Everybody knows High Tatras, but have you heard of Slovak Paradise? It is an amazing place.High Tatras have their own beauty, and it is impossible to compare them with the Slovak Paradise. So we decided to give Erasmus students an opportunity to visit real paradise, which is located in the eastern part of Slovakia.

As a group of 39 students and 3 ESN members, we were ready for a new adventure. Saturday, 24 October was a perfect day for an autumn hiking. We took a train at 9:31 from Košice and shortly after 11 a. m. we began our trip in Spišské Tomášovce ­ a small village very close to the Slovak paradise. All of us were delighted with amazing weather. There wasn ́t a single cloud in the sky, the sun was shining and as we were walking up the hill we were putting our warm jackets off.

Our first stop was Tomašovský výhľad (Tomašovský view). It ́s a place in the height of 200 meters above the river, but the scenery was breathtaking. Colourful trees surrounded us from everywhere. If it was possible most of the students would stay there, but we had some more places to stop. Our next goal was to overpass the Hornád Canyon. We can say that fun began there. In order not to fall down into the river we had to hold the chains and walk on the clenches (iron steps built into the rocky walls). For some people it was already adrenaline to see that there is nothing below them, just cold river. It took us about two hours to pass this part. We had to be very careful all the time because the ground was wet and together with fallen leaves it was extremely slippery.

The most interesting part was still waiting for us. Waterfalls and ladders in the Kláštorná roklina (Monastery Gorge). This place is very specific, because there is no solid path, you only have to follow small stream. Because of the rainy weather during preceding days, there was pretty much water in the stream, so sometimes we had to jump from one stone to another. Nobody would like to take a bath in that cold water but on the other hand, when we reached the first waterfalls, some people came closer to them and took pictures. Climbing the ladders was so much fun. Students enjoyed it but still everybody was very careful.

In an hour we got on the top of the Gorge, where we had our destination point. It is named Kláštorisko, where huge meadows are, more than 700 years old monastery, amazing view on High Tatras. Everybody was so happy to sit down on the grass and relax. Fortunately the sky was blue and sun was shining so it gave us plenty of energy to get back to the station.

Our return was much easier and faster. We had several more wonderful views on the surrounding country and we got back exactly on time when it was getting dark. Slovak paradise is magic place and also this day was magical because of the lovely people that participated.

And because there were students who were interested but couldn ́t go on this date, we organised the same trip for them next weekend again.

Author: Rachel Galvánková, ESN Košice active member
Photos by ESN Kosice