The beauty of Lady Midday: Poludnica mountain

Poludnica offers amazing panoramic views of the High and Low Tatras.

PoludnicaPoludnica (Source: VaGa)

She reveals herself in the middle of hot summer days, taking the form of whirling dust clouds and carrying a scythe or shears. She stops people in the field to ask them difficult questions or engage them in conversation.

If anyone fails to answer correctly or tries to change the subject, she cuts off their head or afflicts them with illness.

She might appear as an old hag, or a beautiful woman.

And her name is Poludnitsa or Lady Midday.

Poludnica, a mountain of the Low Tatras, seduces you for the first time when you reach its top. With its beauty.

And for the second time when you run on it. With its wildness and inaccessibility.

Its name is connected with the sun, and noon. The locals noticed that when the sun stood over its summit, it was noon.

One of the oldest protected areas in Slovakia

This mountain is 1,548 m high and is surrounded by the Iľanovská dolina valley from the west and Jánska dolina valley from the east.

It is this latter valley, that is one the oldest protected areas in Slovakia and one of the longest valleys in the Low Tatras. Here you can see many swallow holes, mineral springs, and caves.

Here the Bystrá stream wells forth.

It is exactly this rollicking Bystrá, which flows into the Belá River in the Liptovská kotlina basin. The wild Belá, which each year changes its course, and where you can experience the best rafting of your life.

And here you can also find the Stanišovská jaskyňa cave.

It is exactly this pure and virgin cave, which you will discover via headlamp.

On this sunny day, we got out of the car in Liptovský Ján, the entrance gate to the Low Tatras, the largest Slovak national park.

Here you can walk and get lost in the long valleys, deep canyons. Here you can conquer steep cliffs, and hike to its highest mountains, Chopok and Ďumbier, which are located on the most beautiful ridge tour in Slovakia.

And exactly here lives a huge population of bears, wolfs, lynx, and chamois and marmot.

Two summits

A hike to Poludnica started at the parking lot in front of the Ďumbier hotel. The green marked hiking path led us to the spruce forest and along the old rope ski lift.

Later, through the milder terrain and a forest smelling like fir-needles, we reached the Rakytovica saddle. There we took the zigzagging yellow marked hiking path until we found ourselves in front of the cave, where during WWII 40 Jews from Slovakia and Poland hid, and then on the summit of Predná Poludnica (“Front Poludnica”).

“One and only” right Poludnica waited for us several metres higher.

Poludnica mountain has two summits, the first is the 1,480 m high Predná Poludnica, with views of the Liptovská kotlina basin and the Liptovská Mara water reservoir.

The second is Poludnica, which offers amazing panoramic views of the High and Low Tatras.

And exactly here you can find this legendary and photogenic rock, which shows Kriváň mountain, the Slovak Matterhorn, and the symbol of Slovakia.

The hike down was very steep, and led us along a long white dolomite karst area full of clefts, small caves, and rocky windows.

And from next point, the Kúpeľ saddle, it was only a short while back to Liptovský Ján.

And there, later, while relaxing in the unique open-air wellness, Kaďa, we planned the next tours to find and admire the eternal beauty of the mountains.

The most beautiful mountains are those which we haven't yet conquered, once said Boris Filan, a famous Slovak writer.

A beautiful imperfection

We often don't know how to describe beauty.

We just sense it.

We sense it in the wild and inaccessible forest.

We sense it in the chaos of the twisted roots.

And also in the symmetry of their leaves.

Poludnitsa or Lady Midday, this mythic and demonic spirit, appeared as a wonderful femme fatale.

Poludnica, the mountain, a symbol of the Liptov region, is beautiful in its imperfection.

It is not as high and majestic as Gerlach, the highest Slovak mountain.

It is not as monumental as Kriváň, Baníkov, or Veľký Rozsutec.

But from here, you can admire the surrounding beauty. And that makes it special.

Oscar Wilde wrote a story about Narcissus.

When Narcissus died, the pool of his pleasure changed from a cup of sweet waters into a cup of salt tears, and the Oreads came weeping through the woodland that they might sing to the pool and give it comfort.

They said they understood the pools sadness about Narcissus.

And the pool answered, “I loved Narcissus because, as he laid on my banks and looked down at me, in the mirror of his eyes I saw ever my own beauty mirrored.”

And so it is with Poludnica.

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.

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