Where? Why? I didn’t even know what country I was heading to when my mate told me I could have his appartment for free for a week. A quick whizz round the World Wide Winifred tells me I’m going to northern Slovakia, in the foothills of the Spisska Magura mountains. (Try saying that after a few glasses of Pivo).
So, how to get there? Why not do a bit of a road trip? Fly to Prague, couple of days there, hire a car, drive to Vysné and then explore.
First bit done, car hired online before leaving home, after three days in Prague, I attached my GPS to the windscreen of my hire car, and typed in my destination. Ah …. 11 hours of driving.
The roads were fairly horrendous to be honest. There appeared to have been a huge civil works program underway on the day of my journey. Every few km’s, roadworks meant slowing down, or stopping completely, meaning that I finally got to my appartment around midnight.
A fairly standard “ski chalet” type flat but God my bed was comfy after that days driving.
I awoke to beautiful sunshine, into the bathroom for a shower, opened the window to see this:
Not the worst view to begin a holiday with.
The appartment was ever so slightly out of the main village, in a new skiing development, which meant a 10 minute walk down the hill to go shopping, and a 20 minute walk back. (It’s a very steep hill). The view on the way down of the entire village is worth the walk though, very colourful:
The town itself is small, with three shops and a couple of bars. The internet tells you that Vysné is famous for two things. The largest volcanic crater in Slovakia:
and a thermal spring centre.
I took a trip to the crater, Vysné being small, everything is walkable, so after a quick stroll I arrived in the area it was supposed to be, but couldn’t find it. With my best Slovakian being put to the test I asked someone who appeared to be local. “It’s just there, behind you.” I looked behind but could only see a grass bank. Rapid arm gestures from my local friend, indicating I should go up the bank. I duly followed orders and climbed up, where I saw it in all it’s glory. About 20m across and 3m deep, absolutely crystal clear. I dipped a toe in, not warm it must be said, followed by a jump. Bbbbbrrrrrrrrrr. Bracing would be a good word to describe it, was fresh indeed. Whilst I would certainly recommend a dip in it (I swam in it every day that I was there) there is one thing to be aware of. As the water is so clear, the bubbles of nutrients and general “stuff” coming up from the volcano underneath the crater mean that its incredibly painful if you stupidly (yes, it was me) open your eyes underwater. Ouchie!!!
Half a day was also spent in the spring centre. Towels are provided, however you must pay in Euro’s. No card facilities are available. It’s also worth the trip, a spa is a spa, and this one is as good as any other I’ve been in.
Although the internet says Vysné is famous for the two things noted above, I would like to add a third.
This is only .65 cents (Euro). Surely that is worth fame in anyone’s language?