In late October Katharine, Neil and I were delighted to be the first guests in Jonathan and Aneta Steer’s new holiday home at Makosieje near Ełk in Mazury, the Polish Lake District. Ełk, which has 60,000 inhabitants, is the major city at the Eastern end of the Mazury and is well placed for access to all the Lake District’s attractions as well as the region up to the border with Belarus in the east and Russia and Lithuania to the north.
Jonathan and Aneta’s new home is right by the side of a lake (Jezioro Selmęt Wielki) with a circumference of more than 40km! There are bicycle and walking trails round the lake, through a mixture of rolling farmland and forest. Ełk, which has a good selection of shopping, restaurants, etc. is about 15 minutes away by car.
With only three of us in a house which can accommodate 9, we were rather spoiled! There’s a huge veranda on two sides of the ground floor and a balcony overlooking the lake on the first floor. The ground floor veranda is sure to be a fabulous outdoor area in the summer for al fresco dining, relaxing, etc. Visiting somewhat outside the summer season we really couldn’t take advantage of the veranda, but we did appreciate the gas central heating and comfortable internal environment!
If you’d like to know more about Jonathan and Aneta’s holiday home, or make a booking, please visit their website at www.makosieje18.com.
Although our visit was rather short and I was hampered by an injured knee, we did manage to make a couple of trips: to the National Park at Wigry; and, to Hitler’s Wolf’s Lair near Kętrzyn.
Wigry National Park is located to the east of Suwałki about 65km from Makosieje. It covers an area of around 150km², with over 40 lakes and areas of primeval forest.
I was making my third visit to Hitler’s Wolf’s Lair, which is near Kętrzyn (formerly Rastenburg) in the north centre of the Mazury approximately 95km from Makosieje. Hitler had the Wolf’s Lair (Wolfsschanze (German) or Wilczy Szaniec (Polish)) built for Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia in 1941. It was the site in 1944 of Stauffenberg’s attempt to assassinate Hitler. It was finally destroyed by the Germans in January 1945 shortly before the arrival of the Soviet Army. The bunkers, however, were so massive that there are substantial remains. While you can take an unguided tour, guides are readily available and good value.
We very much enjoyed our short break at Makosieje – many thanks to Jonathan and Aneta for their hospitality.