The Dunajec River gorge is a major tourist attraction which happens also to mark the border between Poland and the Slovak Republic. Most tourists (us included) take a trip on a flat bottomed decorated wooden raft. The trip starts at Sromowce village and finishes 18 km later at Szczawnica. Slovakian boats stop slightly earlier where the border between the 2 countries moves south away from the border. I visited this area firstly in 2006 and then again in 2008. Changes in between were the ending of border controls between the 2 countries at the Szczawnica – Lesnica border crossing on the banks of the Dunajec. The cable-stayed pedestrian bridge over the Dunajec River, from Sromowce Nizne, Poland to Cerveny Klastor, Slovakia which was being built on our first visit was complete on our second
Sromowce Nizne, Poland to Cerveny Klastor, Slovakia Pedestrian Bridge
The bridge was completed in 2006 and connected the 2 villages either side of the Dunajec. Whilst in 2006 border controls and checks were in place between Poland and Slovakia by 2008 these had been abolished and it was possible to move freely between the 2 countries.
Szczawnica – Lesnica Border Crossing
In 2006 formal border controls in place with barriers, flags and inspection huts. Cyclists needed to stop and show their documentation.
In 2008 all trace of the border was gone apart from a single rail. Border markers remained to be spotted however!! The Slovak boats still stop at the border as logistically it still makes sense in terms of getting their boats back to the beginning by truck.
The Dunajec Gorge – natural border.
A great opportunity to see the boatmen relaxing on the way home.
Dates of Visits: 20/08/2006 and 07/08/2008
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