The powerful words of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem ‘Mont Blanc’ are for me the strongest motivation to travel anywhere. There are no funny tales, pleasant valleys or sun-kissed beaches. This poem leaves you in awe of the “Ghastly, and scarred, and riven” landscape as Mont Blanc “gleams on high”. It casts a timeless, intoxicating spell which envelops the senses and moves us to think beyond our own lives.
As the sun rests easily on your shoulders and unhurried tanned bodies pass by, you might pause on the boulevard to watch the breakdancers show their moves. Then on to the white beach where you can already hear the soulful strains of a live reggae band. Later on a crowd will gather around the stage; a sea of bright faces freed from care. As the sun sets and the colourful beer flows, you can get lost in this place that comes alive for two months of the year. Enveloped in darkness you can still see the stars and the glint of the Baltic as the music soothes you. This is why in Poland they say “to nasza Kalifornia przez 2 miesiace”: “it’s our California for two months”.
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