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Miejsce startu: A road at the Czoch’s Castle
Miejsce końcowe: Lwowek Slaski, Railway Station
Rodzaj: motorcycling, driving
Dystans: 57.3 km
Czas: 5.0 h
The route is located in one of the most beautiful and also my favorite Polish regions. It runs through three historic hydro-technical structures. The old, post German, heavy type dams are characteristic for this region. The dams are surrounded by unusual landscapes which are the most impressive on a sunny autumn days. On the route we will also find a number of other attractions.
Our landmark is a street at the Czoch's castle in Sucha. The place is distinctive, well-marked and visible from distance, due to the tower of the castle. It is a path leading from Gryfow Slaski to Lesna town. The defensive castle itself is a remarkable monument, but I leave it for a separate trip, and today I'm going to see other attractions in the region.
At the beginning of the day I propose a dose of adrenaline. Behind the castle, going in the direction of Lesna, you should follow the signpost for Lesnianska dam. It is a small alley turning to the right from the main road. Right behind the first car park, you can see a rope route between the trees. It is a part of a small rope park. The routes are short enough to not allow us getting tired too much before the trip. But if you prefer to eat well, right next to the rope park there is a restaurant situated by a lake, where you can taste a delicious baked trout. There is also a possibility to rent water sports equipment.
At the end of the road we reach our gem of architectural technology. This is probably the oldest dam in Poland. Construction of the dam was started in 1901 and completed four years later. It is 45 m high and 130 m long in its crown. At the foot stands a historic, the first real hydroelectric power plant in Poland. Its equipment still remains original. The dam accumulates water of Kwisa River into the Lesnianskie lake. A few years after draining large amount of water from the dam, it was said that it will last for all time. It was to serve as a flood protection, and with the power plant produce energy. Today, however, it certainly has an additional advantage - it's a magnificent architectural monument, attracting tourists.
We return to the main road and turn left to Gryfow Slaski. After a few kilometers, a signpost will lead us left, through a narrow road running along Zlotnickie Lake. At the end of the road, next to the dam, we go through two tunnels carved in the mountain, they made the trip more mysterious. Although the dam was available already in 1924, it looks much older than its predecessor on our route. It is also slightly smaller, it has a height of 36 m and 168 m in length in the crown. Interesting rock formations present the flood levels that look as if they were created by natural forces.
We return to the main road and head to the left along the road no. 360 towards Gryfow Slaski, then road no. 30 to Pasiecznik. In Pasiecznik we turn into road no. 297, a few kilometers further to the right to Pilchowice. The road behind the dam runs up slightly, just below the dam, there is a small shed. If we're lucky today - in a mini bar we will have the opportunity to enjoy a real regional product, in the form of beer from the brewery in Lwowek Slaski.
We go through a path leading to the crown of the dam. The dam was constructed in the years 1904 - 1912 as a result of many floods haunting the area. This is the highest, stone arch dam in Poland. Its height is 69 m and the length of the crown is 270 meters. An interesting element is a cascade with a form of steps, its aim is to slow down the water. Otherwise, water could destroy the power plant that stands at the foot of the building. The dam protects against flooding till today, and views from the top are really impressive.
At this point our route could be finished. However, I decided on something extra. I’m waiting for the train and I'm heading in the direction of Jelenia Gora or Lwowek Slaski, a moment later, once again I return to Pilchowice. For what purpose? This is one of the most scenic parts of railway in Poland. It leads through three tunnels carved in the rocks and a hanging bridge. It is the largest, the most impressive bridge in Poland and the only arched, inverted construction. It hangs about 40 m above the waterline. It is worth taking advantage of this possibility, because the future of this line is uncertain. On the other hand, it is also said that a locomotive may return on this line, which would be an interesting tourist attraction. But they are now only far-reaching plans.
It’s time for a lovely way back.