here almsot all the time, especially when I have to be in town, in office, and any other place, where there is no space, no green, no sense of freedom. Honey yellow or amber yellow trunks of the soaring pines looking like towers of medieval gothic cathedrals reaching to clear blue sky, lush green moss, and all permeating the atmosphere of mystery…

Through the eyes of imagination I see Great Prince of Lithuania -Vytautas hunting somewhere here in the first half of the 15th century.

It is only 20 kilometres from my home in the downtown of Bialystok!

Bike trip to Knyszynska Forest

It seems that real spring has sprung at last. Today we had almost 20 degrees Celsius and a lot of sunshine. We could take off our shirts, sweaters, jackets and wear only t-shirts. After a long break – lasting almost 6 months we were able to take a bike trip to Knyszynska Forest, set off at 2 p. m. across the busy town. To go through the busy, jammed town may be a really traumatic expereince, and in fact it was so today. Fortunately thanks to EU funds municipal authorities build more and more bicycle paths in Bialystok and we used one of them to reach Suprasl – small, picturesque town, about 15 kilometres from Bialystok.

Orthodox church in Suprasl

It is an Orthodox church in Suprasl. First Orthodox church in Suprasl was built in the end of the 15th century. It was blew up by withdrawing German Nazis in 1944.

In Suprasl bicycle path ends and later on we went the road to Krynki, all the time across beautiful and old Knyszynksa forest. After passing a few kilometres we turn right, asphalt ended and we entered the real kingodm of the primeval forest.

Road to Budzisk Reserve in Knyszynska Forest.

“Entrance” to Budzisk Reserve in Knyszynska Forest.

As far as I am personally concerned, especially bike trips makes me fell free, they provide me with a kind of methaphysical sense of happiness and freedom. Forest itself in turn appears to be a real sanctuary for me, it is a place when I am able to believe in God and get rid of all my fears; a place for a deep contemplation and meditation. Real sanctuary…

In the middle of Budzisk reserve.

On our way home we started joking that this forest reminds us of “Blair Witch Project” and for sure it also has its witch whom one day we will meet 😉 There are many interesting and mysterious forest stories told by forest village inhabitants about ghosts, devils, but about them next time…