Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Step into Slovakia

Anti lib-dem sign in Korbielow?

 15-08-12 Feast of the Assumption
So once again I set off eastwards following the Carpathians/Polish border. Today was the Feast of Assumption. As a godless heathen and infidel I have no idea what this means, however for the Poles it is a national holiday and all the churches were packed and all the roadside shrines decorated. I got stuck in a massive traffic queue in one very small village.

Today's hill I came upon by complete chance, without realising it was one of Poland's few Majors (i.e. a hill with prominence of more than 610m). I bought a map from a road side booth in Korbielow - in the Beskid Zywiecki national park and set off on the blue track to Przel Przyslopy and then the green track, passing the crowded Hala Miziowa hut through a mix of borowka and dwarf pines to the summit of Pilsko (1557m/P752). Strictly speaking the true summit is not in Poland as it is a couple of hundred metres over the border in Slovakia. So this was my first time in another country.
First sign of Slovakia


Pilsko sign

Pilsko summiteer

On the way down I stopped off for a drink in the Hala Miziowa and thought I would use the path down that follows the ski-lifts, even though this would involve a bit of road walking in the end. However, somehow I managed to lose the path part way down and ended up following a track not marked on the map which took me almost all the way back to Korbielow. The path was lined with Great Yellow Gentian and Willow-leaved Gentian. My only worry was being stopped by a Polish GOML (=Get Off My Land) - however the very few people I saw just said the customary 'Dzien Dobry' * greeting as I passed them.

Great Yellow Gentian - Gentiana Lutea
 * In both Czech and Slovakian the greeting is 'Dobry den'. To save confusion lots of people just say Dobry whilst on these border mountains. And you end up saying it dozens of times everyday.

Willow leaved Gentian - Gentiana asclepiadea
From the summit of Pilsko I could see another hill in cloud. Turns out that hill was even more prominent and has a great name - Babia Gora.
Babia Gora from Pilsko

Des res in need of some minor repair

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