SK, Podhajska – Sea Water Town
The train station was the first thing that gave us wonderful impression of the village. And it looks pretty new. We entered a street from the station and than set off to our guesthouse. To make our walk shorter we looked at local houses, or colorful toboggans at a thermal pool which do not operate in the winter. It came hardly as surprise to us that almost every houses announced favorable prices on acommodation.
Podhajska town was founded in 1960. But don’t let yourself be deluded by the year. In this year two existing towns joined - Belek the earliest written note on its existence comes from 1075 and Svatusa that was founded around 1156..
Once we settled in our guest house we moved on to the surroundings and its exploration. First, we went to the thermal pool . Vendors selling swimsuits, towels, slippers, bathrobes, or even red pepper or wine idled at the gate. Inside the compound is a mini zoo. Within it there are pigeon aviaries, or deer paddock. Close to it are restaurants and opposite to them children playgrounds. At a small market you can buy cheese, clothes, or mead. All roads are lined by wood carving sculptures.
We crossed the river, walked along couple of pools towards majestic, and chiefly colorful toboggans. The attractions were, however, in winter mode, meaning they were shut off. We walked across grassy terraces. In summer people rest here from summer heat. We moved to the aqua park.
So called Slovak Dead Sea is here, at Podhajske. Water is of brownish color and as hot as 83 degrees at the source. The water springs to the surface from as deep as 1 900 meters and its composition makes it unique. It is comparable to water of the real Dead Sea. It stimulates lungs, cures back pain, helps dermatological diseases etc. We were among thousands who come here to find some relief and nurture our bodies.
Roman spa are very close to the pool. You can enjoy there massages, sauna, and thermal water treatment. We couldn’t but notice that water is blood in town’s veins. Apart from being utilized for relax and medical treatments it heats huge greenhouses where flowers and tomatoes grow. Also water feeds huge construction boom of various guesthouses, therefore, increasing quality of service at accommodation facilities. Which is anyway high as we constantly noticed throughout our stay there.
What we intended to see were historical sights. Therefore, we set off to church of the Birth of the Virgin Mary constructed in 1904. Even though we walked there 15 minutes the place was worth it. Small church had beautiful coat of painting. In the light of setting sun it even looked mysterious a bit. There is another church in the former town of Belek. We didn’t go there. On the other hand, we peaked inside some of once mixed goods shops and it was great experience. Local cinema was also interesting. In winter the screening takes place in the small hall. In summer audience sits outside. Architecture of houses around us was also interesting. Older houses had glassed sides. We have never seen anything like it in Slovakia.
We were resting on the days to follow. While enjoying healing water and good food we regained energy. Our conclusion was that we would return here sometime.
Text and photo: Oskár Mažgút
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