The objective of this article is to draw attention to some of the most preserved parts of natural marvels not easily observable anywhere in the world. Dolina (or valley) Nefcerka is one of them.
An ongoing struggle of ecological activists currently takes place in order to prevent exploitation of surrounding valleys in the area of the Tatras Mountains (Slovakia), as various endeavors of wood industry companies press on government to get permission to carry away the fallen trees in the region of Koprova and Ticha valleys (affected by a windstorm), which have both a different status than other woods, as these lie in one of the most protected natural reservations in Central Europe.
Many tourists visit Slovakia, the heart of Central Europe, even from distant overseas. One of the world's geographically youngest mountain range called the Tatras or the High Tatras (Vysoke Tatry) lies in the north of this small country. Many people use the term Tatra Mountains instead of Tatras, but in Slovak "Tatry" is plural. The etymology of this word is difficult to track. The Alexandrian geographer and astronomer Claudius Ptolemaios refers to this region in his geographical works as Carpathés. The word "Triti" or "Trtri" was first documented in the 10th century in a donation document of German King Henrich IV.
The High Tatras peaks are very dense and thus exceptionally attractive. In these mountains, you can make most of any touristic trips just in one day and see all the loveliness of natural scenery in the woods, around waterfalls, in the capricious weather, caves, rocks, or you can even listen to fairy-tales of a bird signing.
The history of these mountains started many million years ago within the Carpathian mountain ranges. Later, after this mass emerged from the Mesozoic ocean some 80 million years ago, the mountains started to be formed on the surface.
The Tatras can be divided to the Western Tatras, the High Tatras, and the Belianske Tatras. The Low Tatras, which is an independent range of mountains in a south direction from the above northern mass of the mountains, are not mentioned in this article. The northern Tatra mountain mass is on the border with Poland, but Slovakia has the bigger part of it. The deceased John Paul II loved going here as a priest before he became the Pope. The highest Tatras are the High Tatras, where the Gerlach Peak (Gerlachovsky stit, 2,655 meters above the sea level) is the highest point in Slovakia.
Matej Bel (1684 - 1723), a Slovak Lutheran pastor, one of the greatest scholars of the 18th century (Slovakia was under the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy's rule at that time) wrote a big work entitled Notitia Hungariae novae historico - geografica, which even crossed the borders of the then Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The work also contained national geography of the Tatras. Thus, some famous European scholars and other important personages visited these mountains, certainly inspired also by Jean Jacque Rousseau's ideas who appealed to teleology by way of the order which can be found in nature and its gifts. Some of these were Göran Wahlenberg (a Swedish naturalist), Robert Townson (English traveler), a French geologist Baltazar Hacquet, and many others.
The High Tatras had some mining history too. The first such activities started in the 15th century. Under the government of Matej Korvin (1458 - 1490), mining tunnels were built around the Krivan Peak, but even in spite of great expectations, the results were not so good. It is hard to say whether this was because of hard-manageable and inaccessible terrain, or because of small resources of gold. Even now, these tunnels can be visited, but ecological activists and workers of the Tatras National Park consider going there to be an illegal activity. It is even very dangerous, as bears can have their dens there and if someone finds courage, the only way to go into these tunnels is to use knees and hands as the only means of transportation.
The contemporary Tatras
At the moment, the High Tatras are under the protection of TANAP, which is the Tatras National Park (institutionally recognized in 1949). The High Tatras have always had good references for various treatments of lung and breathing diseases, as the weather conditions and overall nature with unique vegetation are extraordinarily healthy if people with breathing diseases spend here a few weeks.
In 1970, the World Ski Championship took place here and from till then rather a plain and simple place an attractive tourist home with cableways and good transportation developed all over the region.
The Tatras are real mountains and many tourists underestimate this fact. The climate can change any time with serious consequences. If you go up into the hills and the sun is shining, always expect that not only hailstones, but also real rocks may fall on your head in a few minutes. Albeit rocks do not fall every day on mountain tracks, a tragedy happened recently where rocks started falling from the wall above few tourists and six of them ended up in hospital. Tourists should never forget to put a wind-jacket in their packsacks and good shoes on their feet. Health insurance is an absolute option if you plan to undertake longer tours in the hills. This also pertains to Slovaks, because no normal medical service has abilities to climb up high in the rocks to take you out of the heights if your leg got broken. We have a special service for this. Some years ago, a calamity occurred in the High Tatras, as the wind was so strong that it literally cut off many trees from surface. Some wood industry companies want to take these fallen trees out of the woods even from the most protected areas.