L to R: Sri Lanka Ambassador H.E. Mr. Watte Walaww Tissa Wijeratne; Poland’s Chief of Protocol Ambassador H.E. Ms. Irena Lichnerowicz Augustyn; Ambassador of Israel H.E. Ms. Anna Azari; Mr. Marcin Augustyn (at the back, beside the Amb. Azari); wife of the South Korean ambassador Ms. Yoo Soon Shin; Philippine Ambassador Patricia Ann V. Paez; Ambassador of South Korea H.E. Mr. Sung Joo Choi; and Ambassador of Mexico H.E. Mr. Alejandro Negrin Munoz (extreme right)
At the Zakopane Town Hall for a briefing on Zakopane: L to R: Ambassador of Netherlands H.E. Mr. Ronald Jacobus Petrus Marie van Dartel; Amb. Paez; Mayor of Zakopane Honorable Mr. Leszek Dorula; and Ambassador of Colombia H.E. Ms. Victoria Gonzalez
The ambassadors toured the picturesque Chocholowska Valley on horse-drawn carriages
Amb. Paez on carriage ride with Krissy - daughter of the Pakistani Ambassador
Voivode of the Malopolska province Honorable Mr. Josef Pilch (extreme right) during the opening of the 10th edition of the “Culinary Journey with Mr. Karol Okrasa;” L to R: Chief of Protocol Ambassador Ms. Irena Lichnerowicz Augustyn; president of the Polish Vodka Association Mr. Andrzej Szumoski; internationally-renowned Polish chef Mr. Karol Okrasa
Internationally-renowned chef Mr. Karol Okrasa during his cooking demonstration; also in photo is the wife of the Ambassador of Norway Mrs. Heidi Klepsvik (right) tasting the beer vinegar
The Asia Pacific Group of Ambassadors and their spouses during the dinner of Polish cuisine; (on the right) Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China H.E. Mr. Xu Jian; his wife Mme. Xia Jihui; Ambassador of the Philippines Ms. Patricia Ann V. Paez; wife of the Ambassador of Japan Mme. Shigeo Matsutomi; (on the left) wife of the Ambassador of Pakistan Mme. Sameena Bhutto; wife of the Ambassador of Sri Lanka Mme. Sumedha Wijeratne; Ambassador of Sri Lanka H.E. Mr. Watte Walawwe Tissa Wijeratne; Ambassador of South Korea H.E. Mr. Sung Joo Choi and his wife Mme. Yoo Soon Shin
President of the Polish Vodka Association Mr. Andrzej Szumowski (center) during the vodka-tasting session and lunch which he hosted at the Ziebowka Forest Lodge
Amb. Paez and the Voivode of the Malopolska province Honorable Mr. Josef Pilch during the vodka and wine-tasting session at the Ziebowka Forest Lodge sponsored by the president of the Polish Vodka Association Mr. Andrzej Szumowski
Chief of Protocol Ambassador Ms. Irena Lichnerowicz Augustyn
Local musicians regaled the visiting envoys with highlanders’ music and traditional songs
Lush greenery of the Chocholowska Valley
Group photo of the participating envoys and their spouses/children energized by the “soothing balm” that is the Zakopane experience
CASA military aircraft for the special flight from Cracow back to Warsaw
Upon the invitation of the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Ambassadors accredited to Warsaw visited the mountain resort town of Zakopane from 17 to 19 March 2017.
The participating ambassadors boarded a CASA military aircraft on 17 March 2017 which transported them to Krakow. From Krakow, the participants travelled by bus to Zakopane. A welcome dinner was hosted by the Mayor of Zakopane Mr. Leszek Dorula at the Goralska Tradycja.
The following day (18 March), the participants were given a short presentation about Zakopane at the Town Hall after which they went to the Chocholowska Valley and were toured around it in horse-drawn carriages. They proceeded to the Ziebowska Forest Lodge restaurant where the president of the Polish Vodka Association Mr. Andrzej Szumowski hosted a lunch of traditional Polish cuisine with vodka and wine-tasting.
In the evening, internationally-renowned Polish chef Mr. Karol Okrasa inaugurated the 10th edition of the “ The Culinary Journey with Karol Okrasa and demonstrated how to smoke fish. The Voivode (Governor) of the Malopolska province Mr. Jozef Pilch hosted a dinner. The ambassadors were regaled by a folk band with the traditional songs and music of the Zakopane highlanders.
At 12:00 noon of 19 March, the participants boarded the buses which transported them to Krakow where they again boarded the CASA military aircraft back to Warsaw.
Zakopane is a mountain resort town located at the foot of Poland’s Tatra Mountains - the only alpine mountain range in central Europe - which is recognized as a world natural heritage. There are few places in Poland where “you can go on an exciting trip in the morning, visit a museum or gallery in the afternoon, and in the evening sit in the audience at a first rate theatre or relax in the hot water from the natural geothermal springs.”
The profile of the Giewont mountain range in Zakopane looks like that of a man lying on its back with his arms akimbo on his belly. Folk legend says that it is a sleeping giant who would wake up and rescue Poland from invaders.
Zakopane was founded as “an agropastoral settlement at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries” and developed rapidly in the 18th century when iron mined in the Tatra Mountains started to be smelted in nearby Kuznice. In 1837, a doctor from Warsaw, Dr. Tytus Chalubinski arrived in Zakopane and held promotion of the medicinal properties of the climate of Zakopane. Zakopane is known as the “winter capital of Poland”. It was granted its town charter in 1933. Zakopane has a population of 27,000.