Friday, August 19, 2011

Bialowieza, Poland

Last April I had one of my dreams come true, and I got to visit the "last forest of Europe", i.e. the Bialowieza national park of Poland.  The place in question has been under total protection for hundreds of years - first for the hunting sports of royals, and nowadays for it's unique nature.

For a student of nature and environment such as myself, the place is nothing short of a miracle. The amount and variety of life is breath taking. To think that a few thousand years ago the whole European continent was covered with a forest like this...

The best reserved part of the forest in still under total protection, but accompanied with a licenced guide and a whole lotta respect one can still visit this magnificant place. And believe me, when they say protected, they really mean it: in addition to the obvious trees, plants and animals, also the ground itself, all the stones etc are to be left alone. For example, if you need to go to the toilet, well, thats just too bad. Also, the air is protected, so the whole area is strictly non-smoke area. For me and my friends and I suppose for most visitors, these rules are unnecessary: the place itself makes you talk in whispers, and harming even a mosquito seemed out of place.

Heres a few pics from what was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

It was 4pm when we started our 8 km hike.
The sun was shining from a low angle, creating a unique atmosphere.
Hieroglyphs, propably made by bark beetles

The scale of things were amazing. Heres a fallen spruce.

"Access only with a licences guide" 
Just another pine tree and me

Swamp ponds, just breath taking.

Swamp ponds 2

A hollowed tree trunk

Dust to dust, fallen trees turn into soil, and provide nutritions to their own saplings 

Dust to dust 2

Dust to dust 3

Dust to dust 4

After a tall tree fells, young saplings start the competition of reaching sunlight

April beaty. Our guide told that the base of the forrest can change entirely within weeks,
there are so many different plants, which all take turns according to what time of year it is.


  1. Simply magnificent! Hope to go to the eastern forest too someday.

  2. Thanks for the comment :) If you ever have the possibility to go to Bielowieza, I highly recommend doing so. Its truly a one-of-a-kind place.