You won’t find this amount of exciting turns and views closer than in the Alps. We went to explore the most beautiful roads and places in Slovakia. It was a short, though intensive trip. We gather quite late on Friday. The plan is to leave around 4pm, but as usual, something comes in at the last minute. So we leave Krakow at 6pm and take quiet side roads towards the border crossing in Zwardoń. The setting sun forces furiously into maximum concentration. Sometimes almost nothing is visible, even a diaphragm does not help. I completely don’t understand the American idea of traveling towards the setting sun. For me it’s a punishment.
On the Slovak side, we are surprised by a beautiful, brand-new road, which we get to Čadca without any obstacles. We check into the guest house and throw into the abyss of Slovak delicacies. Tomorrow we have a lot of kilometers ahead – we have prepared creme-de-la-creme Slovak roads, which means saturation of views, winkles and everything that is dear to the motorcycle heart – for example, the kitchen.
We get up far too early in the morning. All because of the lady who prepares breakfast. She likes to give them only at 7.30, so there is no way out. A bit tired, a little excited, we pack a handful of luggage and go. Target number 1 – Maniński gorge.
The Maniński Gorge is a short section of the road leading to nowhere near Powaska Bystrzyca. High rock walls there create an isthmus so narrow that you have the impression that you can touch both of them at once. The entrance is shyly protected by a rock chicane, through which one crosses a road made of boards built just above the stream. A beautiful and very atmospheric place, I’ve been here before, but I’m happy to watch it again.
We move on. The next goal is Cicmany – a wonderful village, known for its unique ornamentation, which is decorated with local houses. I am surprised that even the usual side access roads that connect the attractions selected by us for sightseeing are remarkably picturesque, captivating with harmony and a sublime atmosphere difficult to describe. Driving a motorcycle this way has something of flowing through the sounds of a symphony.
I know Cicmany only from Instagram. The pictures heavily adorned with filters always seemed unnatural and exaggerated. Meanwhile, the truth is exactly the opposite – it is Cicmans are unnatural and exaggerated, although in a very endearing, even fairytale way. They are an example of magical realism – the absolute ordinariness of everyday life is intertwined with the fairy-tale atmosphere of unique architecture, at every step today it mixes with sometime, and the lenses of curious tourists look into the lives of residents who do not seem to care at all.
We seal this visit with coffee and garlic soup in the, and fairy-tale Katka restaurant, and drive on. Our next goal is Dolny Harmanec – a gray ribbon, smooth as glass, asphalt, curving with serpentine slopes of Harmanecka Canyon. I heard stories about this place from my Slovak friends, but even in my wildest imaginations I did not expect how beautiful it is. 20 kilometers and over 30 turns are joy, excitement and an excellent lesson in arc driving. If it weren’t for the plan for today, I would love to drive here all day, especially since the road is not a strategic transit route, so the traffic is moderate. After passionate Harmanca safety pins, we find long, fast bends towards Donovaly in the Low Tatras national park. Although I have already traveled this route many times, I still enjoy it the same. There are many more motorcycles here – why there were not many of them on Harmanc? I do not know.
We descend towards Rużomberok and in lazy traffic we head towards Liptowska Mary – a beautiful lake at the foot of the Low Tatras. cu we reach a charming road on the north side of the lake. There are a lot of motorcyclists here – you can see that the surroundings of Liptovsky Mikulas are extremely popular.
It is hardly surprising – the entire Liptov region is a real treasury of attractions. Starting from the lake with a stunning panorama of the Low Tatras, through roads, such as the one through the Demänovská Valley, to the beloved Tatralandia. That I will not mention the treasures of Slovak cuisine or fantastic beer. We rest for a while on the grassy shore of Liptovska Mary, and then we move on.
The wild slopes of this part of the park intensify the impressions and deceive our minds that we are not in a small country with our southern neighbors, but somewhere very, very far away.