Getting to Zdiar
In the morning we woke up pretty early to catch the train from Prague to Puchov. The train was packed so we ended up sharing a little cabin with a nice old couple who helped us out when the train guard was asking questions. They laughed when Ricky fell asleep, mostly because he couldn’t fit and had tried to cram his body into a somewhat comfortable position.
When we got off the station we asked one of the guards which platform we needed to get to Poprad Tatry. Butthole guard told us the wrong platform, but luckily our train was delayed by a few minutes so we quickly ran to the right one once we’d worked it out. Our second train was even more packed and we ended up sitting opposite to a young Slovak guy (Jozef); he was really nice and his English was excellent. He explained we were pronouncing Zdiar wrong, zhe(like a soft g)-ar and he told us some interesting things about Poprad as well. He even helped Ricky decipher the bus timetable.
Symbols on bus timetable
- Multiplication cross = working days (also shown as crossed pick axes)
- Addition / Christian Cross = Sundays & Public Holidays
- Numbers in Circle = Day of the Week (1 = Monday to 6 = Saturday)
- Numbers in black square = See extra note (usually says days it doesn’t run or months it does run – relatively simple to work out).
Check cp.sk for current timetable.
We waited for 30minutes to catch our bus which was okay and about an hour later we got to our hostel. Waited for bus for around 30 mins and it took about 1 hour to get to our hostel.
XXL Pizza, Tatratea and Hike Fails
That night we went out to the local pizza place and Ricky decided to do the XXL pizza challenge. The pizza was 12 Euros, 50cm wide and weighed about 1.6kgs. Ricky dominated the challenge and was able to add another line to the leader-board for Australia (Australia was killing it). He had a victory shot of Tatransky Cay @ 52%. It was the original flavour and it is a liquor made from tea.
The next morning we tried to Skype Ricky’s family but the internet connection was really bad. We felt terrible because Ricky’s mum and dad had invited lots of people over as a surprise, so our Skype session lasted a whole 15minutes full of ‘Huh’, ‘can you hear me’, ‘mum…mum…?’. We got ready and decided to do the Green Lakes Hike, but unfortunately we went the wrong way. We walked around for about 2 hours hitting dead ends. When we got back we realised that we crossed a bridge at the beginning that we shouldn’t have. It wasn’t that bad, at least we got some good views!
When we got back we had lunch, watched GoT while Ricky stretched out on the lacrosse ball. (side note; I legit started karate chopping at the end of episode 9. Fark yass!!!). After that we played with Wally (the Hostel dog) and watched Reservoir Dogs.
Because the Football was on (Slovakia Vs England) everyone from the Hostel went out for dinner. We had the tradition Pirohy dish and Ricky tried the 72% Tatratea. We got bored mid-match so a bunch of us went back to the Hostel to play cards against humanity.
Green Lake Trail, Beers and Deer Goulash
We left at about 9:30 the next morning to hike the Green Lake Trail. This time a big group of us went together from the Hostel, even the manager, Dan. We got to the saddle in about 2 hours (well… Ricky got there in 2 hours, I got there in 3).
We all went down to the Green lake which was beautifully clear and celebrated with some relatively expensive lunch (Pirohy again). Ricky got a Radler beer, only to discover it tastes like shit ginger beer. The whole trail is meant to take 5-6 hours, but it took us about 6 hours just to get down (that included having lunch and people talking photos).
The hike overall was really nice, but it was difficult uphill. After coming home we all smashed the showers before dinner. I felt like absolute crap but after having an apple and a Hydralite I was good to good.
We went to Penzion Zdiar for dinner, which we didn’t like. Ricky got the deer goulash (to try deer), but only got about 150g of meat and it was cold. At the end when we went to go pay we realised that they actually charge you extra for dumplings, even though you just ordered 1 dish. We would recommend that you go somewhere else for dinner, lots of places are cheaper, better quality and bigger portions.
Slovak Paradise Hike, Goulash Man and Scary Movies
In the morning a small group of us decided to go do the Slovak Paradise Hike. So we got the bus from Zdiar to the main station at 8:50. We had a little bit of time to kill before our train so we went over to the large supermarket Billa which was across the road. We got food for lunch and snacks. We then took the train to Spisske Tomas….something and walked through the village, up the hill and into the woods. We followed the green/blue/green/blue/green paths ) we got instructions from our Hostel).
The hike overall was long and the views were pretty cool; lots of gorges, waterfalls and overpasses.You had to climb a lot of ladders and stairs on the rocks, but it wasn’t that bad. We all agreed that the hike the day before were more rewarding. It took us about 6 hours and we had to pick up the pace to catch our train (they only come every 2 hours); we made it with only a minute to spare. We couldn’t find ticket machines at the station but the train guard let us buy them through her. Again we had to wait for our transfer bus so we hit up the Billa again for some food. Ricky smashed a choc milk, while I drank about a litre of OJ before we exited the store. We also got yoghurt, chocolate and fruit.
When we got back we had showers and relaxed with a few beers. Unfortunately Ricky attempted to have a shower beer and it smashed everywhere. For dinner we tried Goulash Man (Bufet Livia), with a group from the Hostel. It was pretty good for the price. Like 3Euro per bowl and you got bread as well (beer, 1Euro).
When we got back to the Hostel we watched GoT episode 9 again but with the others. Everyone then wanted to watch The Conjuring,which meant I couldn’t go back to our empty dorm because after that they wanted to watch Babadook (both pretty good scary movies). After 12 we wished the Hostel manager, Dan, a happy birthday and then headed to bed. That night I made Ricky share his single bed because I was scared.
- The trains always seem to be delayed by at least 5 mins.
- Downhill Biking – Next time Ricky will try to do this. Dan from the h\Hostel said it’s difficult and he didn’t recommend it unless you’re an ex-X Games athlete.
- No charge at Slovenska Sporitelna ATM for Citibank Cards
- Bus to Hostel Ginger Monkey – costs 2.1EU and takes approx 12 stops (1 hour). Get off just before the petrol station (you’ll see a sign for petrol station at 1km and 500m away).
- Green Lake Trail Route: Walk down the path next to the abandoned hotel (near the petrol station, after. Just before the bus station).
DONT CROSS THE BRIDGE TO THE LEFT WITH WHITE CIRCULAR SIGN WITH RED OUTLINE. Continue up the path to the football pitch, follow the red/green track and follow the red track. When you go over the saddle and hit the yellow/red intersection, follow the yellow path. At the road, cross over and catch the bus back to Zdiar.
- If you’re coming to Zdiar… stay at Ginger Monkey Hostel.