I'm spending one week with my family in Slovakia and I thought you might enjoy traveling and walking around here with me 😊

Today I will take you to the lake Morské oko (Marine eye) situated in the protected area of Vihorlatské vrchy (Vihorlat mountains).

It took us a little longer than one hour to get there by car yesterday. The roads were deserted. It was early in the morning, so I think that people were at home preparing Sunday lunch.


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After a short while we were approaching the mountains. The mountains in the back are already in Ukraine.

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As there was no traffic we stopped in the middle of the road to take some photos. The weather was not ideal, but we hoped it wouldn't start raining.

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It takes around 20 minutes to get to the lake from the parking place and 30 minutes to walk around the lake. Our walk starts here..

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Vihorlatské vrchy

It is a volcanic mountain range which stretches in the Eastern Slovakia, and partly in the Western Ukraine.

The forest is magical and it looks like from a fairy tale. It is dominated by ash, maple, elm, and lime trees. There are wolves, lynxes, otters, wildcats and brown bears living in the area. The bears have migrated here just a few years ago. People are still getting used to the fact that they could come across a bear in the forest. It hasn't luckily happened to us yet!

We also came across various wild herbs and flowers.

They say that it is easy to grow mint. Well, I was not able to keep it alive at home and here it grows just like this! I must have done something very bad to that poor plant 😊

The cornflower is my favorite wild flower! There were so many of them!

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Here we are!

Morské oko

It is the largest lake in the Vihortat mountains and it is the third largest natural lake in Slovakia. It was created due to the volcanic activity in the area. There are no active volcanoes here anymore.

A massive landslide dammed up the valley stream of Okna, and a natural lake was formed behind the barrier.

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The maximum length of the Morské Oko lake is 750 meters and its width is 312 meters. The lake is 25.1 meters deep.

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In 1984 it was declared the State Natural Preserve and any kind of water activities including swimming and fishing are prohibited here.

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It was very cloudy but we still hoped we could walk around the lake before it starts to rain.

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Before we continued walking, we fed the fish. There were hundreds of them (mainly trouts)!

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The clouds were getting darker, but we were determined to follow our plan. Was it a good idea? Well..

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It's prohibited to take wood out of the forest so there are many broken trees and branches in the water and around the lake.

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You can see them on the other side of the lake as well.

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If you fancy staying here over night you can do so and book this mansion. It was built in 1924 on motion of Countess Gladys Vanderbilt Szechenyi whose daughter was treated here during her sickness.

She also contributed to the enlargement of the lake from 7 ha to 13.8 ha by building a dam.

There are many celebrations held in the mansion during summer months.

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Behind the mansion there is a relaxing area with a few benches and beautiful views.

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But there are people (like my husband) who prefer to sit on cold stones instead.

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We were thinking to celebrate my birthday next year here.

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As much as we enjoyed it there we had to move on and continue walking. When we reached the opposite side of the lake it started to rain. There is a small bistro nearby. We thought we would run there and wait until it stops as there is a terrace with roof even though the bistro is never open.

We were surprised to find out that they were open! It was our lucky day! It was cold and windy, so we ordered some tea and snacks. We waited for the rain to stop but it seemed to be getting stronger instead!

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We had our umbrellas, but we were not very well dressed for such weather. It was sunny when we left home and the forecast wasn't showing rain either. We waited for more than half an hour before we decided to leave but in the end we got soaking wet anyway. There was no lightning and we didn't hear any thunder, so we figured we could walk in the forest with our umbrellas without getting grilled by the lightning.

We had to walk the same way back instead of going around the lake as it was much shorter. It didn't take us too long to get back to the other side.

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I like it even more when it's raining.

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We stopped one more time on the way back to the car..

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As the roads were deserted on the way back home too we could stop in the middle of 'nowhere' and take a few more photos from the car. I didn't even get off the car because of the rain.

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My messy hair is the proof that it was windy 😊 I was glad to have my second assistant (my brother) with me to hold my umbrella while my first assistant (hubby) takes a photo of me taking photos 😊

This is the first time when I saw my husband multitasking (holding the umbrella and taking photos 😊)

It was a lovely day even though the weather was not ideal. We came home, changed our clothes, had a cup of tea and went to visit my grandmother, spend some time with her and showed her photos from our adventures.

The last time she was there was about 20 years ago, so she was happy to see that it hasn't changed much. She was worried we would get sick but luckily, we are all fine.

I hope you enjoyed our walk today as much as we did.

All pictures are taken by my Nikon D3200 AF-S NIKKOR 18-55 mm 1:3.5-5.6 G II/

Thank you for reading!

Cheers,
Martina

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