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As you all may know, a week or so ago I went to Slovakia.
We stayed in one of the high Tatras towns called Novy Smokovec for one week. Our hotel wasn’t anything extraordinary and was very basic but the view from the terrace was simply amazing. I really couldn’t resist drinking wine there in the evenings.
Slovakia is a dream for hiking lovers and skiing fans. Almost all of its territory is mountains, big or small, but mountains nevertheless. So I felt like I’ve been living a dream life there.
On our first day, we decided to take things easy and go for a short hike which was supposed to be around 4 hours hike overall. Turns out that we picked probably the shortest but the hardest hike there is. I was dying at one point as the mountain got so steep and high that I actually needed to stop and sit for a few minutes to get my heart rate to a normal speed.
I shouldn’t be surprised really that we ended up with such hard hike, the last time we decided to take an ‘easy’ trail, we ended up almost dying from heat in Cyprus.
But we made it back and my body felt broken. My legs were killing and I was ecstatic to take off those hiking shoes. If you’re a fellow hiker, you’d know how heavy those shoes can feel.
Next day we decided to take a break from hiking and took a trip to one of the longest ice caves in Europe. It was cold as heck there, that I have to admit. So happy that I decided to bring a sweater and a jacket with me.
After one hour long exploration of the cave, we decided to head to Poprad’s water park to relax our muscles. The park itself truly isn’t impressing, there isn’t much to do other than sitting in bubble pools. We barely managed to spend 2 hours there. There was just nothing to do and I’m not a fan of water parks overall.
But it’s nice that we went there as I needed a bit of relaxation after an unexpected panic attack about which I might write a blog post soon.
Anyways, the other days we went hiking, hiking and hiking a bit more. Basically, we woke up at 7 something o’clock, went breakfast and around 8 o’clock – yes, in the morning – we headed to the mountains. We usually got back from mountains at around 3-4 p.m.
So on the third or fourth day, I can’t really remember, I got sunburned badly. And I mean very badly. Like a fool, I forgot to put my sunscreen on and let’s say that I regretted it.
I couldn’t sleep well that night and a slight touch on my skin was burning. Moreover, the next day we decided to head to Slovak Paradise Park which is a very interesting park in Lower Tatras with many hiking trails.
I put sunscreen on this time but it wasn’t enough and I got sunburned a bit more on already sunburned areas. Let’s just say that my back and shoulders weren’t only red but they had blisters there and there. It wasn’t a pretty view.
Plus it was so freaking hot in that park, I nearly died again. No wind and only heat isn’t a nice combination as much as I love hot weather.
I had to endure the pain and un-comfort for the rest of our stay in Slovakia. It was my personal hell. I couldn’t even put on a top without letting a hiss or some kind of painful sound.
So learn from my mistakes, kids, put on sunscreen and don’t go to the sun after getting sunburned.
Apart from living in pain – literally this time – I had a wonderful trip in Slovakia. We hiked a lot, almost every single day. We visited a huge Spiš Castle which was named one of the largest and the most beautiful castles in Central Europe.
We also tried to get into the second highest mountain of High Tatras but it turned out that the tickets to that point were sold out few days in advance which left us very much disappointed. We hiked 12 kilometres for nothing basically.
On the second to last day, we went with a train to Štrbske Pleso where we hiked a bit more and explored the town. Somewhere around 2 p.m., it started to rain, so we had to take a train home. Overall, we had a lovely time and I’ll certainly miss seeing mountains in the morning.
I plan on writing a guide blog post with all the information, tips and recommendations. Let me know if you’d like that and what kind of things you’d be interested in finding out: is it prices, is it trails or accommodation.
Now I’m off to eating more Raffaello and drinking more coffee to keep me awake.
Have you ever went to Slovakia? Do you enjoy hiking?
Have you ever experienced the pain of getting sunburned?