Sunday, April 22, 2007

In the Tatras, as played by Novak and Goode.

Not the most exciting day; a lot of driving, beginning with not-so-interesting highway out of Bratislava, and then becoming more scenic in the north of the country.

Poprad, "gateway to the High Tatras" is not the loveliest of places. On a Saturday afternoon, all the action is at the shopping centre, the mountains are just distant furniture. Tourist information centre was closed, and there wasn't much to eat outside the malls (not that I checked their interiors).

Mountains and mall

Tonight I was staying at a pension near an outlying village, if only I could find the village, or indeed any of the villages marked north of Poprad on the pension's guide map. Poprad didn't have any sign posts to mark roads heading north, so I simply used the mountains as a bearing and drove until I hit a village with a name on the map. That took a bit of doing, as each village seemed to come in more flavours than a quark: Stará (OK that must be old), Nuova (duh!), Velká, Tatranská (probably superfluous indication of promimity to Tatras). I was particularly looking for Stará Lesná, but that didn't seem to be adjacent to Nuova Lesná, nor did the latter provide signposted to directions to the former. It wasn't till I got to Horný Smokovec (it's real, look at the sign in the photo) that I got any positive feedback that I was heading in the right direction, and then it was only another 15 minutes to the pension. Fresh-air and fatigue colluded to give me the longest night's sleep in weeks.

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