Hiking: Blooming woods

In this post, I’ll look at the first two weekends of May 2022. As the title says, most of the allure came from the blossoms on the forest floor… but the shape of land near and far was also a welcome sight.

7.-8. 5. – A blooming return

The first full weekend of May, I returned to a place I’ve visited before. Back then, it was alone. Now, I led the hiking club here, to share a place I’ve found to my liking. However, the allure wasn’t just in blossoms. The place has a couple interesting rock formations as well. For the first day, the trail led us to a ridge some 700 meters long where rock blocks rise from the ground at angles reaching up to 80°.

The trail zigzags around those rocks jutting out of the ground. Around it, shrubs and low trees were adorned with fresh, vibrant leaves – and some of them were blooming.

The day started with a light rain shower and while that passed quickly, the day remained quite humid, clouds blanketing the skies. Maybe that was why I kept looking around – at my eye level or even lower – rather than into the distance.

Unfortunately, some of the rarer flowers in this location were already past their blooming.

And I still struggled to get the focus on my phone camera right, so a couple more photos are out of focus. On the second day, the weather was a bit better, the clouds let some sunshine in, more so as the day progressed. The day started in the nearby convent founded in 1233 and one of the last functioning convents still left in my country – with a tour of the church (as the other parts, apart from the museum, are off-limits).

After that, it was time to roam the nearby hills.

Like the first day, the woods and fields had their fair share of flowers and rock formations alike.

And also a memorial place to gallows that stood above the town in times past.

14. 5. – Flowers and fields

In a way, this hike was also a return. The Slovakian peak Strážov was the place of my first hike behind the border, almost twenty years ago.

(Archive photo 8/2002 – 12-yo me)

And, I guess, my initiation to more difficult hikes. This time, the day graced us with no clouds.

The bus dropped us in a pass above a small village, from where it was into the woods. The ascension had passages that were pleasant and passages that were harsher. The first peak sported a field which had its simple beauty.

Then, a sharp descent followed, and after that, the path weaved up and down for a while, before it started ascending again. By my memory – not that great with 20 years of great hikes since – it was the ascension to the Čierny Vrch peak that was the roughest – straight up the hill the shortest (and most difficult) way. Taking photos of flowers around was a welcome mini-break during the ascension.

Below the peak itself is a field providing lookouts in the Northern direction (photo below) while the peak itself is open eastward…

…and also has its own rock outcropping.

However, the time for flower pictures wasn’t over yet…

After descending the peak, I took a loop around another hill that rises above a village. Across the fields, it was a pleasant “bonus loop” in the warm weather.

(Archive photo aimed towards the same hill – 8/2002)
(present-time photo from the southern slopes)

However, when a gust of wind raised clouds of pollen, this wasn’t as idyllic for me, damn my allergies. In one case, I decided to stop, slow down my breath, and continue when the pollen settled. Then, I took a photo of one of the flowers.

By the time I finished the loop around the hill, I still had a bit of time left before departure, so I spent it mostly reading – which, pretty much, brought that sunny day to its conclusion.

Well, that’s what I was up to during the weekends in the first half of May. I hope the spring is treating you well and giving you enough opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

5 thoughts on “Hiking: Blooming woods

    • Well, the history of the convent was quite… eventful. It was closed down a couple of times during its history for various reasons, often political.
      And I’m glad that I’m managing to get some decent close-up photos even with the phone.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: 5/2022 Summary | Tomas - the wandering dreamer

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