Wednesday, April 26, 2017
   
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Polish Part of Tatra & Pieniny Mountains

The beauty I was exposed to in my week along the Polish border June 17 - 23 is shown in a few of the photos looking from Slovakia to the Polish side of the Dunajec and Poprad rivers. The pictures from this walk are the Dunajec River (showed to the right) with the famous cliffs at the base of the Trzy Korony (Three Crowns)- showed to the left.

My first hike was along the Dunajec River in the Pieniny International Park called PIENAP. Poland declared their side of the Pieniny a reserve in 1930 and the Czechoslovaks followed two years later in 1932. So the Pieninski Pas Skalkowy (Pieniny Rock Belt) are visible from the Slovak side. I was lucky enough to accompany a local group during their "company picnic" from Stara Lubovna. From there we took a bus to Cerveny Klastor (Red Monastery) to begin our hike.

Below there is a photograph of a mountaineer (goral) carriage at the picnic grounds (available for a ride after rafting the river from Polish or Slovak sides). This hike amounts to a comfortable 9 km walk along the river on a gravel forest road, with the beautiful Pieniny mountains and Siedem Mnichow (Seven Monks) rock towers and cliffs visible on the Polish side of the river. For us the hike ended with the picnic at Lesniansky picnic grounds, but for others the hike can continue through the village and over a mountain path back to Cerveny Klastor.

There is also a photograph (above) of the Lubovna Hrad (Castle) showing the castle that was the seat of the Spisz (Spis) region of Poland from about 1412 to the first partition of Poland in 1772. Transfer of the Spis region from Hungary to Poland took place when Polish king Wladyslaw Jagiello was rich with the ransoms he collected from the Germans captured at the defeat of Grunwald (Tannenburg) whereas the Hungarian king Sigismund of Luxembourg was in a fight with the Venetians and needed money to finance the war. So they met at the Polish village of Sromowce and Sigismund pawned the Spisz area to the Poles to finance his Venetian adventure. The castle at Lubovna became the governing seat of the Spis and the area enjoyed its most prosperous time. When the Spis was taken back by Hungary, Stara Lubovna lost its leading position in the Spis and faded into being a regional center once again, with just a memory of glitter and prosperity. During the Swedish wars the Polish crown jewels were successfully hidden in the castle.

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This is Brande from Uganda with a photo of Ela, my daughter.

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