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The Tatra Mountains

The Tatra Mountains are part of the Carpathian Range, located in the heart of Europe. This is the second highest mountain range in Europe, east of the Alps and west of the Ural and the Caucasus Mountains.

The Tatras are part of the Western Carpathians. They form a natural border between Poland and Slovakia, to the south of the Polish city of Krakow, and north of the Slovak towns Poprad and Liptovsky Mikulas.

The Tatras make up in the natural beauty what they lack in height and in the area they cover. In the comparison with the highest mountains of the world, Tatra Mountains are a small range. The highest Tatra peak, Gerlach (in Slovakia) is 8,737 feet high. The highest Polish peak in the Tatra Mountains is Rysy - 8,199 feet.

The range is divided into three parts, different in both the type of landscape and the geological structure: the Western Tatras, the High Tatras, and the Bielskie Tatras. The most interesting and the most visited part are The High Tatras with the beautiful glen of Morskie Oko, in the Polish part of the Tatras. The Western Tatra Mountains are lower, not as steep, but have beautiful, wide views. The most beautiful valleys are the Koscieliska Valley and the Chocholowska Valley, covered in millions of pink flowering crocuses in spring. The Bielskie Tatras are in Slovakia and they are a part of a nature preserve, with no tourist trails.

Morskie Oko Lake

Morskie Oko (Eye of the Sea) is arguably the most beautiful of the Tatra Mountains lakes, and it is certainly the largest. It stretches some 860 meters in length, and 566 in breadth. The area around the lake is entered through a small pass, and once inside, you are entirely surrounded by the mountains. It is very much as if you are in a huge crater, filled with crystalline water. Morskie Oko has delighted travelers since the region was first discovered one hundred and fifty years ago, and it remains among the most popular places to visit in the Tatras. It is also one of the most easily accessible, with a swift route from Lysa Polana followed by a walk of about one and a half hours or covered more easily by a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. The final goal is certainly a marvel of nature.

The lake itself is fifty meters deep and it is the only one with a natural stock of fish, in this case river trout. The prospect of the surrounding mountains is stunning. The most captivating peak is Mnich, which literally means 'the Monk'. It owes its name to its sharply pointed peak which resembles that of a monks habit.

Kasprowy Wierch
Kasprowy Wierch rises from the main ridge of the Tatra Mountains on the Poland-Slovakia border almost in the very center of the Polish Tatras. It is surrounded by the valleys: Dolina Stawów Gasienicowych on the east, Dolina Goryczkowa on the west, Dolina Kasprowa on the north, and (in Slovakia) Dolina Cicha on the south. There is a meteorological observatory on the summit (1985 m), and slightly lower than the summit is the top station of the Kuznice-Kasprowy Wierch cable car.

The Kuznice-Kasprowy Wierch cable-car was built in 1935-1936. The bottom station is at Kuznice (alt. 1051 m), the middle one at Myslenickie Turnie (alt. 1352 m), and the top one on Kasprowy Wierch (alt. 1953 m). The length of the lower section is 1973 m, that of the upper one 2208 m, which makes altogether 4181 m. The difference in altitude is as follows: lower section - 301 m, upper section - 607 m, altogether - 908 m. The biggest height above the ground is about 200 m, above the Dolina Kasprowa, near Kasprowy. 
 
Kasprowy Wierch is the starting point for a number of mountain trails and climbs. In the winter it is the principal ski centre. There are very fine runs from the summit, in several directions. From Kasprowy Wierch there are several marked trails. 

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