Janosikove Diery and Cicmany, Slovakia
For the last installment of our trip, where we first went to the open air museum in Martin and then hiking in Rohace, we go now to Terchova and Cicmany.
Terchova is a small town in northern Slovakia known for being the hometown of the Robin Hood like legend, Juraj Janosik (pronounced Yuraye Yanoshik). Juraj, the Slavic equivalent of George, lived from 1688 to 1713. When he was 15 he fought with the Kuruc rebels against the Hapsburg reign but, after a battle lost by the Kuruc, he was recruited to join the Hapsburg ranks. As a prison guard, he helped a fellow Slovak escape and became the leader of a highwayman band.
The men robbed rich merchants although apparently they were chivalrous robbers, not murders. Legend has it that they gave to the poor, like Robin Hood. A few years later he was captured and hung from the side on a hook to die.
Janosik became of symbol of fighting for the oppressed, a Slovak champion of freedom. He is celebrated in Slovak folklore, literature, and movies.
Janosikove Diery are canyons nearby Terchova. Literally meaning Janosik’s holes, these would have been frequented by the fabled group of highwaymen.
The hike itself has been made possible with a series of metal ladders and walkways over the creek. The ladders can be wet (i.e slippery) with a handrail only on one side. Going up was fine, coming down was a little more challenging for this height fearing gal. Fortunately, the trail is a loop and in the direction we went there was only one ladder down.
It is possible to continue further up, to the Rozsutec peaks. Three years ago we went hiking there; sadly, my camera was broken so I don’t have any photos to share. It’s the nearest place to western Slovakia where you can get above treeline.
When we went, it was the same time of year, and I was about a month pregnant with the twins and starting to feel the effects, i.e. nausea, racing heartbeat, getting short of breath, etc. We woke up early on a gorgeous sunny fall Saturday and decided to go for an impromptu hike up Rozsutec. I got the kids ready, my husband grabbed a few thing to eat from the kitchen and we were off. We dropped the older girls off at family on the way. For breakfast, I think I had an apple.
My husband practically ran up the trail, with me huffing and puffing along. Close to the treeline I stopped; my stomach was growlingly empty which, as anyone with morning sickness can tell you, is sure to make one nauseous. “I have to stop. I need to eat. I’m going to be sick.” I said. “We’re almost there, just a little farther to an amazing view.” My husband cajoled me a little farther, to the edge of a meadow above treeline, which is probably my favourite sort of landscape. We sat down and he pulled out lunch. As our cupboards had been rather bare that day, lunch mainly consisted of bread and sardines. Gag.
Normally I like sardines, but pregnancy made me rather sensitive to the smell. Fortunately I wasn’t sick and managed to choke some food down, which then made me feel better and we continued a beautiful hike.
Back to the present, we stopped at Cicmany (pronounced Chich-man-y) on the journey back home. Cicmany is known for it’s painted wooden houses. The paint, I think, is chalk based, and is supposed to keep away the ants. This is the only village (that I know of) that made this particular practical application into an art form. People still live in the houses, and next I might try to stay at a B&B to get a look at the inside.
Back to the hike…
Sometimes there’s just enough room to squeeze by
Sep 11, 2014 @ 04:31:51
What a beautiful country! I continue to enjoy your pictures and stories.
Sep 11, 2014 @ 14:16:53
Sep 11, 2014 @ 04:34:51
Sep 11, 2014 @ 14:17:25
Sep 15, 2014 @ 18:46:45
Hiking in the forest while pregnant and hungry… THAT lends new meaning to the word ‘adventure’. I am in awe! The pictures are lovely- really beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
Sep 16, 2014 @ 08:44:44
Not an adventure I would recommend – pregnant OR hungry is ok, but not both 🙂 Glad you enjoyed!
Sep 16, 2014 @ 20:08:21
This was a really interesting read Naomi. Bringing in the historical elements with the present. It’s very intriguing. The decorated buildings are so interesting. The photo of the twins is so cute.
Sep 16, 2014 @ 23:27:06
Thank you! Isn’t is a great way to share across the ocean?
Dec 27, 2014 @ 12:07:27
very nice…is it possible to hike Janosikove Diery Canyons with small kids-3 years old? how long is the path?
Dec 27, 2014 @ 18:18:55
It depends on how comfortable you are around thin metal ladders and how much into hiking your kids are. If you give yourself time, the path itself is doable for children, info says to give yourself 3.5 – 4.5 hrs. I would take my kids, if that helps 🙂 Our 2 years were with us, although they were on our backs. 3 year olds would need to be carried at least some of the time, and I remember at least one spot where an adult might have to help the kids across (it was muddy and slippery when we went though). Here is a site with info (in Slovak), there are also links to maps.http://www.terchova.sk/navstevnik/turisticke-trasy/janosikove-diery Hope this helps!
Apr 01, 2016 @ 20:57:13
I am Slovak and I was living 25-30 km away from Janosikove Diery Canyons. As Naomi told, it is easier to go up than down. It is possible to go UP Janosikove Diery and than continue by easy tray to small village Stefanova without having to go down the ladders. What I see as the most important is to have good trecking shoes as the path is at least partially slippery. Janosikove diery are drier in summer or autumn, in winter they are really dangerous and in spring they are beautifull, loud, but sometimes the small river must be traversed. I came there with small children including 3 years old. Path is cca 2 hours long if You go without children + two hours return. Janosikove Diery are part of National park Small Fatra, which is really beutifull part of Slovakia and there are much opportunities to rent small cottage for accomodation in Terchova or Stefanova villages.
Apr 02, 2016 @ 15:45:28
Thanks for the input! We were just in Terchova in February, I would love to explore more into the hills where there are just little hamlets. Beautiful area and so rich in culture too.