Helloooo again. It’s been quite a while since I wrote my last blog, life has been pretty interesting. I finished my first year of master’s (a major relief) and then came the summer vacations followed by my internship and now back to school again. The summer vacations went exceptionally well. The perks of studying in Europe is that you can travel to a lot of beautiful destinations. I traveled to Slovakia this summer. I have a cousin who lives in Prague and we decided to take a trip to the beautiful Tatra mountains. The whole plan was to hike and explore the place. This last-minute plan lasted two nights and two days, and it was perfect.
I have traveled quite a few times to the mountains already back at home and I was still awestruck by this place. If you like visiting places, you’re either a beach person or a mountain person. And I am a mountain person. So this trip was just what I needed after the hectic year.
Day one, we hiked to a beautiful place called The Green Lake (Zelene Pleso). It took about half a day of climb uphill. En route all the way you’ll have the company of a beautiful stream flowing right by you giving you ample opportunities to click great pictures of it.
The stream en-route Zelene Pleso, High Tatras
The beautiful Green Lake (Zelene Pleso)
Day two, we woke up in the morning and we read through nearly all the hiking trails in the region to pick one of the difficult ones – Slovak Paradise. We based out of this place called Zdiar. To hike in Slovak Paradise, one would normally require to start as early as 7.30am. And there we were sitting at 9.15am contemplating if we should take the trail or not. We had to catch a train the same day too. After about fifteen mins of discussion. We decided to pack ALL our things, head to Slovak Paradise and then directly board our train saving ourselves a trip back to Zdiar. So we started with all our luggage and started the hike an hour and a half later. The weather wasn’t very promising. It was insanely cloudy and windy. As we started the trail, we saw nearly every kind of landscape one would expect – grasslands, forests, hills, rivers; name whatever you would like to see and you would have it.
Grasslands before starting the hike in Slovak Paradise
A stream flowing in Slovak Paradise before the clouds covered the sky
After hiking till about 2.30pm, we decided it was time to head back. Partly because of the weather and partly because of the trails. The weather forecast predicted heavy rains and there we were in the middle of a forest and hearing the thunders. There are so many trails in that one place. It is a national park and depending on your preference you can follow whatever trail you want. We even got lost quite a few times because we had to take detours as a result of fallen trees and landslides. Maybe if we had planned better, we’d know exactly what we wanted to see and do. But no regrets! It was an amazing experience. Someday I hope I get to take a couple of weeks off and discover the beautiful country – Slovakia 🙂
My hyper-excited self, seeing all that snow!
If you follow Game of Thrones, you know what I am talking about. Only this time, it is literal. One week ago, one of my friends told me that it is going to snow the next weekend. I tried to hide my excitement just so that I wouldn’t jinx it. Even if it were to happen, I expected it to be just a light shower. Just sprinkle some magic all around and vanish. Nevertheless, I was still excited!
I woke up (for the first time) at 8 am. I took a good look outside the window and went back to bed. It was just another day when its cold, the sun is not out, you have high hopes of seeing snow and ended up feeling a little disappointed.
11am, I woke up again, looked out my window when I noticed the shower. After a week’s confusion between whether its snow or hail (aka snoil), I had to confirm. I put my hand outside and I had snowflakes on my palm! I had seen snow earlier but had never seen a snowfall. It was an enthralling sight. After making plans with a couple of friends, we suited up and headed out. Oh boy! I was dumbstruck by the view.
Partners in crime.
Braving the cold, we reached the road in front of the EEMCS faculty. The sky wasn’t to be seen anymore. Snowflakes everywhere, going into our eyes and mouth. Hands were bone-chillingly numb. However, it didn’t succeed in hampering our spirits. After a battle of throwing snow at each other, we walked to the Library. A breathtakingly beautiful sight.
After realizing that our shoes were drenched in snow, we decided to head back home and ended up stopping in the middle of a road for a picture (don’t ever try it). Finally, after treading in the snow for another 10 mins, reached the room and the first thing I did? Go sit next to the radiator and wait for all the senses to return! The first winter in Europe, the first snowfall in a lifetime-it was an amazing day!