2:30 a.m. After sleeping only for a couple of hours and more than two hours’ drive, we are standing in a big parking lot in the middle of the island of Bali. A holy volcano mountain called Batur rises above us. We shake hands with Wayan, our guide for the next several hours. Wayan lives in the next village. For more than 10 years, she has been doing this job, climbing in the dark with tourists, several times a week, to see the nature theatre: sunrise. And to earn money. 100 dollars a month.
1,770 m. After two hours climbing with more than 200 people and Wayan, occasionally praying to the Balinese gods, we summit on Batur. One of two active volcanos on Bali.
Two years later. We are climbing again. This time in Slovakia.
The Štiavnica Mountains
- In the volcanic mountains of central Slovakia. On an extinct stratovolcano. A base of more than 50 km. It was once the biggest in Europe.
- It is really a poetic and mystical place.
- A place where Bronze Age people sat around the fire and gossiped. Maybe about Fossa Giganteum, a 60 km long wall, which legends tells was the devil’s creation. Conspiracy theorists call it the world’s oldest building and the Great Wall of Slovakia.
- It is also a place with a proud castle, never damaged by the Mongols or the Turks.
- A place with remarkable silver mines, where fearless miners before descending into the earth, attended the local Mining Academy opened in 1762, the first university of its kind in the world.
- 180 km from Bratislava.
- Not only the tallest peak of the Štiavnica Mountains and subject of numerous legends, also the most mystic and secret peak in Slovakia, and the “gateway to hell”.
- The picturesque hiking trail to Sitno starts near lake Počúvadlo, an old artificial water reservoir, built in order to provide energy for the silver mines, a part of a sophisticated system of 60 reservoirs, connected to each other by more than 100 km of channels and underground tunnels; continues through the Tatárska lúka meadow, where a Turkish pasha camped with his troops and prepared a strategy to seize the Sitno Castle and rises up to 300 stairs passing the andesite rock formations.
- And it ends on the peak, where in the old chalet the stories come to life.
Harken to the Slovak botanist Andrej Kmeť’s story about 300 rose species flourishing in the forests of Štiavnica Mountains.
Listen to the passionate mountaineer Dr. Téry about organising trips to Banská Štiavnica’s surroundings as a prestigious social activity only for the highest social class, founding the second oldest hiking club “Sitno” in Europe and marking the very first hiking trail in Europe in 1864.
Let speak the voices of the heroic knights hidden in the heart of Sitno ready to rise when the people of Slovakia need them most.
Read the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe about searching for treasure in the form of unlimited wisdom, youth and love.
Because Sitno could be the place where God’s favourite human being Dr. Faust in his desire for infinite knowledge and worldly pleasures could have signed his blood pact with the demon Mephistopheles.
One2We is an incoming company concentrating on active, adventure, bike and sport tours in Slovakia, in the unique, authentic and safe country, far away from mass tourism; offer undiscovered and amazing places, tailored-made solutions and very professional individual guiding.
18. Mar 2019 at 10:00 | Gabriela Psotková, Valéria Polovková