One afternoon while hanging about in our sun-filled home in Szczecin, Poland, Dan’s aunty and grandma took us for a drive to visit the Crooked Forest. The Crooked Forest, known as Krzywy Las in Polish, is located about an hours drive away from the city of Szczecin, right on the border with Germany. We drove through the countryside and I marvelled out the window at the wild sunflowers growing on the roadside as we listened to stories of how the stalks fly south in the winter and return to the very same home they built atop the electricity poles every season.
I’ve heard many theories as to how the Crooked Forest came about while researching online. From aliens, to war tanks, to ideas that there is perhaps a fluctuation of gravitational forces in this particular area. Regardless, I couldn’t wait to visit this place! There are also many concepts that this forest is haunted due to it’s particularities. I personally don’t really believe in places being haunted, however the minute I stepped foot in the Crooked Forest I started feeling slightly anxious which later went away as the day progressed. It could have been just a coincidence but that was part of my experience of being here. The forest itself is so beautiful, I’ve never seen a sight like that before in my life!
There was a board up at the entrance of the forest which mentioned that these trees were planted before World War II by a carpenter to make furniture. The trees were bent for the furniture he wanted but when the war started, he fled and never returned and the trees stretched back towards the sun.
The Crooked Forest itself is very small, so we only spent a short time here taking some pictures before heading onwards on our adventure. We stopped for ice cream (of course) in the town of Gryfino and next at a place where Dan’s aunty used to visit regularly when she was younger called Emerald Lake, Jezioro Szmaragdowe in Polish. At Emerald Lake (the name comes from the emerald colour of the water, created by a collapsed mine) we spent the rest of our day walking on the hiking trails around the lake, taking pictures in the lush green shade of the towering trees. We also went for a free tour of the mines that are home to bats in the winter. The mines we explored were apparently built by the Germans in World War II and had carvings on the walls of Swastikas and soldiers names who used to spend time down there. Most of the tunnels are still largely unexplored to this day, however we do know that they run from Germany all the way into Poland. It was extremely interesting to be present in something that was created so long ago and we still know so little about today.
all photos edited with my Gdansk Lightroom Preset!