the entry fee to the Slovak Paradise - 1,30 €
bus from Betlanovce/Hrabusice to Spisska Nova Ves - 1,00 €
train from Spisska Nova Ves to Spisske Tomasovce - 0,40 €
single room in Hotel Sport in Spisska Nova Ves - 16 €
dinner in Spiska Nova Ves (restaurants in the center) from 3 € to 8 €
beer - 0,80 - 0,90 € (O,5 l)
glas of wine - 0,50 € (0,1 l)
coffee - approx. 1 €
ice cream ball (small) - approx. 0,30 €
I give you all prices in Euros because the Euro will be introduced in Slovakia from January 1, 2009.
This was certainly not my favourite thing or fondest memory of Slovensky Raj but there is no real suitable section for it.
Our first hike in Slovensky Raj took us to Tomasovsky Vyhlad, a lookout point at 666 metres with fantastic views over the valley and even as far as the Tatras in the distance.
This was a great spot for taking photos so we decided to set the camera up on the tripod and take one of the two of us. As I was fixing the tripod in place the camera case fell out of my hand. I reached down to get it, a bottle of coke fell out of my backpack side pocket, knocked over the tripod and the camera and the next thing I knew, they had toppled over the side of the lookout. No!!!!
I almost fell over the lookout myself in trying to grab the tripod. It all happened so suddenly that the enormity of what had happened didn't sink in for a few seconds. But my camera, my lovely camera which I've had for almost 3 years and, more importantly, the memory card with many of our Slovakia photos from Spis Castle and the Tatras !!! I kept very calm and didn't panic though I think some of the other tourists had heard our cries and had seen what had happened. We probably should have told the people at the park toll booth nearby what had happened but instead we decided to go down below and try to find it ourselves.
It had fallen a good 500 metres so the camera would be ruined but I expected the memory card would be intact. If only we could find the camera. We could see a path below in the distance though there was a worrying amount of tall trees between the path and where the camera had probably landed. Before rushing off we took some pictures from the lookout with Ruth's camera just in case we couldn't find mine. I found it very difficult to smile for these as you'll notice on this page.
Fondest memory: We continued on the yellow trail and turned on to the green one which took us down the hill. Where the trail turned northeast, we turned west and went off trail into the trees to try spot the camera. We spent about an hour exploring the forest on an off-trail path - not something I would recommend - before sadly giving up. It looked from above as if it might be possible to find the camera, but down below we couldn't see anything except an endless amount of trees. We could see the rock but we couldn't tell where the lookout point was as there was rock everywhere. We contemplated going straight down to the river and trying to see the lookout from there and then working our way back up but I think we both realised there was a snowball's chance in hell of finding anything.
Moreover, the trails were very steep here and I was worried one of us would fall, as indeed we both nearly did. We returned to the trail and I tried to come to terms with the loss of the camera. At least it was only a camera and not anything else that fell off the cliff!
Later in the day as we were returning on the blue trail opposite the lookout we took a picture of the area where the camera had most likely fallen. As you can see in the picture, we had little hope of finding it. I was hoping that the camera would magically appear at the bottom of the forest or the side of the lake but no such luck. and there was no way at all we could find it. Looking from below it could have gone anywhere in the forest, or been stuck in a tree. If it had in some miraculous way made it to the river then it would have been washed away by now.