Memories / Chapter 5

Eastern Slovakia Roadtrip

September 2020

Exploring hamlets, little towns, nature and abandoned places of the far eastern part of my homeland - Horehronie, Spiš, Upper Zemplín and Lower Zemplín regions and Poloniny National Park.

Despite travelling quite a lot around my home country, I have never prepared a chapter on it for this travel blog yet. That is just about to change. With closed borders and travel restrictions due to COVID, we decided instead of travelling abroad this summer to undertake a roadtrip to the far east of our country - places and areas that are usually little known to western Slovaks.

Our trip starts with passing through the Horehronie region in Central Slovakia that is well-known to us, and then onwards toward the Spiš region, where true east starts. We stay a night at Palcmanská Maša reservoir and spend next day walking through ravines of Slovak Paradise. On our way east we conduct an Urban exploring trip to an abandoned children sanatorium hidden in the forest.

Next few days we spent exploring Northern Zemplín Region - The UNESCO heritage crown city of Bardejov. The famous Dukla Pass where liberation of Slovakia started in the end of WWII and a place of Slovak National Uprising. The remote odd town of Medzilaborce, hosting a Museum of Modern Art focused on Andy Warhol, as his parents are originally from here. Tiny hillside villages, odd roads and wooden orthodox churches. Runina, quiet village hidden deep in Eastern Carpathians. And finally National Park Poloniny at the very northeast of our country, a place of several beech primodial forests. We even walk to the easternmost point of Slovakia - The border tripoint between Slovakia, Ukraine and Poland at Kremenec.

Last part of our trip focuses on exploring Southern Zemplín Region - The huge water reservoir Zemplínska Šírava. Vihorlat National Park with a lovely lake Morské Oko. Urban exploring of abandoned bathhouse of Sobrance. Beňatina quarry at the Ukrainian border. Southern forests of Latorica river. Premonstratensian Monastery at Leles. Čierna Nad Tisou, major cargo rail station and a place of railway border crossing with Ukraine. And finally Tokaj, world-famous wine region not far from Košice, the capital of eastern Slovakia.