Explore – Live – Create

Zdiar, Slovakia

Waking up in Zdiar with the view of the snowy mountains through the window right in front of me was definitely a ‘pinch me’ moment. If you’ve read my other blog posts you’ll know by now that being surrounded by nature makes me very, very happy, and this was no exception.

Our stay in Slovakia was exactly what we intended, and then some. We initially chose The Ginger Monkey hostel because it looked relaxing and the perfect place to recharge our batteries, both camera and body. Oh and just a minor other detail…THEY HAVE A DOG! We booked in for a week and planned to look at the dreamy mountains, read books and drink lots of tea.

For the first few days we woke up naturally, ate copious amounts of delicious bread and jam for breakfast and then for the rest of the day we’d chill in the cosy room (as I like to call it) and read books, played Monopoly deal and cuddled Wally Dog and Kevin the Cat. Kieron taught me how to play chess while we were there and, as someone who can get quite competitive, let me say tension rose at times. I still haven’t won a game yet but my time will come.

We walked beautiful Wally by the forrest and along the river, stopping to skim stones and find pebbles in the shape of a heart.

We went to pizza Friday (and Sunday) and wore snow suits to keep us warm. We drank disgusting vodka and tea liqueur made near the Tatra mountains, played a new favourite game, mushroom cup and then collapsed for another night of peaceful sleeping. I miss how good I slept in Slovakia!

We went on a long bus journey out of town to go on a toboggan ride that lasted thirty seconds, but have no regrets.

And then on our final day, energy levels regained, we hiked the saddle route in the High Tatras with some friends we’d made at the hostel. It was without a doubt one of the best hikes I’ve ever been on. I’m the type of hiker that always goes over prepared, just as my Dad always taught me. On this occasion, however, I was wearing my Nike trainers, a pair of leggings, a cotton jumper and a raincoat from Primark that honestly can’t really pass as a raincoat. My mind was telling me I was stupid, the view from the hostel was telling me to shut up and lace up my trainers. Oh…and did I mention there was knee deep snow??

8 hours later, sore cheeks from laughing so much and countless times slipping in the snow, we’d done it. We’d just hiked in beautiful, knee deep fluffy snow. We saw the most stunning mountains, we shared stories, we giggled, we fell, we met a wolf dog (yes, and actual wolf dog, he was called Diago and he was beautiful and gentle) we saw actual real mountain goats and we made some amazing memories. Getting back to the warm hostel to snuggle with a hot chocolate was just the icing on the cake.

Our trip to Zdiar was unexpected but absolutely and utterly perfect. I honestly hope one day we can return to learn how to ski, but most importantly to give Wally another cuddle.


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