I had not had holidays until last summer in 2013. By holidays I mean those special days when you leave the city or the country and arrive in some tourist resort. To someone’s disappointment, my husband and I decided to head for the mountains. No Turkish kebabs or sunny beaches, no deserts or cheap perfumes in Egypt or some other local market. Our first trip started with a trip to Slovakia. We chose the cheapest way of travelling – a road trip by bus. The following year, that is this summer, we visited the Czech Republic. It was no Prague with its intricate streets of Old Town and expensive souvenir shops and beer pubs. We wanted to embrace the beauty of the mountains and feel the freedom, which we had been striving for so long.
The first encounter with the mountains in Slovakia was breathtaking and overwhelming. I had not seen anything like this before. My family had never travelled, even to the seaside, so a walk along Slovakian heaven paths now brings strong memories.
The Low Tatras is a mountain range with its highest peak called Chopok, which is 2,024 metres high. On top of that summit, I got overwhelmed by how our planet is different in different geographical spots. We have open fields, deserts, lakes, rivers… and we have mountains.
It might seem that the top of Chopok is easy to reach. Well, it is easy to climb compared to the peak of the mountain called Snezka, which is located in the Czech Republic. Get to the very top of Chopok, and you will find yourself higher that the clouds. There is no need to get onto the plane because it is enough to get on a high summit to find yourself on the top of the world. Little clouds may be lying at your feet, and you, as small as you are, can see the world in its full beauty.
As you may guess, I did not have enough of Slovakia. If you choose to travel with bus tour agencies, you need to put up with the time limits you are given, which sometimes may be very disappointing. At the time we reached Chopok, some storm had been foreseen; hence, we were given little time to enjoy the view. I said ‘see you later’ to that mountain range because I believed that I would see the same summit and the surrounding area some day in the future. I do not think in the same way now, but who knows…
This year, we got a chance to reach Snezka (1,602 m), which is the highest summit in the Czech Republic. In order to get to this summit by elevators, you have to get to a mountain called Ruzova Hora, which is 1,339 metres high. When we get to the top of Ruzova Hora, we were told that the elevator was not working, and our guide suggested going to Snezka by foot. And we did it. At a very rapid pace, but we did it.
We climbed this mountain! The camera does not do its justice; it does not show how majestic it is. And yes, I know it is not Mount Everest or some other very high peak, but that was enough for me to fall in love with mountains.
Some of use were very rapid. I was trying to be as speedy as I could; unfortunately, soon I realized that so many hours at the computer and at university had some impact on my physical strength. I run out of breath; my face turned pink, purple, blue, whatever you call it, and I had to make short breaks every few stair-steps. And, as you can see from the picture above, the way up to the top is a great many of steps.
But it was worth it!
Some may say that mountains are nothing special. They are no cultural heritage; they do not show how the human race has evolved over centuries. There is no significant architecture up there, but the mountains are the architecture of the nature to a some degree. A man built a road to the top, but the nature did much more before that.
We climbed some other mountains during those days off and made some pictures that will get covered in dust after I die, unless our offspring will fancy watching them, in which case, I would like them to become worn out, just like the pictures of my grandmother are.