Suwałki: Relaxing by the river

As you know I live in Warsaw but there are times where I am considering coming back to my home town. My home town is small, but it does not mean it’s boring. There are places where you can go out and also you can find something for nature lovers. Like Czarna Hańcza river.

If you don’t remember – I am from Suwałki. This town of 70 000 people is specific – the closest airport is not Warsaw, but Kaunas. The closest capital city is not Warsaw but Vilnius. The city of Kaliningrad is also closer than Polish capital city. At the same time – the closest bigger city in Poland is located over 100 km away. And that is why there is so much of nature around.

Suwałki might be poor but if I had a good job there, I would not consider living anywhere else. The town is compact, you can find some good restaurant, bar, there is a 3D cinema, middle sized shopping mall etc. I spent the whole last weekend in Suwałki and I took this chance to take some nice walk next to Czarna Hańcza river.


Believe it or not, but the place above is located almost in the center of a town, though a few meters lower than the main roads. That is why it is a very calm and silent place. River itself goes through the whole town and the part in the northern areas of Suwałki is rather not well-maintained and fully natural. In other words – do not expect walking paths there, just a lot of hills, grass, trees etc.


The part where I went for a walk is something that I remember from my childhood – since it was always my goal for a walk with my grandmother or friends. That’s no surprise, as it is located only 5 minutes away from my block in my home town. And guess what? I always thought it’s like the end of the world when I went there as a child. And that is another proof that children see the world in such a different way than grow ups do.


There are a few things that makes this place one of my favourites in my home town. As I mentioned – this part of the river (that is around 140 km in total btw) is not that well-maintained. I would even use a word “wild” here. Due to this fact – I was the only person walking there in the middle of the day. And believe me – I needed that as living in a loud city day to day makes me feel very tired at times.


This river is also a typical place where primary school children walk on the first day of spring. In Poland, there is a tradition of throwing a doll called “Marzanna” into the water. People believe that throwing Marzanna would make the winter go away (or if it’s already spring time – that it will stay for longer). When I was younger I was also throwing Marzanna from a bridge alongside with my classmates.


Czarna Hańcza is also a place where kayak excursions are organized. This means that you can take a kayaking trip around the river in a special route. It does not happen inside of town though, but as the river is long – there are several routes outside of town. Usually it takes around 3-4 hours and costs very little amount of money.


In the part going in town the kayak trip is rather not possible as the river is usually not deep enough and there are some obstacles (like the ones you can see above). But outside of town it’s much better and you can really enjoy the views.

This place looks magnificent in spring and summer. So if you are around – Czarna Hańcza is worth visiting.


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