Thursday, 18 December 2014

A Catholic Middle Earth – part 3

The High Tatras

A Short Walk in the High Tatras 

After filming the Gypsy musical on the Old Testament story of Judith and Holofernes, we stayed overnight at the Greek Catholic’s priest’s house. Saturday the 18th October was another very busy day. We headed east to do a live broadcast of the Mass celebrated by the bishop in honour of Anna Kolesárová the Second World War martyr for chastity, see part 2 of this post for the story. As I was a guest and not needed to take part in the production apart from a little roadie work, I took part in the pilgrimage. After the Mass, the vans were once again loaded and we headed back west. I was invited to stay another day in central Slovakia and make a short walk in the High Tatras.

We were to stay with a priest in the Stary Smokovec a lovely little town at the foot of the highest mountains. We arrived well after midnight but the priest had waited up for us, and after a few glasses of Slivovitsa (a very strong plum brandy) I slept like a log. Slivovitsa is everywhere in Slovakia and is to be treated with respect. Needless to say we did not start out the following Sunday as early as we intended and our short hike became even shorter. Nevertheless it was wonderful as these photos I shot show.

A mountain waterfall

The High Tatras are a mountain range in northern Slovakia and Southern Poland. The 15 highest peaks are all situated in Slovakia with Geriachovsky stit (Geriach Peak) being the tallest at 8,711ft. They form part of the Carpathian mountain chain. Although beautiful and calm on the sunny autumn day I visited, they can be traitorous, that day two people lost their lives climbing them, with prayers RIP.

One of the many Castles in Slovakia
The High Tatras have always attracted thousands of visitors from the surrounding central European countries; St John Paul II would often visit them when he was Pope and even before. Upon one visit he predicted that Europe who be re-evangelised from central Europe and in particularly, Slovakia. It’s not surprising that it’s the central European countries that have amended their constitutions to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, banning same-sex marriage. Perhaps we should write to Slovakian Embassy in our various countries and thank them for making this wonderful pro-family stand. In Western Europe only Italy is holding out against any form of same-sex unions – but for how much longer with the pressure in Western Europe being so pro - ‘Gay’ everything. Also neighbouring Hungary has made a strong pro-family and pro-Life declaration at the UN.

Evening Mass

Ah well back to the Tatras, after our walk to the waterfalls, a snack and coffee at one of the mountain huts we headed back down the mountain to take the mountain railway for the last part to the town. We attended the evening Mass said by our priest host in Latin. He celebrates his evening Mass in Latin because there are so many visitors all speaking different languages visiting these mountains.

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