I love going back home to the country of my origin for short or long visits. I feel privileged to see close family members and friends again and again; however there is another reason for returning to place where I was born. That reason is a nature.
Slovakia is thriving with a wild life and vast eco systems. Having nine National Parks, waterfalls, crystal clear lakes and rivers, endless hills and valleys, deep forests covering more than 40% of the country and majestic peaks of High Tatra and Low Tatra Mountains are just little fracture of hidden treasures of this tiny central European country that doesn’t need to be ashamed for what it can offer. My very recent trip to Slovakia wasn’t an exception for my wandering itchy feet and I decided to re-discover one of the National Parks, Slovak Paradise.
Nikon D7000 f/3.3, 1/1250s, 35mm, ISO 100
Nikon D7000 f/3.2, 1/1250s, 17mm, ISO 100
Slovak Paradise is situated in a region of Slovak Ore Mountains in East Slovakia and it offers around 300km of hiking trails at different levels. Having only one day available for this trip and a company of two un-experienced hikers, I chose a moderate level routes but equally beautiful as well as challenging. We departed from place lying in a valley of river Hornad called Cingov and followed the yellow path. The trails are marked with various colours for easier orientation. Cingov is a gateway to many routes and wonders and our first destination was Tomasovsky View (667m), a rocky gallery offering an astonishing view at the Hornad Canyon, White Creek and surrounding hills as well as High Tatras Mountains. It took us approximately an hour to get there and officially stated time to the destination is 00:50h. That view was worth it. The trail is set in the forest but it also offers beautiful surroundings of pastures and bows. On the way up, there are plentiful opportunities to snap nice pictures as well as learn about the local fauna and flora.
Nikon D7000 f/2.8, 1/640s, 17mm, ISO 160
Nikon D7000 f/3, 1/400s, 21mm, ISO 160
Nikon D7000 f/4, 1/125s, 62mm, ISO 800
Nikon D7000 f/4, 1/250s, 70mm, ISO 400
Nikon D7000 f/4, 1/640s, 70mm, ISO 800
After having a lunch break, we took off and followed green route and then blue route towards North- West until we reached crossing of the mouth of White Creek and then carried on marching down towards South -West following another green route and passing through mouth of Kysel Creek until reaching a final destination mouth of Falcon Valley. The entrance to Falcon Valley was quite difficult and despite an uneasy terrain the breath taking views during the whole trail were accompanied with the bridges, chains and ladders which made our trip more adventurous and challenging.
Nikon D7000 f/4, 1/125s, 24mm, ISO 200
Nikon D7000 f/4, 1/400s, 19mm, ISO 800
Nikon D700 f/4, 1/400s, 19mm, ISO 800
Nikon D7000 f/3.3, 32mm, 1/250s, ISO 800
Nikon D7000 f/4, 1/125s, 62mm, ISO 200
Nikon D7000 f/4, 1/160s, 70mm, ISO 400
Even-though we managed to reach the start of the trail, unfortunately, we were unable to start marching the trail towards its end, due to running out of time, as we had to plan a return route to Cingov before the dusk. Failing this could be for us a very bitter experience, as the weather as well as the nature can be unpredictable and without a special gear and head torches it also could be quite dangerous. On the way back we returned back to crossing of the mouth of White Creek and then followed blue route to Cingov passing Lesnica crossing and Ihla on the way.
Nikon D7000 f/4, 1/160s, 70mm, ISO 400
Nikon D7000 f/3.3, 1/1600s, 32mm, ISO 200
Nikon D7000 f/4, 1/320s, 70mm, ISO 200
Nikon D7000 f/4, 1/250s, 70mm, ISO 200
Nikon D7000 f/3.8, 1/250s, 50mm, ISO 250
Nikon D7000 f/3.5, 1/160s, 17mm, ISO 400
What an experience! I have to admit that having encountered various National Parks in Brazil or South-East Asia; I shall confidently conclude that European National Parks are equally interesting and beautiful.
See you till next time, Slovak Paradise.