Masurian Lakes – Mikolajki to Ruciane-Nida and return

Passing yacht on Lake Beldany © Sybille Yates

Passing yacht on Lake Beldany © Sybille Yates

 

 

 

 

We spent the final two days of our time on the Masurian Lakes, cruising from Mikolajki to the south-westerly navigable extremity of the area, the twin villages of Ruciane-Nida, before returning to base at Mikolajki.

 

 

We were blessed with a wonderful sunny day on Thursday 15th October as we set out, initially south-eastwards along Lake Mikolajskie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mikolajki from Lake Mikolajskie © Sybille Yates

Mikolajki from Lake Mikolajskie © Sybille Yates

This is the view we had of Mikolajki, as we cruised away.

Sun and spray on Lake Mikolajskie © Sybille Yates

Sun and spray on Lake Mikolajskie © Sybille Yates

The wind was relatively light, but coming from a south-easterly direction, so we were cruising directly into it. Hence the small amount of spray on our windscreen! However, after about half an hour, we were able to turn right into the much narrower Lake Beldany where conditions were quite calm.

Lake Beldany © Ricky Yates

Lake Beldany © Ricky Yates

We had the whole lake to ourselves…..

Lake Beldany © Ricky Yates

Lake Beldany © Ricky Yates

…except for a small fishing boat, and the yacht in the photograph at the beginning of this post.

Autumn colours © Ricky Yates

Autumn colours © Ricky Yates

We also saw these wonderful Autumn colours.

Approaching the lock © Ricky Yates

Approaching the lock © Ricky Yates

At the southern end of Lake Beldany, is one of only two locks on the whole navigable system. You can see that the lock keeper had given us the green light to enter.

Lock sign © Ricky Yates

Lock sign © Ricky Yates

‘Lock’ in Polish is ‘Sluza’ 🙂

Waiting for water levels to equalize and the lock gates to open  © Ricky Yates

Waiting for water levels to equalize and the lock gates to open © Ricky Yates

Before leaving the lock, we had to pay a toll. We didn’t catch the Polish first time, so the lock keeper repeated himself, this time saying, ‘Sieben zloty, dreißig groschen‘ – 7.30 zl 🙂

'Mamry' moored at Pod Debem Marina © Ricky Yates

‘Mamry’ moored at Pod Debem Marina © Ricky Yates

After leaving the lock, we cruised on for another hour to the Pod Debem Marina, at the far western end of Ruciane-Nida, where we moored. Beyond this point, there are a further series of lakes but these are only available to non-powered craft.

Overnight, we experienced the first rain of our Polish trip. By the time we got up next morning, it had stopped raining, but it was cloudy for the whole of our return journey on Friday 16th October, with the occasional few spots of rain from time to time.

Rail & road bridges at Ruciane © Ricky Yates

Rail & road bridges at Ruciane © Ricky Yates

We passed back under these two bridges in the centre of Ruciane – the higher one carries the railway, whilst the lower one is for the parallel road.

Sybile paying the toll for passage of the lock © Ricky Yates

Sybille paying the toll for passage of the lock © Ricky Yates

Then we had to pass back down through Sluza Guzianka. The photograph shows how the toll is collected 🙂 Upon payment, you receive a receipt which is also handed over in this same manner. I did get the impression that the lock keeper had posed for similar photographs to this, previously 😉

The lock is of a somewhat unusual construction with sloping sides at a 45° angle. There are a series of ropes which hang down the slope which you have to hold onto whilst the lock is in operation.After that, it was plain sailing, all the way back to Marina Miko at Mikolajki.

'Mamry' about to leave the lock © Ricky Yates

‘Mamry’ about to leave the lock © Ricky Yates

7 comments to Masurian Lakes – Mikolajki to Ruciane-Nida and return

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,

    I have really enjoyed your trio of posts about your cruising holiday on the Masurian Lakes. I’ve never gone cruising myself but am assured it is a wonderful, restful way to spend a few days. The area you visited reminds me of the upper reaches of the River Shannon in Ireland with many lakes and connecting channels to explore but without the railways and roads you encountered. I hope Sybille and yourself had a great time. Thanks for another informative look at a place I’ve never been. God bless.

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,

      Glad you enjoyed these three posts. They’ll be more about the rest of our Polish adventure, shortly. I’m sure there are similarities between Masurian Lakes & the upper Shannon, though I think Ireland would be less forested than Masuria.

      Thank you for continuing to be such a faithful commenter here – all my other regulars seem to have left the planet, despite the blog continuing to get 80+ hits a day 🙁

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,
    You’re right of course about the forests, although the smaller lakes would have a ring of lakeside scrub or bushes the land use is mainly pasture in that area. I’m sorry to see the absence of your ‘regulars’ and for the fact I got lazy and responded to only one of your posts about your cruise. I always appreciate the obvious effort you put into each of your blog posts, the choice of subject, the insightful and descriptive writing and your and Sybille’s great photographs, which complement each post so well. Thank you.

    • Ricky

      Hi again Sean,

      I mentioned forests because the trees and the colours of Autumn, were such a special feature of the Masurian Lakes. In Britain and Ireland, only 10% of the country is forested. In the Czech Republic, the figure is 35% and my research tells me that the figure for Poland is only a little lower at 30%. It is a contrast I frequently notice when travelling.

      There is no need to apologise for only leaving a comment on the final post of the three about our cruise. The three posts go together & I don’t expect a comment on every single one of them! Thank you as always, for your kind words.

  • I hope you’ll forgive me for a composite comment on your three enjoyable lake posts, Ricky. The lovely photos clearly convey the wonderfully calm and restful atmosphere of your journey afloat. I bet you both felt very rested and relaxed by the end of the week. 🙂

    • Ricky

      There is no need to apologize for leaving a composite comment. As I said in reply to Sean who did the same thing – the three posts go together. There was just too much material to put into one post. For the most part, our time was calm & restful, except for when reached Lake Niegocin on our return journey south, and found that the buoys had been removed 🙁 But the Masurian Lakes were a wonderful place to visit & more than lived up to my expectations beforehand.