Picture-perfect village Vlkolinec is a little too perfect, for my liking.
There is another village that needs to be visited. Vlkolinec is located on the slopes of the Siderovo mountain, with a little over 1000 m one of the highest peaks in the Liptov region south of Orava. The village, UNESCO World Heritage Site, consists of some 40 wooden houses, still being lived in, at an altitude of 700 m.
A steep road ends at a parking which suggests significant tourist interest in peak season, and even today, end of September, there are quite a few cars. No less than two ticket offices are located at the village entrance, but after further inquiry it turns out that they sell tickets for the museums inside the village – half of which are closed anyhow – and except for a parking fee, there is actually no need to part with more money.
The village itself is no more than one long street, flanked by, indeed, wooden houses, well maintained, colourful, clearly inhabited…, and yet, not that much different from the open-air museum in Zuberec we had visited the day before. A tad artificial, perhaps, it needs to be too perfect, too clean, too sterile. But then, it is an obligatory stop on the Slovakia trail; you can only judge it after you have seen it with your own eyes.
The best thing today? The sun is shining, which makes Vlkolinec a nice village, after all, despite everything else.
Next: further east to Levoca.