The Yellow Trail

I’d say I have a bit of unorthodox approach to illnesses affecting me: as long as I can keep myself upright and walking, the latter is my treatment along with taking prescribed pills. It was the same this time round. The route of choice was a circular walk marked yellow, starting in front of ‘Dom Turysty’ Hotel in the centre of Żagań.

From there it runs along the streets of Jana Pawła II, Armii Krajowej and Kożuchowska towards the suburbs. Just behind Fornalskiej street it turns left onto a dirt road, rapidly narrowing into a path, going up through a patch of woodland. About 500 metres later it reaches a crossroads at the top. There’s Bismarck’s Tower near-by, built as a memorial to the German Chancellor, after WWII used as a pressure tower, and now disused and closed to the public. The path leads out of the woodland, crosses a farm track and goes straight through the fields towards a little village of Marysin.

From there the path runs along the banks of a pool; it was so faint that I had doubts that I’d lost the track. But then I reached a farm track and saw marks on the trees – everything was OK. Actually there were stretches of the route going along neglected forest tracks and paths; combined with poor signage they made me a bit frustrated at times.

One of the attractions was the Devil’s Stone, a big boulder dragged by an iceberg; to be honest, it wouldn’t be anything special in many rocky places, but it’s a rather unusual thing on sandy plains. I’d visited that place as a scout many years ago, and it had looked massive; this time it was just a big chunk of rock, deeply buried in the ground and surrounded by young trees – I believe they had been planted between my two visits.

It might have been a kind of demonic influence, or simply the negligence of people in charge, but it took quite a long time to find the right path forward; excluding the path I’d come there were three others, and no signage whatsoever. One of them I ruled out very quickly, but I walked another one for about 5 minutes till I reached its end, then returned and took the last one, and at last found yellow marks about 100 metres from the crossroads.

From there I walked along abandoned forest tracks and paths, sometimes disappearing in the undergrowth, reaching eventually a much better maintained farm road, going to the village of Dzietrzychowice. I’d say that most of the villages in this part of Poland were built along the main road, with fields behind the buildings. Many of them are pretty long (up to 10 km) with a relatively small population. Quite often the centre of the village is marked by a church. That is certainly true about Dzietrzychowice. From that place I followed the yellow marks along the main, tarmac road, for about 10 minutes (1 km), when I turned onto a dirt road leading behind the buildings and then running parallel to the main road. Then I crossed it going towards a medieval defensive and habitable tower, now in ruins, though there are some signs of building activity.

Through the woodland the route leads towards another village, Pożarów, but leaves it immediately and going past an industrial sand and gravel pit towards the right bank of the river Bóbr, and then runs along it back to Żagań. The last stretch reaches a massive allotment site. For years my grandparents had one there, but now it’s changed beyond my recognition. Eventually I returned to the starting point.