What I see as the problem which I am trying to turn into a potential in my project is the cooperation between the Spa owner and the municipality. In the case of Červený Kláštor, it is reflected in the absence of the bike path and walkway from the Spa to the monastery and other activities. The infrastructure is the responsibility of the municipality, which doesn’t provide money for its extension. Nowadays, the visitors are walking and cycling together with the cars on an already narrow road.
What can we visit in Pieniny (Zamagurie Region) ?
Červený Kláštor (Red Monastery)
Červený Kláštor ( Red Monastery) is well known mainly thanks to its ‘ flying mong Cyprian‘, who lived in the monastery in the 18th century. Cyprian was extremely intelligent and knew how to heal people by using herbs planted in monastery garden. He was also aware of healing power of local mineral spring and people from a wide region came to ask for his help. His own pharmacy is referred to as the oldest (or second oldest) pharmacy in the Middle Europe.
He was interested in the Space and an idea of people being able to fly. According to legends, he constructed his own wings, which he used to fly around Pieniny region.
River Dunajec marks the state boundary between
Slovakia and Poland. The visitors can take a raft, which carries them through breath-taking
nature of Pieniny National Park. During the journey, which takes almost 2
hours, the raft-drivers explain the whole history of rafting, tell the jokes
and legends tied to every single rock (for example the one about 7 monks from
the Red Monastery, who visited a nun in Poland and petrified afterward – the ‘nun
stone’ is situated a few meters away, on the Polish coast).
The journey is 10 km long and it’s possible to
cycle or walk back along the river.
Few meters from Poland
During my trip, I also crossed the Slovak borders and visited the Polish part of Pieniny. It’s especially interesting for its castles and the miniature park.
What I didn’t enjoy, although, was its highly touristic and consume character, which distracted me from enjoying the place as it was. I was quite pleased to come back to Monastery and Spa and enjoy its calmness.
A good part about Slovakia not being a highly touristy place is the authenticity of its countryside. I stayed in a family pension, with extremely hospitable owners, talked to residents about their life, ate local specialities and was buying the groceries in a small local shop. The Region wound need more visitors and visibility to improve things which are still missing, such as extended bike path and walkway, but it provides a potential, which will be hopefully sensibly used.