He was several times on Mount Blanc. Four time exactly.
In Serbia he wandered, wounded and tired, in dangerous conditions, without food and water.
For six November days and nights. He hiked through high mountains, through deep valleys.
He struggled more than 110 km, slept under the star filled sky, hiding wherever he could find shelter.
In his honour, in Slovakia, a hiking path was marked.
The oldest long distance hiking path in the world, marked in 1921 and 1922.
From Ivanka pri Dunaji to Veľká Javorina
This green and red marked hiking path starts in Ivanka pri Dunaji, rises up and descends in the Small Carpathians. Until it ends 120 km later.
On the Bradlo hill. The highest peak of the Myjava hills. Where a barrow, the place of rest of the great son of the Slovak nation and ultimate hero - General Milan Rastislav Štefánik, is situated.
And then, the hiking path meets the 750 km long Trail of the Heroes of the Slovak National Uprising (Cesta hrdinov SNP), a mega-hike that traverses the entire length of Slovakia and connects all the significant places associated with the Slovak National Uprising and the events of 1944 and 1945.
This hiking path continues from the Bradlo hill to Mikulčin vrch and Troják mountains situated in Moravia until returned to Slovakia again, on the Veľká Javorina mountain.
On the borders with the Czech Republic
This green and meadowy 970 m high Veľká Javorina mountain!
The highest peak of the White Carpathians, rubbing shoulders with the Myjava hills. The summit is decorated with the cult television and radio broadcaster built already in 1958 and with the memorial stone, a meeting place of followers of the next Slovak national hero, Ľudovít Štúr and their hipster counterparts from Moravia since 1845.
Under the hill, the legendary Holubyho chalet is standing. The enthusiastic locals started building it as early as in 1923. It was open one year later.
Here all keen cyclists, after defeating the 296 km of cycling trails, and curious tourists have a break, here, above the local cabbage soup and cabbage pie, pilsner beer and plum brandy from the local distillery, the Slovak and Czech languages hybridize, the border disappears and the former Czechoslovakia raises from the ashes.
Because Veľká Javorina mountain belongs to both countries. Here the border line runs in the middle, here is the oldest natural protected area of the Czech Republic.
Enjoy the moment
Here the never-ending green meadows invite for a picnic. And if you sit down, on the mild grass, and fix your eyes over the hills, you are transported to New Zealand's vineyards and in your mouth you will taste the turfy flavours of Savignon Blanc. Or you will find yourself in the picturesque south Moravia, the Tuscany of Czech Republic, or in the Small Carpathians, again in the vineyards, and you will taste refreshing and unique Veltlínske zelené and Rizling rýnsky wines.
But here, under the blue sky, the ringing of sheep bells floats in the air from afar. Here the strong plum brandy is drunk for health, here each summer the sound of fiddle and the Slovak didgeridoo and folk costume renaissance, here is the region of dispersed settlements, which have family names.
Here you want to stay and enjoy the present moment.
The longest Slovak long distance trail
And what is the story of the long distance trails?
The world's longest long distance trail has 18,000 km and leads from the Atlantic to the Pacific in Canada. It is arduous.
The pilgrimage through the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostella is a road to your heart and to God.
The Great Himalayan Trail is the hardest, and you will return as a changed person.
The Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Historical Trail in Africa cannot be completed. Because of the civil war in Sudan.
On the Hokkaido Nature Trail in Japan you will experience an active volcano.
The longest Slovak long distance trail is manageable within a month.
The Štefánik Trail is runnable within a few hours. But still, it is proof of a conditioning and bravery. And a fight with yourself.
But if you stop in the Kopanice region, you will realize, it is worth each step, each drop of sweat, each tear.
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. For more information please visit: www.one2we.eu.
22. Jun 2020 at 12:25 | Gabriela Psotková, Valéria Polovková