How I walked Camino de Santiago in Slovakia

If your backpack is too heavy, you must have packed all your fears in it. Jana Liptáková shares the story of her pilgrimage.

A floor tile with the shell marking the Way of St. James in Košice in front of the St Elisabeth Catedral.A floor tile with the shell marking the Way of St. James in Košice in front of the St Elisabeth Catedral. (Source: Jana Liptáková)

When a group of my friends set off for the last 100-km stretch of the famous Camino de Santiago in Spain and my duties did not allow me to join them, I felt the sting of jealousy. I did not envy them the blisters they would get, but I longed to be with them as they would be getting to know a foreign country, meeting their fellow pilgrims, and leading inner talks during the hours of walk until they reach their final destination, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.​

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Lost in Košice? Impossible with this travel guide. Lost in Košice? Impossible with this travel guide.

​That was when I promised myself that I would walk my own private pilgrimage, whatever that means, as I realised that the route and the walk was what mattered more than the destination. With the Covid-19 pandemic I found myself locked in Bratislava and its surroundings. The popular recreational destination in the Small Carpathian forests above Bratislava, Železná Studienka and Kamzík, were totally crowded, so I took to the less beaten tracks along the Slovak stretch of Camino de Santiago, the Way of St. James.

From late January until spring of this year, I walked the 83-km stretch from Trnava to Bratislava. Not all at once, but during one-day trips, sometimes in the opposite direction.

Related article Slovakia completes last part of ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela Read more 

The stamps in my credentials, the pilgrim’s passport bought in the music shop on Klobučnícka Street, along with the pilgrim's shell, grew in number, but what I really wanted was several days of uninterrupted walking.

I found a sympathetic soul, my friend Lucie, and on Monday, June 14, we set off for our one-week long pilgrimage from Košice to Levoča.

On the road

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