The plan for that stage was more ambitious at first, but weather conditions verified it quickly. Hitting the road in Kudowa Zdrój, I turned into Słoneczna Street passing Ecocentre of Table Mountains National Park, crossing the road leading to Dańczów and in the end, arriving at Lewińska Pass (535 m a.s.l.) about 6 kilometres from starting point.
Route: Kudowa Zdrój to Duszniki Zdrój
Distance: ~ 15 km
The views until now were quite nice, despite gloomy and foggy atmosphere. The track took me through the fields and in one place there was even the gate for cattle with little wooden steps allowing hikers to pass. Something similar to what I experienced before in the Alps or New Zealand.
It’s another 3 kilometres of the gentle uphill walk towards Grodziec (803 m a.s.l.). Here I need to stop to wear rainjacket and put a rain cover on my backpack as what was initially a small shower, turned into heavy rain. There is not too much joy in such a walk and for the first time came through my mind the idea of shortening the walk for today and staying for the night in Duszniki Zdrój.
After 2 kilometres of descent from Grodziec, I arrived at the crossroad with the blue trail leading towards the ruins of Homole Castle from XIII-XIV century. As it’s only 10-15 minutes detour, I decided to check it out. The route was an easy one. First wooden boardwalk and then steps leading to the top of the castle hill. I was really happy to see the bench there as I could take off my backpack, make a sandwich and enjoy the moment without rain. I was the only person there and the fog made the atmosphere very unique.
When it comes to the ruins, there is not much left to explore and I simply walked around something that used to be the tower.
All the remaining way to Duszniki Zdrój is on a slightly downhill route, the only difficulty being mud. After around 4 kilometres, I was already in the office of tourist information, asking for their recommendation of an overnight stay. My preference was PTTK Hut Under the Muflon, however, they were fully booked. In COVID-19 times it’s better to always call and ask in advance for availability. I ended up in Agrotourism at Baltazar which happened to be quite far from the centre.
It was only around noon, so having the rest of the day free, I decided to visit the Museum of Papermaking. The ticket costs 22 PLN and it’s an interesting place to kill an hour or two. Their permanent exhibition is about the history of paper and the way it is made in the world as well as more specifically in the Silesia region of Poland. The interesting part is that you can observe the whole process live and even take part in the workshops.
Other than that, Duszniki Zdrój is another spa town en route Main Sudetes Trail and according to me, one of the most charming ones. Spa treatments began in 1751 and in 1822 pump room with mineral waters was built. During next years, development continued and many famous people visited the town, such as Frederic Chopin, who gave two charity concerts in 1826 and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, German composer. Frederic Chopin Theatre, established in the place where Chopin gave his concerts, as well as market square are worth to have a look too.
That was it for that day. I walked all the way back to the accommodation where I stayed for the remaining part of day, simply resting and eating tons of fruits that I bought in local supermarket!