Sojourn in Slovakia: The Sequel. Day 6: Part II. Finally, Osturňa!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

During the drive to Osturňa, I got to see some pretty spectacular views of Slovakia’s countryside, especially the magnificent Tatra mountains. My guide took the route that enabled me to see a number of places, including the historic town of  Levoča, that sits in the center of the Spiš region of north-east Slovakia bordering on Poland.  The roads began to narrow the closer we got to Osturňa, and we were winding our way along hills and valleys, passing through many villages along the way.  I was so excited to see the sign welcoming me to the place where my grandfather was born.  I had finally made it. We stopped so I could take a picture by the sign.

Lisa Alzo in front of Osturňa, Slovakia sign.
Road to Osturňa.

For me this was a BIG deal because I had previously missed two opportunities (one in 1996 and the other a few years later) to visit Osturňa with a group of others who descended from inhabitants of this Carpatho-Rusyn village.  

View of Osturňa with St. Michael’s church in the background.

I couldn’t go on those trips because I was serving as primary caregiver for my parents who had battled their share of illnesses.  After seeing so many photographs and hearing all of the wonderful stories about the “Osturňa Odyssey,” I vowed that one day I too would get to have the experience.  Today was that day!

As I understand it, Osturňa is one of the few places in Slovakia that has preserved the historic wooden architecture of its homes.  We passed many of these homes on our way to the Penzion (Pension) where I would be staying.  My friend, Thom Kolton, made the arrangements, and I was looking forward to seeing him.

Photos by Lisa Alzo
Copyright, 2012, Lisa A. Alzo
All rights reserved