You might have seen our short travel film (if not - see it here!) about the small but mighty Gmina Stare Bogaczowice (Hanna's hometown!). Here, we decided to give you more details about the places featured in the movie, in case you're planning your trip to this beautiful region of Poland. We've done all of these things this summer and we recommend them all to anyone, who likes being in a place close to nature, which has an authentic and distinctive local culture, but at the same time offers an easy access to bigger cities in case someone can't live without a cinema or big supermarkets! So check where Stare Bogaczowice is and all the things, featured in the film, below:
1. Visit the old Dutch Mill in Gostkow
Walk up the fields or the path to this 18th century Dutch mill - it's a very picturesque spot where you can watch the sun setting over the little village of Gostkow.
2. Have a drive around the back roads (during the sunset!)
The villages in this region have lots of small windy roads, each of them equally beautiful and surprising. You can spot old horse stables doors now embedded in people's houses or pretty flower compositions decorating local gardens.
3. Go wildlife spotting
Wild boar, deers and a speciality to this little region, muflon, roam around the woods. The muflon looks like a mix of a ram and a decent size deer which was originally present only in Corsica and Sardinia. It was introduced to inland Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, and the region of Gmina Stare Bogaczowice is amongst a few place in Southwest Poland where this unique animal can be spotted in the nearby woods.
4. Walk to the the ruins of the mill in Stare Bogaczowice
The ruins of this mill overlook the fields of Stare Bogaczowice village and offer a beautiful view on the houses, woods and surrounding villages. It's also a beautiful spot for seeing the sunset. The walk might be a bit challenging though, especially if the crops are in full swing as you'll need to find your way between the golden wheat.
5. Get some fresh free range eggs
Kotlina Natury ('The Valley of Nature') is based in Gostkow and its chickens roam free on the green fields on the border of the woods. Their eggs are delicious and their website offers lots of yummy egg recipes, which we've been testing for our breakfasts
6. Fish or swim in Zalew
Fish, swim, sunbake, get some waffles or a beer in Zalew, which is a manmade swimming hole with fresh water from the local spring. Fishing there costs 10 PLN for a person, swimming is for free and beer costs around 5 PLN. Perfect!
7. Play or watch football
Stare Bogaczowice has newly built pitches (for football, basketball or tennis) which is free to use by anyone who feels like playing sports. You can also come and see the local football team LKS Unia practising every Tuesday and Thursday between 6 and 7:30pm.
8. Get some local art
Paintings, sculptures or carved Easter eggs - all made by the locals! Contact Community Centre and ask about Pani Irena (from our film), who paints and carves intricate designs on egg shells, or ask about other artists.
9. Make friends with farm animals
We love patting cows, sheep or goats, and there are plenty of them here! There are lots of them grazing by the side of the road or on the nearby fields, whichever village you'll go to! You can also visit 'Rozyczkowo' ('Rose Place'), where you can meet farm animals and learn how they are cared for.
10. Visit the ruins of the church and beautiful old Evangelical Cemetery in Gostkow
The cemetery looks out on beautiful fields and boasts a myriad of flowers and very old graves. It's a very magical place and there is a bench surrounded by the flowers which you can relax on and look at the beautiful surrounding views. The ruins of the church stand nearby and although you can't go inside, you can have a look around and imagine what it used to look like. More than that, whilst renovating the cemetery, researchers found glass pots full of memoirs and people's clothes , so look where you're stepping!
11. Walk or cycle to the top of Trojgarb
A set of three peaks is easily accessible by a two hour walk or a cycle, although be prepared the latter is going to be a strenuous one! But it's totally worth it - it's very peaceful deep in the woods and you can even drink the water from the stream that you will cross on your way - it comes straight from the spring at the top of the mountain. On the way to the top you'll find wooden benches, informative signs about local fauna and flora (Eco Museum Trojgarb) and beautifully set stone monument with the woods behind it.
12. Go picking!
There's an abundance of wild mushrooms and berries that are safe to eat, pretty much on the doorstep of the woods!
13. Take a tour of Palace in Struga
...or eat and play pool at their converted old castle's staff house. The Palace comes from the 16th Century and there are some beautifully conserved parts of decor inside. It might look not-so-big from the outside, but wait until you step inside!
14. Find a hidden roadside chapel
'Przysiolek Wrony' is the name of a roadside chapel placed on the crossing of the back streets of Stare Bogaczowice. Ask the locals and they'll show you the way. You can either drive there or have a picturesque walk through the roads amongst the hills and fields.
15. See the beautiful architecture and decor of local churches
The Church of St.Josef, the Chapel of St.Anna in Stare Bogaczowice, and the Church in Struga are all beautiful from the outside and inside. The first one has stunning ornaments inside and wonderful ceiling paintings, the second one couldn't be in a more picturesque spot in between the trees on a hill, and the third one may not be as impressive inside as the others, but the surrounding grounds and the gate with a wooden tower make up for it!
16. Go horse-riding in an agritourism farm
Get a horse riding lesson or set out on an amazing horse ride during the sunset around the village of Cieszow. To do all that, visit 'Rozyczkowo' that has plenty of beautiful horses (some of them rescued from a horrible future!).
17. Visit the ruins of the 12th century Cisy castle
Cisy Castle is hidden in the woods of Cieszow and you can get there by half an hour walk from the main road or drive up pretty close to the woods through the beaten paths. Take the one on the left and follow it until you reach the stream. Once you walk up the hill, you won't believe that this castle from the 13th Century still holds on to some of its former shape. The best thing is that you are free to walk around in all the nooks and crannies and the entrance is for free!
18. Walk to the viewpoint
The viewpoint stretches on the roads behind St. Anna's chapel and you'll recognise it by the flags swinging in the wind. It's a wonderful place to be during sunset hours and the view is so good that you can spot the majority of the attractions that we have listed above, as well as the surrounding city of Walbrzych!
See our film again
Massive thanks go to Gmina Stare Bogaczowice for the wonderful collaboration that we had with them (especially to Ilona Bujalska and Miroslaw Lech - thank you!). We also would like to thank Kotlina Natury, Zalew Stare Bogaczowice, LKS Unia Bogaczowice, Irena Kurowska, Palac Struga and Rozyczkowo, as well as other lovely people of Stare Bogaczowice involved in the creation of this film, for being a part of creating this beautiful memory that we now have.
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