I arrived in Elk ( some call it Lyck ) late night, just after crossing Russia border to Poland. I had many more miles ahead of me travelling south all the way to Sicily, Italy, but I could really use a shower and a bed.
I asked some pub crowd for a nearest hotel and luckily it happened to be about 400ft from the main road by the lake.
Because of the darkness I did not really see much, anyways, I was more into getting some good night sleep instead of sightseeing. The receptionist lady was quite communicative in English and we went swiftly through my check-in. I must have looked really tired, because she called a member of pub staff to help me with my luggage to my room.
The room was neat, nothing fancy but the bed was quite big so it took my attention for the rest of the night. In the morning I woke up to a fresh breeze and bright sun in my room. I looked out the window and was stunned by the view of the lake. Quick shower and a few stairs down later I was downstairs finding out about sailing in that area. I managed to get an address where I could hire a boat for a few hours. I was supposed to leave this town right after I woke up, but I couldn't resist dusting off my yachting skills.
To my suprise I got offered a bicycle to make my way to the marina. It was really exciting to ride that bike on a sunny day after being stuck in a driver's seat for so many hours the day before.
My sailing went much better than I had anticipated, I actually met a cute sailing instructor. She spent some time with me on the boat, then we went for lunch... Well, I might as well just say that I ended up riding hotel's bike to the marina for 2 more days. My friends were pi**ed off at me because we had to miss part of Spain due to my delay causing adventure in Elk. It was worth it :]
Btw: Did I mention those crusty breadrolls and fresh espresso that I had every morning for breakfast at the hotel restaurant? hmmm didn't think so.
The receptionist was proud to tell me that I was staying in the only hotel by the lake in Elk that has got a secure parking free of charge. The idea to hire a bike from the hotel was quite handy and refreshing after spending so many hours in a car the previous day.
We didn't stay there - the place was full anyway - but Chris is very keen on staying there some day as the former convent is situated on Lake Dus and you have the rowing boats at your disposal. We talked to the owners, who told us the rooms are located in the building of the convent and have showers and toilets. Boarding is available.
It's a great place for walking and I think you can also go for a swim in the lake but the water was not warm enough when we visited.
The only disadvantage might be the groups of tourists visiting as the convent is well known but they seldom go down to the lake so you can enjoy some privacy anyway. On the other hand, they can make your stay more interesting, especially if you enjoy people-watching.
You can find more about the convent itself in my Things to Do tips.
This is a nice friendly house in the middle of Krutyn, close to the Krutynia with kayak hire and boat trips and a nature reserve. The hosts let out three double rooms ensuite, all with separate entrances, very convenient for couples. You have access to the small communal kitchen with a two-plate gas cooker, sufficient for making breakfast and the like but there is no room to eat there. In good weather it's not a problem though as there is a plastic table and chairs outside and you can eat there, enjoying the fresh air and watching the tree sparrows going (or rather flying) about their business. And for bad weather there are small tables in the rooms as well. There are a few restaurants close by and more, cheaper ones, in the area. The only disadvantage of the place I can think of is lack of electric kettles in the rooms and in the kitchen.
It's a very peaceful place without the constant musac of some other accommodations and you are expected to conform. The hosts have a darling little dachshund who often comes to keep you company. He is the friendliest dog I have ever seen.
The hosts speak German and a little English and Russian. They provide albums illustrating the local attractions so that their guests would know what to visit in the area.
There is parking space in the yard and the gate is locked for the night.
In the summer you may be lucky to enjoy storks' visits on the trees or the roof of the barn nearby. Actually, they gave us a great welcome with their clattering when we arrived and were almost constantly there when there were just the two of us in the rooms, then visited occasionally. To have a better look at them, see my general tip coming soon.
The campsite is situated on the high bank of the Babiecka Struga (local name for this part of the Krutynia). You can put up a tent there or stay in one of the cabins. The smaller ones, for two, are really tiny - without any facilities. You must use the communal showers and toilets on the premises. The bigger ones, consisting of a room downstairs and a double bedroom (reached by steep steps) upstairs, accommodating four altogether, are equipped with washbasins with cold and hot running water. Four of them now have bathrooms and toilets as well. Yet, there is one disadvantage to them - they are semi-detached and you can hear your neighbours, and vice versa, extremely well. Your stay there may be spoilt by noisy company next door.
Bed linen is provided. Meals are available - the menu has grown since we stayed there last and we had some lovely Ukrainian pielmieni there this year (2009) If you have a car, try the local restaurants too.(See my restaurant tips) More about Babieta in my other tips and travelogues.
The campsite is beautifully situated right in the forest, and on the high river bank. The terrace at the back of the restaurant offers beautiful views of the river. In May and June the forest resounds with birds' singing, and a stork often strolls along the dirt road in front of the cabins in search of frogs. You can hire a kayak or a small rowing boat (for anglers) and go either upstream to Lake Tejsowo or Gant or downstream to the Babieta village and beyond. Or you can go for a walk in the forest along one of the numerous paths and even get as far as the lakes on foot.
This campsite is situated on a lake near the start of the famous kayak trail on the Krutynia River. 100 km long, the trail goes as far as the Great Mazurian Lakes, with amazing natural scenery all around. You will see parts of the route in my tips and travelogues.
If you want to join an organised kayaking trip, contact :
tel.(89) 527 40 58 ( or 59)
You can either put up your tent on the Sorkwity campsite or stay in a cabin with no facilities. Showers and toilets are in a separate building. Meals are provided. Kayaks can be hired on the spot and their transport back to the campsite can be arranged.
Situated on a lake, a convenient place for kayakers and anglers.
I did not stay at the hotel, just looked in and liked what I saw - the spacious rooms befitting a real palace. The gardens are well tended and the surroundings are beautiful as two lakes meet here. You can hire a kayak or a rowing boat to do some sightseeing of the area. And there are many interesting places to see and things to do nearby. The hotel has its own, quite expensive, restaurant. If you have never had a stork for a neighbour, there is your chance.
Beautiful views of the lakes, kayaks for hire,
home to a stork's nest
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