Episode 8

“And there are really never endings, happy or otherwise.”

Last 23 kilometers. We wanted our last day to be easy, not rushed, and non-stressful. The route from Kamzik went through the lookout tower with an amazing view of the whole Bratislava. We also saw Slavin in the distance, the destination for our brunch. I looked in the distance and felt weird, so close to home. I spent some time on the lookout and couldn’t believe the journey we made. It sounds strange that you traveled through your whole home country by walking. We enjoyed the last moments in nature and descended to the city.

When I decided to go on this journey, I imagined the trip full of solitude, thinking and self-knowledge. It was only partly true. Our journey was also about the people we met on the road. We met hundreds of people. With some of them we exchanged just a few sentences, some of them became our friends. Some of them helped us in the time of need and we will be forever thankful.

We were alone when we arrived at Slavin around 10 P.M. It was Monday, so most of the people were at work. We enjoyed brunch at this historical monument that I had never visited when I was in Bratislava before. It also offered a beautiful view of the castle and the city centre. Our plan was to get through Bratislava as quickly as possible, because we knew by now that we don’t like to be on asphalt roads during noon.

The SNP trail is certainly one of the biggest adventures that can be experienced. I always looked for one abroad thousands of kilometers away. I would never have imagined that it was waiting for me back home. We experienced a lot of emotions on this journey. We cried when we were in pain, we were scared when we were running away from mama bear, we laughed on multiple occasions with our friends, we were angry and frustrated when the plan did not work out to our expectations, we were hungry and without food more than we thought was possible. However, our goal was always in front of us.

The last part of the trail leads around Devinska Kobyla. We walked so slowly that I thought we would never reach the end. We obviously didn’t want our adventure to end. Last days we started to talk a lot about how the last minutes when we arrived would look like. We imagined we would burst into tears and laugh at how embarrassing it would be. We didn’t plan for it to happen from the viewpoint, when we first laid our eyes on Devin castle. The moment we saw it, both of us started to cry like small babies.The moment was touching and unexpected at the same time. We laughed through the tears, our goal a few kilometers far away. When we reached it the tears disappeared, my mom, Lubos and his wife and Nika’s new boss (all people close to Bratislava) were waiting for us at the finish line. In the end we took them to the restaurant and we finally could have sheep cheese dumplings that made me sick at the beginning of the journey.

770km in 29 days. We finished our adventure today, on Devínsky Hrad. The worst result for a day was 11,5 km, the best was 34 km. There were times we thought that we would give up, but our willpower and motivation was stronger. This trip was challenging but gave us back hundred times more than what we invested with our energy. We are thankful we could do this together, all three girls, the trail of the heroes SNP