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  • Writer's pictureMarion Marquardt

High Tatras crossing Slovenia - Poland

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

After a few days of culinary and cultural highlights in Krakow, we head off to the High Tatras. We definitely don't want to miss the smallest high mountain range in Europe. We plan to cross it in 5 daily stages and have planned the tour beforehand. A few weeks in advance, when the further route was roughly determined, we try to make our reservations for the mountain huts. Not at all easy, because the region is quite popular with Eastern Europeans. We only have emergency accommodation for the first night (more on that later), and no solution at all for the fourth night. Camping is definitely not an option, because it is strictly forbidden in the national park and is severely punished (up to 2.000 € fine). We'd rather not risk that. But as always, everything turns out differently anyway ...

The evening before our first stage we meet with Sandra and Steffen, friends from Germany who happen to be on vacation in Slovenia. And so we spend a convivial evening at the campsite in the Slovak paradise. Not exactly beneficial for our performance the next day.

camping slowakei paradies tatra
A funny night with Sandra and Steffen on the campsite

Nevertheless we start around 9 o'clock. We cheat with the first meters of altitude and take the gondola from Tatranská Lomnica to the middle station. Then it's only about 500 meters in altitude - actually a no brainer for us. But somehow we have trouble with it. We arrive at the Teryho Hut in the early afternoon, where we spend the night. A wonderful view is waiting for us.

Postredné Spisské Pleso tatra teryho hütte wanderung
Mountain lake at the Teryho hut

The evening is going to be long and we pass the time alternately playing Scrabble and stargazing. The emergency shelter means that we sleep on the floor of the lounge - with almost 20 other snoring Eastern Europeans. For dinner there was a traditional garlic soup, which reduces the comfort even more. The guys drink and party until the hut manager closes the bar at 10 p.m., then we get our mattresses and are allowed to sleep until 6 a.m. Relaxing is different ...

We start the next morning at 7 a.m. The second stage seems a little longer ... we have two passes ahead of us. The first is right on the doorstep. After about an hour the path ends on a slope that is only secured with an iron chain. Up there? In Germany they would call it a via ferrata and charge entry. Well, we don't have a choice. Unlike on the first stage, we hardly meet anyone. Somehow we climb up and finally down again on the other side. A hiking stick get's lost on the way - it doesn't matter. Around noon we reach a hut and take a break. We seem to have the worst behind us. Noway! The weather get's worse. There is fog and light rain. That makes the rock with moss slippery like soap. And another pass like the first awaits us. We climb up without any view and just see an iron chain on the top, which leads down steeply into nowhere. Really? That just feels too dangerous. We decide to turn around. The only question is where to ... the huts are fully booked. And for the second night we even booked a quite upscale mountain hotel that we don't want to cancel. But first get off the danger zone. So we go all the way back to the car. Just before it gets dark, we are finally there. It was too much for Micha's knee and he is in a lot of pain. After all, you can even drive to Hotel Sliezky Dom for a small fee for a permit. What the heck - we're hungry and tired! The next morning we have replan... Firstly, Micha's knee is fucked and secondly, we don't want to do any more passes on the route. How can this be called a hiking trail? We decide to take the shuttle to the hut, which we booked for the third night and of course can no longer cancel free of charge. Since the High Tatras are so small, you can get to any point in a short time from the valley. At least, we haven't had booked anything for the fourth night.

And so we close the chapter High Tatras and treat ourselves with a little break at a quiet campsite. Our conclusion: The high mountain range is really beautiful, but totally overcrowded. Feels like all of Poland and Slovenia are there during the holiday season. We are already looking forward to the endless expanses of the Romanian Carpathians.

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