Kralova Studna – Donovaly

Stage   no. 61
Date Monday 6 July 2009
Distance stage       17,5 km
Distance acum. 2362,0 km
Quality of signs Good
Quality of the hike A (fantastic!): mountains, nice views

Today is the last day of my two-day hiking trip. It’s too bad for the breakfast facility in the refuge, but I have to leave early.

At 4.00am I am already behind the refuge climbing up the very characteristic mountain, named Krizna (1574 meters). It takes me over one hour before I reach the summit, and it is very rewarding. The view in any direction is great, on a great summer day like I have today. Too bad for the small observatory that is built on the top, that is totally out of place here.

green mountains and blue skies

After a short breakfast-break I continue my way. It’s only a short stage today. The main reason is that after the village of Donovaly the Trail enters the mountain range Lower Tatras, and there are hardly any possibilities to finish a trip and return. The great view towards the east (ahead) and north and south continuous for a short while during the descent of the Krizna. Unfortunately the alpine scenery comes to an end when the Trail continues through forrests. The Trail goes up and down within small ranges, so it remains nice to walk here. After the crossing the pass Sedlo Velky Sturec, where the Trail crosses an informal road, the path goes uphill again. First to the top of the hill Motycska Hola, which is also still covered under the trees, and after through the plain fields on the main ridge to the top of the Zvolen hill (1402 meters) . Before I arrive up there  I have a first view on Donovaly, down in the valley. It looks typical Slovakian; several styles of buildings spread in a wide area without any agglomoration synergy. The top of the Zvolen hill is easily to reach for tourists using the cablecar system from the valley. There are dozens of them up here, all wandering around a bit before walking their way down into the valley. The first part of the descent is very steep, later on it gets more comfortable. At 11.45am I arrive in Donovaly.

Donovaly

The village is not impressing, it’s located on a very busy trans-Slovakian road crossing the Lower Tatras. There are many big holliday facilities, obviously concentrating their share of the tourists spending in the winter season. The Tourist Agency is situated in the centre of the village, next to the bridge crossing the big street. They have information about cheap locations to spend the night, which I will need for my next trip. The bus that takes me back to Bratislava is supposed to stop at 12.25. It is right on time.

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