Forests of Poland
Polish forests cover about 30% of Poland's territory, and are mostly owned by the state. Western and northern parts of Poland as well as the Carpathian Mountains in the extreme south, are much more forested than eastern and central provinces.1 The most forested administrative districts of the country are: Lubusz Voivodeship (48,9%), Subcarpathian Voivodeship (37,2%), and Pomeranian Voivodeship (36,1%).1 The least forested are: Łódź Voivodeship (21%), Masovian Voivodeship (22,6%), and Lublin Voivodeship (22,8%).
Forest in Poland occupy the poorest soil. Coniferous type accounts for 54.5%, whereas broadleaved type accounts for 45.5% (out of that, alder and riparian forests account for 3.8%). A number of forested zones are now protected by the Polish government and, in many cases, they have become tourist destinations. Over the years, many of the largest Polish forests have been reduced in size, and that reflected on the structure of forest inhabitation.
Up until the end of the 18th Century, beginning in what is known as the Middle Ages, forests were considered places for travelers and ordinary folk to stay away from, as they were home to bandits and were believed to be inhabited by evil spirits. Law and order did not apply to forests for many centuries, except for self-policing observed and administered by their inhabitants. However, the forests did contain numerous woodsmen and their families who made the best of their remote environment. These woodsmen lived on what the forest could produce, collecting pitch resin for sale ? important as method of illuminating city streets ? logging construction lumber, collecting lime, bees wax, honey, hops, mushrooms and whatever other saleable items could be harvested in the forest and sold in villages outside of it.
Families of the woodsmen produced their own food through gardening and hunting, as well as their own clothing. In some cases, their sewing of intricate laces became well known outside the forest, resulting in additional family income. Because of their isolation from society in general, woodsmen and their families developed their own style of dress, music, sewing, dialect, celebrations, and the type of dwellings. The Masovia woodsmen for example, known as Kurpie people, who lived in the forested region known in Poland as the White Wilderness (Puszcza Biała) and the Green Wilderness, still proudly proclaim and celebrate their unique culture and customs.
Mountain tours it is a really good idea - that is one of the best way of spending your free time. Beautiful views, contact with nature and struggle with yourself can be very helpful in "recharge the batteries". This physical activity is very healthy - for the body, but also for the mind. So try to relax, stop for a moment and look at the beauty of the world around us. Are you ready to go back to you daily routine? No? So stay here a little bit longer. You have never been in the mountains? Time to try - we promise, you will not regret it.
Lakes of Europe - Masuria
Masuria and the Masurian Lake District are known in Polish as Kraina Tysiąca Jezior and in German as Land der Tausend Seen, meaning "land of a thousand lakes." These lakes were ground out of the land by glaciers during the Pleistocene ice age around 14,000 - 15,000 years ago, when ice covered northeastern Europe. From that period originates the horn of a reindeer found in the vicinity of Giżycko.96 By 10,000 BC this ice started to melt. Great geological changes took place and even in the last 500 years the maps showing the lagoons and peninsulas on the Baltic Sea have greatly altered in appearance. More than in other parts of northern Poland, such as from Pomerania (from the River Oder to the River Vistula), this continuous stretch of lakes is popular among tourists. The terrain is rather hilly, with connecting lakes, rivers and streams. Forests account for about 30% of the area.9798 The northern part of Masuria is covered mostly by the broadleaved forest, while the southern part is dominated by pine and mixed forests.citation needed