The days of summer are not completely gone. Autumn has only tentatively started peeking into our lives.
Mornings and evenings are colder.
Nights are darker. And longer.
And the fine strands of spider silk, reminiscent of grandma's grey hair, float in the air.
Spiders change into paragliders. Thousands of them fly through the air. While we remain largely oblivious, their great migration, using these fine fibres as parachutes to move hundreds of miles, goes on around us. They are seeking new homes.
It is a season of ripening fruit.
A moment when we rip the produce of our trainings and struggles.
In Košice, the International Peace Marathon takes place, the oldest European marathon and the second oldest in the world. The “fastest” marathon is in Berlin. And the biggest, the New York City.
And so this is the Grandma's Summer.
Explore something unknown
When the sunrays are milder, the rain is more gracious, and the hiking paths emptier. And quieter.
It is a time when you can change what you want. As the trees do their leaves.
And you can explore something unknown.
Maybe you can discover the unknown beauty of the Strážovské vrchy mountains.
Located in western Slovakia with an area of 40 thousand ha, they are world of bizarre rock formations and, picturesque basins and valleys. At their northern end is a unique and legendary rocky “town”, Súľov rocks. The southern part is the home of deep forests and marvellous valleys.
Here you can find Čičmany, an jaw-dropping village, where in the past its women painted their houses with white geometrical ornamentation. The Strážovské vrchy mountains have no dominant ridge unlike most Slovak mountains. Instead they have several smaller independent ridges.
A favourite botanical destination
And here, at their heart, in Slopná village, already established in 1277, our hike to 909 m high Ostrá Malenica started. This peak was, in the past, a favourite botanical destination of popular Slovak scientist and ethnographer, J. Ľ. Holuby.
The green marked hiking path led us to a place reminiscent of the never-ending green meadows of the Kopanice region. And there we entered the forest. A mild zigzagging trail changed into a steep ascend. We hiked through the fallen leaves, we passed rocky formations until we reached the ridge. Here we admired amazing panoramic views of Kľak mountain, the smaller brother of the Matterhorn, and Strážov, the highest mountain in the range. We also admired the limestone rocky towers.
A longer hike starts in Mojtín, with the height of 636m, one of the highest situated villages here. This village is known for its caves and karst formations and former bauxite mines. On the hike, you will pass the 46m long Mojtínska jaskyňa cave, which was a former church with a statue of St Joseph.
Autumn in the mountains
It is a source of our creativity. It is about transformation and change.
And so, this is autumn.
When mature fruit are transformed into distillates.
When the forest changes into a vivid painting. When the ice bears start to winterize in the lakes.
When everything calms down. And in the forest silence rules.
When you will hear the softly falling leaves.
And each you catch, brings you happiness.
But not for now, for the coming year.
It is worth the wait.
As it is worth training for an running the International Peace Marathon in Košice.
Because when you try it once, you will love it forever.
VaGa Agency is an incoming company concentrating on active, adventure, cycling, and sport tours in Slovakia, in the unique, authentic and safe country, far away from mass tourism; offers undiscovered and amazing places, tailored-made solutions and very professional individual guiding. For more information please visit: vaga.agency and www.vaga-camp.com.
11. Oct 2021 at 12:00 | Gabriela Psotková, Valéria Polovková