Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Slovakia Day 2 - Falling off Ski-Lifts.


Our second day in Slovakia was probably the best. Although we had an absolutely epic time going up Lomnicky Peak on our first day and being above the clouds, on the Saturday I found my 'ski feet' and we had so much fun! We woke up and had our delicious breakfast at the GrandHotel Starý Smokovec, made the most of the fresh orange juice, and then we put on our ski gear and headed to Strbské Pleso, which is known as being the most beautiful area to ski in Slovakia.



Strbské Pleso is a glacial mountain lake in the High Tatras mountains, set amongst the forest and with the mountain ranges as a backdrop. We were only supposed to have our ski instructor, Jan, for two hours, but he was so lovely and ended up staying with us for five hours! We started off on the nursery slopes again, and then he took us up to the green run.








I had a bit of a dilemma for the first half hour of our lesson, my boots were far too tight, but I didn't realize until it was too late to change them. After half an hour of excruciating pain, my lower legs and feet got pins and needles and went numb, so Jan undid the boots and I skied with half done-up boots for the rest of the day. It's amazing how much easier it was to ski with legs and feet that I could actually feel! 

Once again the weather wasn't great and there was lots of low cloud and fog, but we had an awesome time skiing and I only fell over once - on my last run down on the green slope! There's a pretty hilarious video below of the fall if you wanna see it...Jan kindly offered to video us skiing, and the one time I fell over was when he was videoing it - typical! Shev fell over on the nursery slopes, she couldn't stop and went zooming into the fence where all the parents were watching their kids learn to ski. Awkward or what!



After our ski lesson we decided to ditch the skis and go up on the chair lift to the apres ski bar for lunch. We'd never been on a chair lift before as we'd just used those hand-held lifts instead, so the three of us jumped on and Shev and I squealed like children as we got higher and higher, our feet dangling below us and our hands going numb from the cold!




We got to the top and as I stepped off the chair lift my ski boot got caught in the snow, I fell face-forward and took Jan with me, and then I had to lie there and wait for the chair to go over me. But then I had an issue - the next chair was fast approaching behind me, and while Jan was up and at the side, I was still laying on the floor face down...I didn't have time to get up, so while Jan tried to help me a comedy sketch ensued, as I yelled at him 'It's ok! Leave me! I'll roll! I'll just roll down!'...yep...I rolled down the hill in my epic Retro Mountain snow suit...everyone watching in horror and confusion, Shev pissing herself with laughter.

I got down the bottom of the hill, and then we had to walk up a steep hill to get to the bar! I was still laughing so much that I couldn't walk up it, so I crawled my way up on my hands and knees, Shev and Jan in stitches, and all of the local Slovaks just wondering what the hell this English girl was doing. Eventually we got to the top and ordered pizza and chips to warm ourselves up. We sat outside surrounded by fog and clouds, and Shev and I quizzed Jan on life in Slovakia and what he does aside from skiing.




After lunch we headed back down the mountain, and after the one final ski down where I fell over, we traded in our skis and boots for our snow boots, and walked over to the lake. The lake was completely frozen and covered in thick snow...or so we thought...



We were walking across the lake, cross country skiers and families were also there enjoying the snow, and then we got to a fresh patch of untouched snow right in the middle. Shev stayed back to take some photos, while Jan and I ran into the untouched powder...all of a sudden Jan started sinking down and yelled at me to go back, but it was too late. The ice beneath us was giving way and we were sinking into the frozen lake, I squealed and ran back to the safety of the thick ice, but each time I took a step the ice disappeared beneath my foot. It was one of those moments where you completely forgot the danger of what you were doing and what was happening, and just laughed and shrieked like children!





After the lake fiasco we went back to the ski resort area and Jan left us as he had another ski class. Shev and I met up with the lovely Monica who was our driver during our time in the High Tatras, and we had a hot chocolate while we waited for Jane and John who were to take us down to the Low Tatras (Jasna and Liptov). We also met this cutie!


On our way to the hotel in the low tatras, we went to the Tatralandia aquapark, which is one of the biggest in Central Europe! Slovakia are famous for their love of thermal spas and aquaparks, and we had so much fun on our visit there! We got there around 4:30pm, and stayed there for hours. There were loads of pools that were different temperatures. Some were cooler, some were like a really warm bath, and they all had different types of water. One was a warm salt water pool with massaging stone beds, and the outside pool was a thermal pool that had water from a local spring.








The place was absolutely packed with everyone from young families to elderly couples. As well as the different pools we also went on the slides, and then we went to the sauna (remember the sheets from my Slovakia Day 1 post?! Yep, they were back). The sauna was the most amazing one I've ever seen in my life. I couldn't even count the amount of different sauna rooms, each with a different temperature, atmosphere, and scent. Some had small pools in the middle to put your feet into, others had beds you could lie on, and others were more normal.

There was even a roof terrace with a jacuzzi, cold pool, and all-glass sauna under the stars! Obviously cameras weren't allowed inside the spa area due to the lack of clothing, but it really was an amazing experience.

After our epic aquapark experience and one last go on one of the flumes, we got changed and headed to the next hotel, Tri Studnicky, which means 'three springs' and is Slovakia's very first Feng Shui hotel. Everyone was telling us how amazing it was, so we were really excited, and although it was a beautiful hotel, the service was very cold and unwelcoming - a complete opposite from the GrandHotel Starý Smokovec that we'd stayed in for the first two nights. Anyway, more on our third day in Slovakia on Sunday! You can also see my full Slovakia vlog below!



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*I was a guest of the Tatry Mountain Resort throughout my stay in Slovakia and I can't recommend the GrandHotel Starý Smokovec enough - just embrace the seventies grandness! Wizz Air provide a direct service between London Luton and Poprad-Tatry, with prices starting from £49.99, however my own personal experiences were not particularly pleasant with them, they broke my new suitcase and were very unhelpful and rude when communicating about the damage. If I were to travel to the High Tatras again I personally would fly to Kosice with a different airline and get the train or a car to the High Tatras from there.
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12 comments

  1. The aqua park looks so nice! Perfect way to end a day skiing. I know what you mean about tight boots though, sooo painful!

    Ash | Liakada Travel

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    1. It was awesome, so so nice to go there after skiing!

      C x

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  2. This looks absolutely amazing! Can't decide whether I'm more jealous of the skiing, or your après-skiing! All those pools, heeellloooooo

    Lauren xx
    www.thelifestylediaries.com

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    Replies
    1. Haha, the pools were incredible, the perfect way to finish a day of skiing!

      C x

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  3. What an absolutely wicked day!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was laughing out loud at your chair lift story. 'I'll just roll, it's ok!' hahahaha. I can't even deal. I can literally just picture it all in my head!

    Katie <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, when I got home and told my mum and dad they were both in stitches - my mum was literally doubled up with tears of laughter running down her face!

      C x

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  5. wow what a place for skiing. Dying to be there.

    ReplyDelete

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