Stunning Slovakia

Stunning is the only way to describe Slovakia. One hour and fifteen minutes took me from the valley of Szczwanica to the Slovak mountains. Once again I was glued to the window as I drove through Poland to Slovakia. Guess who had done absolutely no research prior to my trip (it was me, no surprises there). Bachledova Valley is a lot flatter and greener than the Dunajec gorge.

When I arrived in Pieniny National Park, I thought my photographer had taken a wrong turn and we had ended up in Switzerland. The trip I had planned was a surprise for my photographer. For some reason they want to do 30 crazy things before turning 30. Of course I am more than happy to join in with the fun.

I chose to park in the car park right at the bottom of the hill in a small town called Ždair-Bachledova Dolina. It is a small chocolate box town which was full of colourful houses scattered in a green valley. As beautiful as the town was, I was not staying at ground level. I paid for some tickets as my photographer perused the map. A map which showed we were either going to meet a friendly, giant yeti in lederhosen or get eaten by a scary looking, giant squirrel.

Treetop Walk Bachledka is a really popular tourist attraction and is a great day trip from Krakow. It is popular but by no means was it overly busy. I found the whole attraction to be well organised and easy to follow, even with a slight language barrier.

The treetop walk has a few different tickets. One allows you to hike up to the top of the hill. I decided we would ride to cable car up the hill because it looked really steep. The cable car was the right decision because I was able to enjoy the ever-changing view as we floated higher and higher.

I was once again incredibly lucky to visit a viewpoint on a really clear day. We’ll the clouds were floating around the tops of the Belianske Tatras. The 10 minute ride was smooth and relaxing. I was pleased about this as my photographer couldn’t manage the last cable car we went on as it was so fast and bumpy (Malcesine in Italy for anyone wondering). My photographer won’t say no to anything. My favourite part of travelling with someone with a chronic illness is the feeling of joy when seeing them manage to do an activity which they couldn’t normally do.

At the top I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The treetop walk is made out of wood and fits in with the surrounding landscape. The tickets are scanned again prior to being allowed on the walkway. 603 metres long and 24 metres above the ground is surprisingly scary, even for a dinosaur. At first I had to be bribed to come out of the backpack with snacks (Note to self – eat the best treats first). I learned a lot walking around the trail. Parts were interactive and had boards up to explain about local wildlife and plants.

The trees were as tall as the walkway and some are ancient. Sadly a forest fire damaged the area but its incredible to see how nature has reclaimed the area.

I walked through a small forest which was the end of the flat trail. The observation tower is a circular gradual incline, taking you a distance of 631 metres. I really enjoyed walking up but the top of the observation deck was a totally different experience.

32 metres above the ground is apparently the best place for 2747592926471 flying ants to meet up with their friends. As a dinosaur I love most creatures but flying insects sadly didn’t make the cut.

The ants were just as big in real life.

I tried my best to ignore them but when they are stuck in your fur and eyes it becomes impossible. It was a shame as I would have liked to enjoy the view for longer. Then came the scary part for both my photographer and I. The net seated area in the centre of the observation deck. I dared my photographer to walk across it, sadly they did this without any fear. Then it was my turn. I was terrified and didn’t go far from the edge. The fear of falling is really strange as my furry blue brain knew I was on a safe net.

To get back down the observation deck, there is a €3 slide or you can walk. Having not recovered from the net, I chose to walk back down.

There is a restaurant and outdoor seating area at the top of the hill but I found the prices to be a bit steep. Sadly, I had a long drive ahead to get back to Krakow so it was time to enjoy the view from the cable car once again.

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