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Saturday, 01 July 2017

Slovakia: Mountains, Lakes & Caves - Page 3

Written by Prachi Kagzi
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We moved ahead to Tatranská Lomnica in the late afternoon for a fun luge ride at the Tatra Bob. This exhilarating ride, which is a near bobsled experience, made me feel like a child again.

We strolled under orange berry trees through Lomnický park to the Lanovka cable car. We took it up to Skalnaté pleso (1786,8 m or 5900 feet) for the hike to Lomnické Sedlo (2196 m or 7300 ft).

You can instead go further to Lomnický štít. It is one of the highest and most visited mountain peaks in the High Tatras connected by cable car. The summit is 2634 meters above sea level, making it the second highest peak after Gerlachovský štít (2654 m). You need to buy the tickets to the summit in advance as tickets are sold out days before.

The short hike to Lomnické Sedlo is one of the most beautiful ones I have done in my life!

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It was here in the heart of the Tatras, where I got a real sense of the humongous mountain range and how underrated they are. I felt truly in the lap of nature and felt the power of the mighty mountains. During this hike we got a glimpse of the torrential alpine weather too, when we were hit by sudden clouds, lightning and rain showers at the summit. Luckily, we had our ponchos in our backpacks. We descended toward the cable car, but to my horror they had shut it down due to bad weather. However, after a 30 minute wait we were relieved, as the weather tamed and they restarted operations. After the descent, instead of the cable car at Skalnaté Pleso we opted for the mountain karts (adult scooter) for fun. A close cousin of the Go kart, this proved to be a unique way to experience a ride down the mountains. After basic safety instructions and with no traffic we zipped down the mountain path (only for bikers and hikers) in the karts which has no accelerator but only a brake.

Finally, the eventful day drew to an end and we retraced our way via the Tatra Electric Railway from Tatranská Lomnica back to Štrbské Pleso. The railway is an electrified (1500 V DC) single track 1,000 mm narrow gauge railway connecting the mountain towns.

The next morning, we enjoyed the scrumptious champagne breakfast at the hotel and packed up to leave the Tatras. We started out for the Ochtinská Aragonite Caves.

There are only three aragonite caves discovered in the world so far. In the so-called Milky Way Hall, the main attraction of the cave, white branches and clusters of aragonite shine like stars in the Milky Way. We were astounded by the beauty and unworldliness of these Flos Ferri formations.

We finished the small cave tour in an hour to end our short yet intense Slovak affair and left for the Hungarian wine region towards Edger. The shady wine region and fiery Budapest had many surprises in store for us. However, that's another story.

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©Prachi Kagzi

(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Friday, 30 June 2017

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