In ancient villages, I was enchanted by wooden houses, elaborate clocks and ornate town halls, straight out of a Grimm fairy tale. The glittering salt mines of Krakow, with chandeliers intricately carved from black or white crystals, fuelled my enthusiasm for trolls, elves and the supernatural.
I climbed the slimy rope, fingers slipping through weed thick with twitching sea creatures. Using my foot to search for some kind of purchase, I found a hanging tyre and heaved myself onto the dock. Stinking gunge had collected in my hair and was smeared on my arms and legs.