The morning greets us with fog and fresh temperatures, so we have a busy breakfast and distribute the route, which was still corrected in the evening due to the weather.
We avoid the high Tatra and stay as low as possible without giving up curves.
The departure back into the valley starts without complications and we continue briskly eastwards to Podbrezova. There we turn north to approach the pass at Certovica.
It is only 1200m above sea level, but under the circumstances that is still a little too high.
Therefore, although it is the highest point of our ride today, we have just reached a low point.
Red noses and blue fingers demand a stop at the warming ski hut to reawaken the stiff spirits.
A short walk around the top of the pass reveals many remnants of snow and small palm trees encapsulated in ice, which immediately reinforce the idea of frost.
An hour later we continue down into the valley towards Vychodna, where the high Tatra massif shows itself impressively, although the peaks are already in the clouds.
Before Poprad, we enter the mountains of the low Tatras again, which we leave shortly before our destination, Spissky Hrad, which we have been striving for for many months.
On the way there, the B 535 offers wonderful curves as a road along a mountain ridge, but due to the uneven road surface, it poses real challenges for some in the group.
On the way to Hrad we also pass one of the numerous Sinti settlements that are always to be found in Slovakia. It is hard for us to imagine that this way of life is preferred,
Piles of rubbish between houses, playing children and washing lines give a desolate impression that is difficult for us to comprehend.
After circling the rock, we park ourselves at the large car park at the foot of the impressive rock, and a small number of us “climb” the steep ascent to slip in through the large gate just in time before closing time.
Since we really enter the castle at the very last minute, at least we don’t have to pay the €8 entrance fee.
We then walk around the grounds as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the upper part of the castle is being restored and is therefore closed, but even so, the dimensions and the view are impressive.
We should definitely come here again with more time and muse.
After that, we head downhill and into another time.
Arriving at the car park, the troop starts moving again and follows the roads southwards. The sunny – because really, the sun has managed to bathe us in light and warmth – way south.
With our spirits much higher, we set off on the last stage towards Kosice.
Shortly before the Ruzin reservoir, we encounter a time phenomenon that apparently only exists in this region. At two construction sites in a row, timers show the countdown until the push-pull traffic lights turn green.
The time synchronicity of these timers is not entirely clear. Counting a little, time in this region should pass only about 33% as fast as outside. Actually the right place to experience at least 66 more years in the pension.
For us, however, quasi within sight of our quarters, this time dilation is difficult to endure.
We therefore stop relatively shortly afterwards at the southernmost tip of the Ruzin reservoir to reach our destination for the day.
The rooms are spartan and sometimes there are also multi-legged guests in the room (ants and ladybirds), but the location by the lake and the warmth of the landlords are all the better for it.
Since one of them has lived in Italy for about 30 years, Diana has the opportunity to form an Italian – German translator chain and so nothing gets in the way of further evening planning with dinner.
This also offers the opportunity for a short walk from the accommodation to the neighbouring hotel and thus a good opportunity to stretch one’s legs in the evening sun.
Back in the quarters, many soon fell asleep, but were rudely awakened by two Latvian (but Russian-speaking) motorcyclists who arrived a little later.
It is logical that it is not completely silent when someone brings their luggage into the room, but to argue loudly (at least that’s what it sounded like) and then to continue discussing in the corridor for ages was more than rude.