Hiking in the Tatra Mountains

Trip Start Sep 21, 2012
Trip End Oct 09, 2012

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Flag of Slovakia  , Prešov Region,
Thursday, October 4, 2012

This was my favourite day so far! We travelled by bus and train up to the start of two trails in the Tatra Mountains. The first trail was paved but was basically up hill the whole time. The views were stunning. When we weren't in the forest, we were surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks. And we had glorious weather today. After about an hour of hiking we reached a lake, which we then did a short trek around. The water was crystal clear and had a beautiful green colour. We could see a lot of small fish swimming, and even had a few ducks swim over to us. Then we set out on the next trail which was relatively flat but was basically all stone - one of those trails where you spend a lot of time looking at your feet so you don't fall on your face. But we stopped a lot to look around and take pictures. This trail followed along the valley with stunning views of mountain peaks and vast spaces of trees, including some beautiful fall colour. We also got to see the ski jumps that were from a world championship held back in 1970. Tamara concluded the only person in our group crazy enough to try it would be Brian, and I think she was right! Two important things to note from the hike: my dad actually enjoyed the hike (which I don't think has ever happened before), and he hiked successfully in jeans which our guide assured us was impossible! Way to go Dad (aka TatraBob).

We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant for lunch where we were all astounded by the portion sizes - they were huge!! My dad had so much food that he had to eat his salad from his lap. And the meal that Brian and Erick ordered seemed to arrive in serving dishes you would use at Thanksgiving. We were all stuffed, and made our way back to the train and back to the hotel to rest before dinner.

We had dinner in a rather odd restaurant that had an Escalade hanging upside down from the ceiling. Apparently Madonna had driven it. There were other things on the walls, including a jacket some guy had been wearing when he was attacked by a bear. Odd. Me and Erick and Claire ordered Tatra Tea to start the meal, and it's not the kind of tea you're thinking of. Tatra Tea comes in a shot glass and this one comes as 52%2525 alcohol. It was yummy! And it warmed me up! Most everyone was still full from lunch and had light meals. I had traditional Slovak cabbage soup with mushrooms and smoked meat, and a salad, and both were delicious.

Everyone seemed to be ready for some packing and an early night. Breakfast tomorrow is at 7:30 and departure is at 8:00. Destination: Budapest!
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