First we burst into a holiday. Normally, the shops here are open seven days a week. But when even the car parks of DIY stores and Lidl on the main streets are empty, it must be a holiday.
As travellers, we should probably be better prepared, but once again we weren't. Jan, then just no SIM card with open-end internet. Instead, we spontaneously organised a national cycling race across the city.
In the evening, we drive through the Great Fatra, a beautiful small mountain range, and look for a cosy spot in the middle of the forest. Here we can hike in peace and sleep in. The last few days were somehow too much city, too much culture.
After dinner, it is pitch dark around our Felix, I read from the guidebook. And I read: "The place, which has been preserved in its original state, is one of the few in Europe where bears, wolves and other animals still live in the wild. Really, bears?
My imagination does somersaults, I immediately do more research: it is estimated that there are about 800 bears living here in the Slovakian Carpathians. 800!
We're lying in bed, it's actually buzzing outside. I swear! Sleep is out of the question, somehow neither of us is prepared for a bear encounter at night.
Well, what the heck, we crawl out of bed and roll out of the forest. Yes, probably the bear or the bear family is not interested in us at all. But who knows?
In the morning things look quite different, we visit the nearby natural place. No sign of bears. Once again, our imagination was too intense!
Near the town of Ruzomberok there is this special place called Vlkolinec. (These names!) This village of wooden houses is very well known in Slovakia and is a protected monument. In 1993, UNESCO even declared Vlkolinec a World Heritage Site.
Here we could see how people lived in the mountains in the Middle Ages. The wooden bell tower from 1770 is particularly worth seeing. The wooden church and the well are equally old and worth seeing.
In Vlkolinec there is a museum, an information centre and a gallery. Of course we looked at everything, the whole thing took about 10 minutes. So not huge, but if you're around anyway and have been spared the bears of the night, you shouldn't miss it. Although the village is tiny, 20 people still live here in six of a total of 55 wooden houses.
Conclusion: a strange combination. A holiday, a night with bear fantasies and little sleep, and then a village with 55 wooden houses and 20 people living in them. All in all, another beautiful day in a beautiful country.
Merci for "travelling with us
These weeks we are travelling through Iran. It's possible that we won't be writing posts or that they will be delayed. We first have to see whether we have enough internet or reception and whether it is suitable for us to publish from the country. And whether we will even manage to write down all the fantastic impressions in time.
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