In true Top Gear fashion at exactly 9:36 on Monday 20 July 2015 we set off from Devín Castle, worth a look around the day before you start, if you haven’t been there before. We were staying in Bratislava and would be there for next three nights, using public transport to get us back from and to the ends and beginnings, respectively, of each day’s walk, cheap and very efficient. This also meant that we don’t have to carry everything the first few days – thank God, any God.
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F**k – it was hot!
F**k water is heavy!
To add insult to sweltering injury the route today is vaguely ‘S’ shape. As a start day 1.1km climbing is quite impressive maybe we should have looked closer at the maps – or gone to Greece. That day the temperatures reached 36 degrees Celsius we almost stopped there and then. We had pizza for lunch, lokša (flour based pancake type thing with various fillings or coating) and kofola (a local cola type thing, but better. More overtures of Dandelion and Burdock if you’re a Brit) as a treat at the buffet on Kamzík. All very civilised.
It took 8 hours four minutes and 22 seconds the actual walking time was just under six hours with an average of 18 minutes per km. We don’t, it seems, walk fast, or far without a rest. But hey – it’s not a race. 27k and we are still in Bratislava.
We live here, have lived here, will live here again. We got lost. A case of knowing where you are going and not watching the signs. There are forests and urban areas, monuments (Slavín, monument for the Russian liberators - almost) and view – to the Alps on a good day. An interesting walk. One that in all of the time we have lived here we have never put together. Sure we had done most of it – but not as a walk. I mean who walks where they live.
We stayed in Bratislava that night – lots of options. We slept and sweated.
Distance walked: 27km
Meters climbed: 1,121m
Walking time: 8:04
Start point: Devín, castle car park
End point: Kamzík, buffet
Via: Devínska Kobyla, Bratislava (Dúbravka, Slavín, Železná Studienka)
Hot. Hot. Too f**ing hot.
Scarfell Pike – 978m the highest mountain in England. Easy.
By John Nicholson