To get some rest we finally bought a four-day stay at the Björnson Hotel in Demänovská Dolina in the Low Tatras in Slovakia. Before rebuilding, it was named Björnsonka or Björnson, so in many places you will meet these names.
Since I wanted to buy from the company’s benefits, I had to buy it through the Slevomat discount portal. But I have to say that you will do better when you visit official website where you will buy stays at the same prices as on the Slevomat portal.
However, my sister wanted to go in our footsteps and order a winter stay here, but all terms are already sold out.
Hotel Björnson in Demanovska Dolina
I was slightly worried about the stay, because according to the website we were supposed to be accommodated in rooms that were very claustrophobic, but in the end we were very pleasantly surprised.
We were assigned one of the few rooms with balconies with comfortable seating and the size of the room matched the ideal. From the windows, we had a view of the forest and the Finnish tile, which we tried the very first day because it was only one day sunny. It was a great experience that is worth it, but on the other hand, my boyfriend got sick, so we had to rethink all plans for the next few days and visit the pharmacy because the rule, if you just do not take anything with you, you will definitely need it, guaranteed.
My recommendation for using Finnish tins in winter is that you do not have to go up in the tub and cool off with the cold. The water at the thermometer was 40 °C, so Lukáš was hot and constantly cooled, which in my opinion contradicted. Meanwhile, it was also warm for me, but I always just put my hands over the edge of the vat and cool it in a less violent way, and no illness touched me. The only thing that was not pleasant was the shock of leaving the vat. I felt weak and I needed to lie down or sit down immediately, but due to the condition I was waiting for a rather long journey into the room. When I look back at it, I should go into the building with the sauna that is right next to the tins.
You can park around the hotel for free. I would just welcome if the staff were able to recommend places that are worth seeing and not just show up on promoted tourist destinations. My experience is that real jewels are not those of the subtitles of the guides. For children there is a common room with toys, darts and table football which was broken at the time of our stay.
Breakfast and spirits were buffet style. And even the breakfast menu was changed at least partially every day, which I have never experienced. The hotel’s restaurant is also open for lunch. It is definitely worth trying out the hamburger offered, which in my view looked irresistible and my boyfriend really enjoyed it. I was going to taste local cuisine, so I ordered snacks, but I was not supposed to do that, because I thought it would be the snacks I knew from the Czech Republic, just more delicious. Unfortunately, it was not so bad and I hardly had a lot of help with my boyfriend.
The peak of Vyšné Priečne mountain with the station of Priehyb
Before going to the Finnish baths, we went for a walk around the area. The path leading around the hotel led us to the top of Vyšné Priečne mountain (1 354 m above sea level) with the station of the Priehyb cable car leading to Chopok. It was beautiful, but Lukáš spent most of the time about the problems of the building of our family house. In addition, we were pushed by time, so after a while we had to go back to the hotel because we were expecting a new bathing experience in the Finnish bath discussed above.
The Bears of the Bull
There are many caves in the Demänovská Dolina, which did not appeal to us too much, so we decided to go to The Bears of the Bull near Žiar in the Tatra National Park.
Parking is possible on a large muddy area in the woods in front of the no-stop ban, but you will pay 3 euros for a car. Fortunately, we were there out of season, so we did not have to pay..
After a short walk we arrived at the wooden building called Cozy with St. Barbora – The Land of the Kingdom of AGHARTHA. The building looks cozy on the outside, but if you have children who are afraid, do not take them inside. I did not feel well at all inside. The small windows, which do not let light into the building in the sunny days, underscore the special atmosphere that is inside. The cracking of wood in a furnace in a very dark room is pleasant, but not in combination with the decoration of a hanged woman holding the handle of a beautiful historic pram.
I can not explain the reason for the induction of this atmosphere, and I can not even imagine that I would work there every day on the manual work that two women – the guides, performed in a very weak lighting.
In any case, guided tours are to be held every hour, but given that we were just two of us, we were waiting for a good half hour to see if anyone else was coming. To the joy of the guide there was a German family, so we had a Slovak-English interpretation. The guide has only been learning English for a year, so many words have been told by my boyfriend. She was great for me because I understood her because she spoke simply and slowly 😀
Throughout her guided tour she lit the wicks in ready-made containers, testing whether there was enough oxygen in the pit.
You can try to rock the rock here.
At one point, each visitor could try how hard it was to work there. We were looking for gold and I found it the only one, but unfortunately it was not gold, but cat gold or pyrite.
A couple of information from the guide
This is a pit that is not known very much because there are no things explaining the history. Gold has probably been harvested here, but it is only found where quartz vein are located only in one place of the gallery. Everything was done here by hand with the help of nature.
Interestingly, there are tree trunks where the miners supported the ceilings to avoid being overwhelmed. These tribes have been burned and then immersed in the water for several days. They explained that the resin contained in the wood preserved it. The guide also mentioned that her colleague in the barracks three years ago installed strains soaked with today’s preservatives with chemicals. These tribes have already been in a considerable phase of decay, while naturally preserved wood is here over a hundred years.
Smrečianka creek flows around the gondola and leads the way you reach Žiarsky cottage, which houses the Šarafiový waterfall. If weather and health permit us, we would definitely go there because it was a beautiful valley that was sure to hide natural treasures.
Water reservoir Liptovská Mara
After a snack in the shed in the parking lot, we headed for the water reservoir Liptovská Mara, where we passed a complete kitsch called Upside down house. People probably do not really know what to do with money. To build a house that creates the feeling that it has been thrown out of the ground and then dropped it somewhere, it only serves to walk through the house that is upside down. No other purpose! Was there another ground to disappear? I do not see the long-term viability of the project, which seems to have jumped out of the JOJO candy package.
Right next you can go to the Tatralandia aquapark, but we did not visit it, because in my view it is more of an outdoor activity, though there are also some attractions in the heated buildings.
Then we went back with the fact that we want to have a very late lunch somewhere. Lukáš found a famous restaurant Energetik on the internet on the way to our hotel. But that should not be closed for technical reasons… All we have to do is use the hotel’s restaurant.
Next, we discovered the jewel of the Low Tatras National Park. Less than a kilometer from the hotel is Vrbické pleso, which is really magical. This was the nicest place we visited in Slovakia.
Around the lake there is a forest path surrounded by stones, in many places there is a seating area and there is also a children’s playground, which does not disturb the surrounding countryside.
The worst thing is that not far away from this jewel they are building ridiculous hotels and other monstrosities.
Vavrišovo lookout tower with the Battle of Vavrišovo Museum
After lunch we went to Štrbské Pleso, but not on the motorway, but on the way through the Tatra National Park. In the village of Vavrišovo we stopped at the lookout tower, but was closed 26 minutes before our arrival.
In July and August, it is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 1pm till 4pm. The rest of a year from Monday to Friday from 8am till 1pm on request.
The road to the Tatra National Park was amazing, as there was no traffic here, and nature was breathtaking. It reminded us of visiting the Yosemite National Park in the US.
The biggest disappointment was awaiting us on the deflated Strbske pleso. My intuition told me that we would not be able to park a car anywhere, but Lukáš did not want to go from the last cracked slice that was about 2.5 km from the glacier lake.
All we had to do was pay for parking, because there were barriers and cascades everywhere. If it was at least to the Tatra National Park or nature preservers, but I do not understand why I should pay for parking to a private person when I go to see “all available natural beauty”. It’s in quotation marks, as the shores of Strbske pleso are jagged hotels. Overall, I feel that many things that should remain in the hands of the state in terms of maintaining public availability are sold out. And that is irreversibly destroyed.
The view of the pleso is already ruined by hotels.
Parking was paid for an hour, but if you want to go all the way around it, it is a very busy time, which the cashiers know very well. We had to take a pretty brisk step to get it in an hour.
Parking facilities include stalls offering good value for money. I found this unfortunately after I arrived home. But you have to be careful because there are two kinds of stalls – overpriced or cheap. Wool socks I bought at one of the stands for 3.5 euros, while the same cost 6.5 euros on the oposit side of the road. Most of all, I’m afraid that I did not get a sheepfold that made me totally charmed, and the baby version cost only 18 euros.
Pond of Love
A little bit from the driveway is a picturesque Pond of Love that we did not even really enjoy, because we rushed too much for parking.
New Strbske Pleso
You will also find the so-called New Strbske Pleso, which we just passed, because there is no parking lot.
When we left the Strbske pleso, we realized that Lukáš did not take the powder he should take about an hour and a half ago, and that we did not know where to go next turn. In order not to bind at the junction, we stopped off the road at the cracked deck. At that moment, the Slovak police went through, turned the beacons to look important, and parked in front of us. Documents, breath test and fine! Here we did not expect the worst dream! Such a high fine, and yet for such nonsense, we did not pay in the Czech Republic for life. The Slovaks have probably determined how much they have to take in the tourists every day to make their own money. We were totally embarrassed and agreed that this was our last visit to Slovak neighbors.
Because this was another unpleasant experience. The first occurred immediately when we crossed the border when we acquired a motorway stamp with a totally absurd charge for assistance services. The Slovaks obviously do not know as such, so they rob the tourists where they can.
Due to this fact, we were no longer in the local grocery store and other things because we did not want to leave a crown anymore. The next day, right after breakfast, we headed out to the Czech Republic outside the highway with the fact that we prefer to go somewhere in the Czech Republic.
The beauty of the Czech countryside can be enjoyed in the Pulčínské skály, which are located in the magical nature near the Protected Landscape Area of Beskydy. In the village of Pulčín we parked in a single area of the wider road that is in the village, and walked over the red to the rocks. However, a little further away is a normal parking lot, but we did not know it because we came from another side.
Rocks are breathtaking, but it’s not a good hurry to go out with hyperactions, because they are very dangerous from my point of view. I also do not recommend to go down from the rocks, which is also stated on the information boards, so you must come from Pulčín.
I did graduate because we did not have time for long hikes and the weather did not like us too much, but it was quite a fight in such humid weather. Lukáš did not even worry about me and stayed down.
This is our ending holiday and we did not even bother to find out how much we did 🙂