Last weekend my husband and I got the treat of going for a ‘date’ on our own. A brother and sister in law agreed to take the kids, and we decided to go hiking. While we do live near hills, we wanted something a little higher.
Vapeč (pronounced Vapech) is the nearest peak-out-of-the-trees-high-hill. Or is it a mountain? At almost 1000m (3280 ft), it was close, beautiful, and not too difficult.
We drove to the end of a little town called Horna Poruba and followed red painted squares and arrows.
Little trail side and roadside shrines, like the one above, are common in Slovakia. I can imagine farmers stopping for moments of recollection on their way to fields.
The trail climbs fairly steeply for 3 km to the top. Most of it is in thickly wooded forest, a mix of deciduous and conifer trees. The smell of sun warmed pine and spruce reminded me of home in Canada. There were a few springs, with pipes coming out of rocks or minihouses, complementary cup included.
There were very few other hikers, which made me feel like we were traveling off the beaten path.
A few peak-a-boo views, and we broke out of the trees. The bare rock bluffs add to a rugged atmosphere, and we could pretend we were much higher than we actually were.
After a visit to the top, we mosied down to some grassy almost meadows below the peak, ate lunch, and basked in the sun. After two months of rain and cold, however, we weren’t used to the sun that came out in a strength to make up for lost time. The little metal box (not on the actual peak, as there wasn’t enough room) holds a book hikers can sign. We were lame and didn’t sign in.
Thanks to Jozef and Eliska (the brother and sister in law) for watching the kids so Michal and I could have some time together!