Monday, 13 August 2007
The train station in Szklarska Poreba is the highest in Poland and the first time I saw this train station, I was impressed. The sheer rock face on one side opposite the station building, and on the other side a view of all of Szklarska, Szrenica mountain and some others I can not remember the name of in the Karkonosze range.
However despite the impressive natural surroundings, I actually thought the station had stopped being used as it is in a poor state and seemed deserted. There was no one around even though it was tourist season and there was a space where once a shop had serviced commuters. Trains do depart nowadays, although quite rarely compared with in the past but the station looks like it's last legs largely due to the decrease in stone mining in the Szklarska Poreba area and a cease in the connection to the Czech Republic (Tanvald in 1945). I think the state of the building and area around serve as an analogy to how during different times Szklarska boomed. During Communism when there were closed borders, Szklarska boomed as one of leading holiday destinations for Polish people to go but as the borders opened with the fall of Communism, it's popularity inevitably declined as people could leave Poland for their holiday. There was a golden age in Szklarska Poreba's history which is not now but I think there is the possibility of mountain towns booming again in Poland especially with it's recent inclusion in to the EU. Skiing resorts like this are beginning to rival the Alps and their associated resort towns. Time will tell, and perhaps Szklarska Poreba gorna will be busy once again.