Where the wild things are
Posted: 20 May 2010
Undeterred, we head off into the forest, initially following old forestry tracks into the gloaming half-light. Turns out we're in Narnia. The forest pitches off as far as the eye can see, a strange mixture of calm and implicit ancient threat. The trees have few leaves, the ground is generally boggy and wet or sandy and mossy, and carved up with unseen dips and crevices. And it's very, very hard to orientate, to get a sense of direction with so many bloody trees. But it is absolutely brain-strainingly magical. Those stories you hear as a child, about enchanted forests, fairies, will'o'the'wisps and things that live in the dark places, it's all here in the forest of Biebrza. You can believe that magic survives here, rooted in the trees. And if you've got the imagination for it, you can make it do that weird foresty thing of either being beautifically zen, or totally creepy.