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Slovakia-High Tatras

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The High Tatras form part of the Carpathian mountain range lying between Poland and Slovakia. The Tatra National Park (Tatranský národný) was founded in 1948. There are 29 peaks over 2,500m.  I found the name romantic and had wanted to visit them for some time until the opportunity arose.  Peter, a post-doctoral student at Cambridge, and he and his wife Paulina and baby Palko lived in our house in Cambridge for a few months in 2007 and subsequently invited us to visit them in Bratislava..

Slovakia is green and hilly. The woods, cover the hills like a quilt, and meet the sloping fields in soft wavy lines.  The Tatras are different. They are ‘young’ mountains formed by Alpine-Himalayan folding and thrusting and subsequently shaped by ice age glaciation. The core is a crystalline massif covered by a thick layer of sedimentary rocks. For the hiker and climber they are something of a ‘hidden gem’, with their impressive spiky summits.

The jewel is Kriváň (2,495 m), and its famous curved profile is an important symbol in Slovak culture. Rysy, straddles the border between Slovakia and Poland, and is the Poland’s tallest peak.  Lomnicky stit is the second highest peak in the High Tatras after Gerlach (2,655m).  We climbed all three.

We also get a feel for the history of a central European country emerging from Soviet dominance, now looking prosperous and modern.



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