IMG_5438[1]IMG_5421[1]IMG_5437[1]IMG_5436[1]IMG_5432[1]Situated below the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia, bordering Poland. The smell of slow roasting suckling pig is wafting through the van. We are parked up at an aire that is a bed and breakfast with a restaurant attached. Yesterday we travelled from Levoca, the world UNESCO heritage site. We had parked up between the walls of the city and I wandered through with the dogs. Jason was exhausted from the three hour drive there. The town had some beautiful buildings and churches. The Kosice gate the entrance to the city and intact with the walls. They date back to the 13th and 14th centuries. Entering through ,a beautiful white church with a painted heart on the front is on the left. A short walk further and into the centre of town. The churches dominating the skyline. The cage of disgrace. Used for punishing women who were caught walking the streets without a man after dark. The punishment usually lasted 24 hrs it dates back to the 16th century. The historic town hall, Lutheran church and the minor Basilica of St James are worth a visit. That night we were parked up all by ourselves and awoke to the lawn mowing guys turning up to get the lawns done. I don’t know who was more surprised them or us. We packed up and left at 7am to get fuel and make our way to Spis Castle. Passing loads of children up early to catch their school bus. The drive a lot more scenic towards the Tatra mountains, we have seen a lot of industrial over the last week. Little villages with huge tower blocks in bizarre colours, green and orange, pink and yellow. I swear the person who over saw the painting must be colour blind and the matching colours indicate that. The quick visit to Spis castle nestled up on a hill. A magnificent site and reminded us of Wales and a few of the castles we have seen there. From there we drove to Tatranska Lominca a fab place to spend my birthday. We decided to do an approx 3 hour hike up to the lake. We met a guy who said its best to go up on a clear day to get an unobstructed view. He had just come back from the waterfall with his small children and suggested that walk. So we took the blue trail and headed off. Stunning scenery amongst the pine forests, limestone rocks formed steps and little streams tricked down. We finally found the waterfall and crossed over looking for the hut. The only thing with hiking in another country like Slovakia is, it isn’t always well-marked. Yes the trees had blue markings but no numbers and no clear corresponding markings on the map. We decided to take the road back down, but first had to find the correct road, which meant we had to go up before we could come down. We all were pretty tired at this point and when we got to the bottom at Stary Smokovec. We had another 7km walk back to Tatranska Lomnica. As we approached the town two things were on our minds food and alcohol. We headed for nearest pub, and Jas went in to buy me a Radler, him a beer and some food. I just asked him to get me something traditional. 10 minutes later he came out and said, “i dont know what i ordered you its all in Slovakian, but the girl said its traditional” What followed was a plate of potato dumplings with cheese and bacon. Really nice and good value. Last night we went in for dinner at where we are staying. I had garlic soup and croutons and Jas had the snitzel. Followed by Apple strudel and walnuts and chocolate pancakes. A glass of wine and Jas had a shot of their 72% proof local alcohol. It’s fair to say we are a bit sore today after the 20km walk yesterday. Both the dogs have slept all day and my ankle is swollen. I think i need to wear my tramping boots in more. But to be honest the views and hike are worth the pain. Tomorrow we are hoping to walk to the lake Skalnate Pleso at 1751m, its higher than we walked yesterday and about 2 hours each way. Fingers crossed for a clear day, we would like to go to the summit of Lomnicky Stit at 2634m but the cable car doesn’t go if its windy and its hard to buy tickets online as they have limited numbers daily. If you ever come to Slovakia this place is a must, in winter it has the slopes and in summer the hiking is breathtaking