FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Fog, frost and very wet feet!

Posted in Biskupin, Gąsawa, Poland, Wenecja, Żnin by folkestonejack on April 25, 2016

Morning arrived with thick fog and a layer of white ground frost which proved wonderful for photography, if a trifle cold. I hadn’t thought to bring warmer clothes having associated late April with somewhat warmer weather. In fact the opening temperature of -1 was a record low for the area and quite a contrast to the temperatures of a year earlier (a range of 5 to 22 degrees last year, compared to -1 to 7 degrees this year).

A frosty start to the day for Px38 805

A frosty start to the day for Px38 805

We weren’t the only ones out in the cold – we saw a small herd of deer scampering away from the train at Żnin, storks in the fields and skylarks in the air. It was quite a way to start a day.

Trudging our way up one hill through the icy grass ensured that we all had thoroughly wet feet before long, which was also sufficient to coat our shoes in a layer of ice. However, the view from the hilltop and the reflection shots that we got down by the ponds were ample reward for the misery of squelching our way through the rest of the morning. Nevertheless, it still took some effort to distract ourselves from the knowledge that our socks were getting progressively wetter until entirely sodden!

A lesson in how to get wet icy feet!

A lesson in how to get wet icy feet!

The temperature had nudged up to 2 degrees by 7.30am – not the greatest improvement in temperatures that I’ve ever seen, but every little helped. We made a water stop at Wenecja between 7.55am and 8.05am and then continued on our way towards Biskupin.

A forecast of continuous rain from 10am to 7pm loomed over us as the morning wore on. However, the results of our early start had been so great that it really didn’t matter if that turned out to be the hand we were dealt. The quality and quantity of shots in the first three hours of the day was quite astonishing.

The stunning view across the ponds between Żnin and Wenecja

The stunning view across the ponds between Żnin and Wenecja

As it happened, the clouds began to close in on us as we tried a shot at Biskupin around 8.30am and the light had gone completely by the time we reached Gąsawa an hour later. It was good timing for some tender-first running to get us back to Żnin. The occasional burst of sunlight lured us from the comfort of our single passenger coach, such as a tender first shot at Wenecja with the church and the lake in the background. It was a tight call though – the light faded from the church as we waited but remained on the loco just long enough for us to get the shot.

After reaching Żnin at 10.40am we had a break of just under an hour, time enough for me to replenish my supplies at the local supermarket, take a look inside the loco shed and make the acquaintance of the depot cat. The long anticipated rain finally arrived at 11.43am by which time we were on our way back to Wenecja.

One of our 'bonus balls' on the approach to Wenecja

One of our ‘bonus balls’ on the approach to Wenecja

On the way back we could only make a couple of stops as a private diesel charter for a school party was following us down the line. No-one had really expected to get any decent shots from this run so the two photo opportunities we got in sun coming out as we approached Wenecja thoroughly deserved the label of ‘bonus balls’. We were really lucky with this, for shortly after our arrival at Wenecja it started to rain more heavily. Timing was everything!


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