For your movement in the mountainous terrain (walk nr. 2, excursion nr. 3, private hiking) please, consider arranging yourselves a special mountain insurance !!! – available also in the hotels Kontakt and Horizont near the venue.

Appropriate boots and dress/rain coat are necessary for more demanding trips.

Walks (Thursday afternoon)

Please announce your choice at your registration in Stará Lesná (at arrival).

Walk 1: Blue – Tatranske Zruby, research site FIR

Long term ecological monitoring of microclimate, succession, nutrient dynamic, natural regeneration, reforestation on site heavily affected by windstorm (2004) and fire (2005).

Access: from hotel 1,5 km walk to train station (Stara Lesna). By train to Tatranske Zruby. Walk 1,5 km (one way).

Terrain: mild, elevation 50 m. Return the same way.

Tour guide: dr. Chovancova-zoologist, dr. Halada-botanist

Train schedule:

Stara Lesna 14:40, change in St. Smokovec, arr. Tatranske Zruby 15:08

Stara Lesna 15:40, change in St. Smokovec, arr. Tatranske Zruby 16:08

Tatranské Zruby 16:48. change in St. Smokovec, arr. Stara Lesna 17:15

Tatranské Zruby 17:48. change in St. Smokovec, arr. Stara Lesna 18:15

Walk 2: Red – research site NEX

Long-term ecological monitoring of microclimate, succession, nutrient and carbon dynamic, natural regeneration on site heavily affected by windstorm 2004 and left for natural processes without human intervention.

Access: from Hotel 3,5 km mild walk (one way).

Terrain: mountainous, steeper parts, elev. 250 m. Return the same way.

Tour guide: dr. Fleischer-forest ecologist

Walk 3: Yellow – Tatranska Lomnica Museum and Nature Trail

Exhibition of Tatra National Park Museum, Botanical garden, educational nature trail in alder (Alnus sp.) forest affected by windstorm 2004.

Access: from Hotel easy walk 2 km (one way) to the Museum in Tatranska Lomnica. Botanical garden and nature trail is another 3 km long circle. Slippery when wet.

Tour guide: dr. Kyselova-botanist

Conference excursions (Saturday)

The excursions will take place on Saturday 2 June 2012.

The interested participants should register for excursion at on-line registration and pay the excursion fee together with conference fee. The excursion fee includes transport and lunch costs.

Excursion 1: Historic towns of the Spiš region and the Spiš Castle

Price: 25 €

Estimated duration: 8:30 – 17:00

Programme: Stará Lesná – the Spiš Castle (60 km) - Spišské Podhradie (5 km; with lunch) - Levoča (14 km; with shopping) - Stará Lesná (36 km)

The Spiš Castle is one of the largest castles of the Central Europe. It was built on a travertine rock at 634 m above sea level. A part of the reconstructed castle is a museum that describes the development of the fortress until the end of Middle Ages with a collection of historic guns.

Spišská Kapitula in Spišské Podhradie is a small ecclesiastic town encircled by 1 m wide and 4-5 m high defence wall. The town represents a historical cultural reserve. It is interesting mainly for its two-steeple cathedral of St. Martin in late-Romanesque style of the 13th century with the added chapel of the Zápoľský family in late-Gothic style.

Levoča is the historical and cultural centre of the Spiš region (located in the north-western part of the Eastern Slovakia). The town was built in the place of Slavic colonies after the Tatar invasion in 1242. In the 14-15th centuries Levoča became an important trade centre of the Central Europe. The town is famous mainly for its artist Master Paul, the author of the highest wooden Gothic altar in the world (18,22 m), preserved in the Levoča parish church.

The Spiš Castle, the town of Spišské Podhradie with Spišská Kapitula are included in the list of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.

Excursion 2: Pieniny National Park – sailing wooden raft, monastery museum

Price: 32 €

Estimated duration: 8:30 – 17:30

Programme: Stará Lesná – Červený Kláštor (57 km) – rafting to Lesnica (lunch at arrival) - Červený Kláštor (back by bus or 8,2 km / 2-hour walk along the river; museum) – Stará Lesná

A peaceful ride on wooden rafts of ca. 2 hours goes through a gorge down the meandering Dunajec river driven by professionals of a travel company.

Pieniny National Park (area of 21 km2) is situated in the North Slovakia, east from the High Tatras, at the Polish border. With a homonymous national park in Poland it protects, among other, the 9 km long Dunajec River gorge between the Slovak village of Červený Kláštor and Polish town of Szczawnica. The river with impressive limestone cliffs forms here a natural state boundary. Virgin nature, pure crystal water of the Dunajec river with the hill of Tri koruny (Three Crowns) above create a beautiful place to be visited.

At the mouth of the gorge there is an ancient fortified Carthusian Monastery of Červený Kláštor of the 14th century, now a park administrative centre and museum.

Excursion 3: Popradské and Štrbské mountain lakes, symbolic mountain cemetery

Price: 12 €

Estimated duration: 9:00 – 16:00

Programme: Stará Lesná – Popradské mt. lake (with lunch and visit to the symbolic mountain cemetery) - Štrbské mt. lake (with shopping) - Stará Lesná

(Possible extension to Ostrva saddle at 1966 m asl - later arrival)

The High Tatra Mts. are famous for their mountain lakes (tarns). Štrbské and Popradské lakes rank among the largest and most impressive ones. We will take a tram (1 hr., 18 km), then a 1:10-hr. walk to the Popradské lake (4 km from 1.250 up to 1.510 m asl). The lake is 7 ha large and 18 m deep and is situated in the central part of the Mengusovská valley. After the visit to the symbolic cemetery, memorial of people who died in the mountains, and a lunch in the mountain chalet restaurant, we will take a 1:30-hr. walk down to the Štrbské lake that is 20 ha large and 20 m deep (5 km down to 1.355 m asl). Štrbské Pleso town is the highest human settlement in the area, being a spa centre, where you can buy a souvenir. Finally, we will return to Stará Lesná again by tram (ca. 55 min. to 1:05 hr.).

Trained hikers can make an extension of the route and climb up/walk from Popradské lake at 1.510 m asl to Ostrva saddle to 1.966 m asl (up: 1:35 hr., down: 50 min.; i.e. 2-hour later arrival).