Walking across Slovakia: Day 33

No tents, no sleeping rough, two teenagers and two adults, 900km, 4 rucksacks and some maps, a lot of maps: this is going to be fun.

(Source: John Nicholson)

My god – a view. Almost missed it as we walked through the forest. But luckily spotted, eagle-eyed and if I have to admit it weak-bladdered. But what a view. Forest of course, plains beyond, but then the High Tatras in the distance to the right, the Low Tatras in the distance to the left and a probably hypothetical view of Kráľova Hoľa left of left. It seems Slovakia is round.

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A nice surprise to brighten up our morning. And it got ‘continued’, not better, that view is hard to beat, but continued none the less. We found a collection of towers in the forest, with a round thing with sacrificial alters arranged in an open circle. With the gap in the wall facing where, we supposed, the sun that rises every June 21 comes up. It might have been a place for a picnic – but that sounds too obvious.

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We, with scant regard for our safety, explored the Newer, Higher, Better tower. Up the steep stairs, with the ridiculously placed hand rails, to The Platform of the Thrones. In religious reverence, two armchairs had been carefully placed in front of the best view. Flags, that adorned the tower, flapping majestically on either side (all very Games of Thrones, again). We, with great respect sat ... carefully, on the chairs.

Only to discover that the guard rail was so carefully placed that it blocked any view no matter how tall or short the sitter. A slight oversight, in an otherwise perfect, picture book tower. We looked for Rapunzel but didn’t spot her. Judging by the number of cyclists that arrived we figure it was some form of religious thing for mountain-bikers.

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Then, then to make it even better when we got out of the forest we stumbled into Hervatov. I said our planning lacked. Hervatov may not mean anything to you – but Hervatov is home to ‘The Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Built around 1500, it is the only, and therefore the oldest (Wikipedia’s words not mine), wooden Roman Catholic Church in gothic style in Slovakia’. I had heard of the wooded churches – but they are really made just of wood. The decorative paintings weren’t original of course. Typical of Slovakia. They were redone in 1665, ridiculous, and are just painted on the wooden walls. Amazing. We are cultural desserts (- I know) no more.

Then. Then. Then we walk into Bardejov (after getting a little lost on the way down - town council please take note) to catch the end of the four day festival. And to meet our friends (from Martin) who happened to be in the area. The town is beautiful. But was too full to experience properly. But we are staying a couple of days, so it and we could wait.

That night we had a feast from a festival food stall – meat, meat and more meat. It was delicious. A good idea.

Distance walked: 26km (741km in total)
Meters climbed: 593m (28,280m in total)
Walking time: 8:36 (248:39 in total)

Start point: Čergov
End point: Bardejov

General comment:
Bardejov - Wow
Wow.
Another 2m would have been nice. Well symmetric at least. I should have fiddled it.

By John Nicholson

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