High Tatras - Skanzen in Zuberec

Sunday morning, slow and lazy as it should be. The Sun was out as it always is on Sunday mornings and there were people already in the kitchen eating breakfast. Exactly what I like Sundays to be like. I like going for trips with a big group, the bigger the better, and somehow I love mornings then. Drowsy people sitting around table, one staring at the table cloth with blank eyes, couple people talking about which is the best sandwich cheese, one sipping coffee from a mug that's bigger than her head and someone going around asking who wants more of this or that. Life <3

Of course after breakfast comes the time to start cleaning up and packing. In Finland, when at the summer house, Sunday mornings were very efficient and fast for some reason. No matter if the weather was awesome we were in the car driving to the ferry before it was 12 o'clock. Since moving to Slovakia and traveling with my colleagues I've learned that Sundays can also be full of things to do before going home. 

Patrolling us when we are preparing to leave

Last Sunday, before starting the three-hour-drive to Bratislava, we wanted to go check out the Skanzen in the area. Skansens are outdoor museums of folk architecture (probably the most famous one in Sweden), which can be found all around Europe. The houses in Zuberec are from between 1700s and 1800s when Slovakia was still part of the Hungarian empire. 

This village has a water mill and different houses for various craftsmanship with which the people funded their lives; a woodcutter's cottage, a room for making fabrics, stables for goats and other horny creatures (aahhahahaha) and a beautiful, ancient wooden church with a baroque organ.

My aim particularly there was to find a place high enough where I could see the surrounding mountains and get a proper picture of them because yesterday everything was covered in clouds. And oh boy did I! I just stood there staring... and staring... and staring. Mountains coach so much respect out of me somehow, you don't mess with mountains. They are so beautiful and sort of scary. Dozens of people die on High Tatras every year. 

There's a common joke shared by mountaineers and hikers in the countries around the Tatras: if you see a Czech in the mountains, hide or run for your life! Czechs are said to be the unluckiest or just plain incompetent mountaineers because most of the unfortunate victims of the Tatras are Czechs.

It was quite a chilly day but at least it was sunny. It warmed us up nicely while we waited for the rest of the group to end their round in the village. Also there was a lot of animals on the site so time went by fast while we scared off the geese, fed grass to the goats and poked our fingers through the bars of the rabbits' cage for the rabbits to chew on.

After the round we ate in the Skanzen restaurant: goulash <3 Some of us drove straight to Bratislava after that but we decided to make one more stop on the way at the Orava Castle, which is described as the most beautiful castle in Slovakia. More on that in the next post.

Overall these trips have made me think about doing something like this in Finland as well. As children we went to the woods every Spring and Autumn with class and in winter we went skiing to national parks with our family. And now thinking back I realize how different the Finnish outdoors look like compared to the Central European equivalent. So maybe hopefully next Spring when I go home the weather would be allowing for a little hike in my home country. If nothing else, at least food, no matter how simple, tastes always better outside for some reason.


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