My trip around the world took a step to more adventurous ground last weekend. I got out of the bigger cities and came to live in a simple farm in the countryside of Slovakia for five nights. During my stay, I had plenty of time to trek around the beautiful national parks of Slovakia.

A farm in Vernár, Slovakia.

My CouchSurfing hosts lived in this farm in the outskirts of Vernár, a small rural village of about 200 residents. The main building was under renovation and I usually woke up to flies buzzing on my face, but the basic conditions served as a refreshing change from the city apartments.

Slovak Paradise National Park (Slovenský Raj)

Men hiking in the forests of Slovak Paradise National Park.

On the first day, we hiked for around seven hours in the Slovak Paradise National Park with my host and a few local children.

A man and a dog on the hiking trail of Veľký Sokol gorge in Slovak Paradise National Park with a log on the canyon.

The Veľký Sokol gorge truly expanded my understanding of what trekking trails can be like. The route included lots of hopping on logs and rocks above the stream.

Steep green ladder above a waterfall in Veľký Sokol gorge.

I really enjoyed the challenge. It felt meditative to just get lost in the moment and moving forward one step (and jump) at a time.

Spišské Tomášovce train station in the summer.

The following day it was time for me to trek alone. Luckily, my host Zdeno gave me clear instructions for the trip. Thus, I woke at 5 am to get to the small town of Spišské Tomášovce by public transport.

Tomášovský výhľad cliff view.

Tomášovský výhľad, a famous cliff and viewpoint in the Slovak Paradise National Park.

Hornád Canyon path on the side of a cliff.

The path through the Hornád Canyon is one of the most popular tracks in Slovak Paradise.

A glass of Kofola on a terace in the summer.

I trekked over 9 hours that day, so it was nice to take a break and enjoy a glass of Kofola, the local cola drink. It tastes quite different from Coca Cola and Pepsi, but I’ve grown to like it during my stays in Czech Republic and Slovakia.

High Tatras

A beautiful waterfall and cliffs in the High Tatras.

After two days trekking in Slovak Paradise, I switched to High Tatras for days three and four. My first hike was to the beautiful Skok waterfall.

A pile of stones on a mountain in the High Tatras with a view down to the valley.

The High Tatras are the highest mountain range in Slovakia and part of the Carpathian Mountains. The national park also had a lot more tourists than the less-known Slovak Paradise.

A man carrying food and supplies on a mountain path to the Tery Cabin in High Tatras.

My second day in the High Tatras was rough, as occasional heavy rain and turbulent weather made my three hour ascend to the Tery cabin at 2000 meters very challenging. I have nothing but respect to this guy who made the same trip carrying beverages and supplies on his back.

Inside a cloud on a mountain.

But finally, I reached my destination and could enjoy the beautiful view down to the valley.

As a bonus, here are two videos form Slovak Paradise that I posted in Instagram and Facebook earlier: