September 13, 2008
(5.18 km; 1 hr 7 min; 47m ascent; 322m descent)
We had one snorer in our room last night, but he wasn’t that bad. Or maybe we were getting used to snoring. Anyway, we got up around 7 am and headed downstairs for breakfast. The place was packed because, unknown to us, this was a holiday weekend in Slovakia. Service was very slow but eventually we got our muesli and tea. It took us a while to check out because there was nobody at reception, but we asked at the bar and in a couple of minutes someone showed up. We paid our bill and headed out.
Outside it felt cold, and the hordes of people coming up the trail were all wearing jackets. Our Tatra Circuit walk had started at Štrbské pleso, so to finish the circuit we had to walk down to there. This took us about an hour. The trail had a number of interpretive signs about the forest, but we mostly skipped reading them because they were only in Slovak. At one place we noticed frost on a bench, so it must have been close to freezing overnight.
Down at Štrbské pleso, our first stop was the train station. The sales clerk didn’t speak English, so we settled on speaking German and bought our tickets to Vienna. We had a couple of hours before our train left, so we went for a walk around the lake. Then we bought some food for the train trip.
Eventually the little electric train took us to Poprad, and after half an hour the regular train took us to Vienna. This was the reverse of the pretty trip we had taken across Slovakia ten days ago. The train was very crowded, but almost everybody got off at Bratislava and we rode the train almost by ourselves the rest of the way to Vienna.