After a quick pit stop in Poprad, for some ice cream and for Julian to walk off his alcohol head (I survived the motorway by the way), we finally made it to our camp in Slovensky Raj.
We got lucky with the weather. It was in the high 20s and low 30s. Weather that I adore. The breeze was kind to us. It lightly danced across our skin, cooling us down against the evening sun.
The following morning, we headed to the Slovensky Raj on our hiking expedition. I say “expedition”, although the locals would likely call it a leisurely walk. “It should take 2 hours”, the man at the booth told us. Okay we thought. I kid you not this was the maddest ‘walk’ I had ever done.
The National Park Slovak Paradise is situated in the eastern part of Slovakia. In 1964 it was proclaimed the Protected Landscape Area and in 1988 re categorised by the government imposition to be the National Park. The park covers the area of 19763 ha (197,63 km2) and the protected zone 13 011 ha (130,11 km2).
Originally, the whole region of the National park was a large territory, later divided by the rivers (Hornád, Hnilec) and the creeks (Veľký Sokol-Big Falcon, Suchá Belá-Dry Belá, Biely potok-White Creek) into several bigger and smaller plateaux (Glac, Geravy). During the thousands of years the creeks formed gorges with waterfalls (Kyseľ, Piecky, Sokolia dolina-Falcon Valley, Zejmarská roklina- Zejmarská Gorge), that are typical for the Slovak Paradise. – (Taken from http://www.slovenskyraj.sk/en.html)
We decided to do the smallest of the gorge walks Suchá Belá-Dry Belá. I really had no idea what to expect and it was a lot harder than I imagined it to be. But the boy and I are a team and he helped me across the wooden steps and the ridiculous ladders.
The ladder below was 3 ft. away from the rock it was attached to, even Julian got spooked on our ascension. I went first, the fact of the matter was, if I fell off the ladder not only would I fall amongst the rocks below (see pictures), I would likely send the 20+ people following behind me to their deaths as well! (no exaggeration!) People have been know to get stuck and there have been a few deaths in the past. You literally go at your own risk. It’s not like in England where they’d be health and safety rules galore. They’d be safety helmets and harnesses and safety ropes etc. Here in Slovakia, they don’t do so much health and safety. In fact in the UK, I have a feeling this walk about not be permissible.
The second picture is of me after the ladder climb. Attempting to pose for the camera, but you can see from the strain on my face, I as very much getting over the height vs. ladder factor. It had rained the night before so the metal ladders, were especially hard to hold on to.
The final part of our holiday saw us visiting the highest mountain in Slovakia-High Tatra (literal translation High Mountain). We went via ski lift to the main tourist spot on the mountain. There wasn’t much time to go to the very top viewing platform, as we were catching our plane that day and didn’t have enough hours. But the views from where we were standing were simply sublime. We had a walk around by the mountain made natural lake. The water was practically see-through.
After a few more pictures it was time to hit the road and head to the Airport. “Goodbye Slovakia”, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing you again very soon.
Have you been to Slovakia? If so, would you recommend it? If not, would you consider it? Tell me where you’ve been this year and post your pictures below.