High Tatra mountains are the most exciting place, both in Poland and Slovakia. They're exceptionally beautiful - there's no other mountains like this in this part of Europe. If you long for rocky summits and fresh sharp air, then High Tatras are the best choice!
High Tatras are part of Carpathian mountains - very big range going through southern Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. The majority of High Tatras is in Slovakia, but fortunately Poles have a few peaks too. The highest summit is Gerlach - it reaches 2654 metres.
Like in any other high mountains, hiking trails there are long and demanding - no few-hours relaxed stroll in High Tatras. But the views reward all the efforts.
I like High Tatras the best. They offer this crystal beauty of sharp peaks, not to be found in any other part of Poland or Slovakia. These peaks do look menacing but is there more beautiful view than pointed stone of majestic mountain against a background of the blue sky? And the sky is so intense blue! I've seen such blue sky only in Dolomites, above 2000 metres.
When you look at sharp peaks surrounding you silently you know there's not a single thing that matters besides THE PRESENT MOMENT.
I like high mountains because they make me appreciate the present moment. I can feel the power of now and no idea or problem matters at that moment. Great feeling.
The silence is actually very important to me. I've never been able to appreciate the present moment in a city where silence simply doesn't exist.
High Tatras are fascinatingly unpredictable - you may experience a few seasons during a single day. Weather changes here in a blink of an eye. So, it's the middle of October and you would expect the nature to look like autumn. But no.
There's a warm summer in the valley - sun is shining like mad and you start to quickly take off layers of clothing - you definitely don't want to sweat like crazy at the very beginning of the day. Then, at 1500 metres, you see beautiful colourful autumn and you think that the weather is surprisingly kind to you today. After a while, the mild autumn changes into fierce winter - OK, quickly: winter gloves, fleece jumper, jacket, balaclava, anti-slip cover spikes, uff! You just hope all this stuff is enough to hike in High Tatras at this time of the year - on about 1800 metres ice-cold wind blows daringly into your face and snow reaches your thighs. Fortunately, the trail looks welcoming and sun gives you positive energy to keep hiking. Here and there you see completely frozen lake. Amazing.
It's worth to hike in high mountains.
So, that weekend we stayed in a village Horný Smokovec located at the foot of High Tatras. It's great starting point of many hiking trails. Quiet, nice village with added bonus - beautiful scenery. We discovered fantastic accommodation there - panoraMic Mountain Residence.
We started hiking from Tatranská Polianka (990 metres) along green trail in Velická valley. Fantastic trail with rewarding views!
Getting to the mountain hotel Sliezsky dom took us about two and a half hour. There was quite a lot of people and cars (you can get there by car if you've got permission from Tanap), so after quick break we moved on, up into the silent mountains. The trail became quite steep, but after about half an hour of intense ascent we got to a picturesque clearing and the terrain got almost flat. The trail led us among majestic peaks of High Tatras.
When we got to the frozen lake above 1900 metres we decided it's time to get back as the sun was going down. I'd have rather stayed there until nightfall, but my so called common sense brought me back down to the valley.
There's loads of great hiking trails in High Tatra mountains and one sure needs lots of time and energy to get to know them all. I hope I'll be that one.