An other early morning start.. We got up at 7:30, and were on the road at 8:30 after a stop to the bread factory, where they gave us some free bread products. We were ready to leave Hungary and headed to Slovakia.
Based on our plan we were continuing to visit caves of the Hungarian Slovak karst region but after driving for two hours we figured out that the caves were closed. Oh well it was Monday…..Everything closes down on Monday in Europe. Our next plan was to stop in Poprad. Poprad is the capital of the Tatra Mountains.
(www.sunshineestates.net/.../ tatra_mountains.html) This is the first site of the Tatra
“The High Tatras mountains are one of the smallest mountain ranges in the world, nevertheless, they are the highest and the only mountain range of Alpine system in the Slovak Republic. The territory of the High Tatras lies on 260 km of land. The Tatras consist mostly of Carboniferous granite often covered by Mesozoic Tethyan carbonates. In 30 valleys with several steps there are 110 interesting mountain lakes, created by the glacial activity, waterfalls of Studeny Potok, the Giant waterfall in Studena Dolina (valley), waterfall Skok (Jump) in Mlynicka Dolina valley. There are 25 peaks surpassing 2500 meters above the sea level. The highest point is Gerlachovsky peak (2655 m). There are numerous side mountain ridges spreading out to north and south of the main High Tatra ridge, all lined by deep and rustic valleys formed by the past glacier activities.” (http://www2.unesco.org/mab/br/brdir/directory/biores.asp?code=POL-SLO+01&mode=all)
Poprad where we stopped is a very pretty, busy city very close to the mountain. We had lunch here and realized that probably slovakia is the cheapest country among the eastern block countries joining the EU last year.
As we drove toward the mountain we have started to see the remnants of an awful storm which have hit the area some time ago. As we learned a horrible storm went through this area last November.
“On November 19, 2004, the most beautiful mountains in Slovakia were hit by an unprecedented storm. The forests in the High Tatras National Park mountain range were obliterated after powerful windstorm blew over Slovakia resulting in damages of billions of Slovak crowns. The devastation was horrendous as trees were blown away like straws by the gusts of wind reaching at times a speed of up to 173 km/ hour” (http://www.mytarg.net/Images/SK%2011-04%20Storm/SKNov2004Storm.html)
Right after the storm(www.omniplan.hu/ 200501-HighTatras/HighTatras.htm)
This is how it looks now
As we saw it
This is how the area looked before the storm
Dr. Anna have come here a lot to ski and she just could not stand the sad view of her beloved Tatra mountain, so we drove further to the Belanska Tatra where the horrible storm did not make much damage.
We stayed in a persuasive village called Ždiar. Our bad and breakfast was charming, warm with very nice owners. We had rooms with a view of the mountains with bathrooms. We had to pay $15/person for room and half board (dinner and breakfast). The beer was also very cheap here.
This is our hotel in Ždiar
Inside the hotel
After we settled in our rooms we went for a hike nearby. We had incredible view of the mountain.
Resting after the strenuous hike
Virginia Western Community College
View from our hotel
After the good dinner we had a fire going on into the sunset. Today we all went to bed relatively early.
Night at the fire