Story By: Bartosz Staszewski, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
A rugged highlander has become an online sensation after he became the wizened face of a new marketing campaign by a mountain region tourist board.
Picture Credits: CEN & CEN/@kiszelaphotography
Tadeusz Gasienica-Bednarz, 59, from the southern Polish town of Zakopane in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, has featured in a collection of 290 breathtaking shots in the stunning mountainous region close to the border with Slovakia.
The wizened woodsman, who worked as a carpenter for many years and goes by the Instagram moniker ‘Gooral Zakolove’, is pictured wearing traditional clothes while gazing across the beautiful landscapes of the Tatra Mountains.
The photos were taken by Mateusz Kiszela (@KiszelaPhotography) and show Tadeusz in snowy fields and picturesque forests.
Tadeusz now has over 15,000 Instagram followers with each photo receiving over 1,000 likes.
He has even become the face of a new marketing campaign by the region’s tourist board to attract more visitors to the area.
Tourist official Andrzej Stoch Jr explained: “We were missing local heroes who would present highland culture and the beauty of our mountains in an interesting and amusing way.”
He added that they were “lucky” to find a real-life “highlander with a great sense of humour”.
Jan Walach from the Zakopane tourist board told Central European News (CEN): “Due to his distinctive appearance, Tadeusz has appeared in numerous Polish movies as a highlander or similar. He does not remember how many. He has been the face if our campaign for almost a year.”
Tadeusz said: “Nobody tells me what, when and how to do anything in my life. When it rains, I sit at home and later I go out to pick some mushrooms. Sometimes I help my neighbours with their horses or out in the field.
“I don’t need much, I don’t complain. Live your own way. Don’t listen to others!”
Netizen ‘Zuzannal2006’ wrote: “Amazing pictures! I love this guy!”
‘MoroccoTravelsOnline’ commented: “They are beautiful photos. Really nice stuff!’
‘MicheleScianaticoPhoto’ said: “Your shots look so beautiful!”