Photos of Slovakia

I have spent many great holidays in Slovakia. In fact it was a visit to the village of Pod Rozusetc in 1992 that made me decide to move to Czechoslovakia. I am still a regular visitor to Slovakia and enjoys both hiking and biking – and, of course, taking photos of Slovakia. Slovakia has more spectacular countryside than the Czech Republic though the towns tend to be less attractive. Now sit back and enjoy my photos of Slovakia.

Mala Fatra

The rolling hills of the Mala Fatra in Western Slovakia. Not very high but strikingly beautiful and the home of a large number of brown bears.

Mala Fatra

In the Mala Fatra is a village called Pod Rozusetec. There are no roads to the village and just ten houses. The nearest shop is two kilometres away down the hill. The last two permanent residents of Pod Rozusetec died recently so all the houses are now ‘chaty’ – weekend cottages. Great for hikers if you can rent one.

chata

In the middle of Pod Rozusetec is a 150 year old wooden cottage, belonging to my friend, Magda Jakubcova.

Talk of the devil, here is Magda inside the cottage, drying clothes over the wood stove. The top of the stove is flat – convenient, as Magda slept on top of it as a child.

Here is my good friend Erika, gas company employee, rock club owner – and now mother! Here she is in the Slovensky Raj (Slovak Paradise) a wonderful natural area that has not only bears but wolves as well! As much as possible the trails are natural, using wood and occasionally metal ladders to help you climb up a ravine.

The hiking trails are very well organised and as you enter the park you pay 25 crowns, less than a dollar, for the upkeep of the trails. Still, the area is wild enough to keep most tourists away so you won’t see crowds of burger-eating people throwing their cans into the river.

Here I am, hiking half way up a narrow gorge. It is exhilarating climbing up a gorge as the water thunders down around you. How safe are those wooden ladders? I didn’t fall in once.

Make sure you bring hiking boots as it can get pretty wet. You’ll just need one 1:50,000 scale map of the area with the hiking trails marked on it. These are colour coded which correspond to colours marks along the hiking trails.

What a magical place! If you’re planning a trip to Bratislava, why not coming here instead?

When you are hiking through Slovakia and the Czech Republic you can see many springs – and the water is wonderful. Who needs coca cola when there is cool, refreshing H2O?

Some of the hiking paths were a bit scary with just a rotting piece of wood keeping you twenty metres above the river.

Amazing beauty through the valley. The wooden steps were replaced in parts by metal grilles. What happened to the rotten wooden steps…? It is good that the Slovak Paradise national park isn’t covered in concrete to make things super safe but recent flooding has made some of the trails very dangerous and work is underway to repair the trails.

A wonderful path and easy hiking. Amazing that so few tourists make it this far.

Hradisko

Chata Hradisko, in the Slovak Paradise. A lovely place, run by a very friendly Slovak couple who both know everything about the area. This makes a great base for hiking trips into the Slovak Paradise – look out for Cingov on maps of the area. You can walk there from Spisska Nova Ves. You are also not far from the Tatra Mountains so you could do both places from this base.

2002 was very wet, with serious flooding next door in the Czech Republic. As the rain came down, I was hiking high in the Tatra Mountains, getting wet, but not flooded out. Things were worse in Prague where the metro was flooded out and the zoo was flooded resulting in the deaths of a number of animals including a panic-stricken elephant that had to be shot and a seal that escaped into the Vltava River.

Here I am, recovering from the long hike over the Tatras. There are huts high in the mountains serving draught beer. I originally thought that the beer was brought in by helicopter but then I saw young guys with a simple wooden frame – in which they carried barrels of beer up to the huts. It’s hard enough word with a small backpack so these guys must be very fit.

The Red Cross: Always there to help those in need.

trout lake

A trout lake in the Slovak Paradise. The Slovak Paradise, or Slovensky Raj in Slovak, is a very special area. There are bears, wolves, lynx and far fewer tourists than in the High Tatras.