THE PROTYATE KAMINNYA ROCKS
Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Sokolyne Oko ("Falcon's Eye"), the heart of the Protyate Kaminnya

The Protyate Kaminnya (literary "penetrated stones”) is an amazing natural formation, a group of rocks generated from broken sandstone layers and pierced with various holes and passages. The place is located near the Nimchych mountain pass on the mountain ridge between the Vyzhenka and Smuhariv rivers flowing down to the Cheremosh.

 

The rocks are amazingly splendid. Their height reaches 40-50 m at some places. The most impressive is the Sokolyne Oko ("Falcon's Eye") rock, the highest is the Prosichna mountain (913m).

The journey to the Protyate Kaminnya starts from the Nimchych tourist center. We'll need to do a not-so-easy job to climb up this crest

Nimchych mountain pass, Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

After we reach the top and walk the first couple of hundred meters, we'll see a lonely farmer house and haystacks

Haystacks, on the way to Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

In some places the road, which is rather a wide path, was hacked out in massive stones

Way to Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The rock wall on the left is covered with metal net to avoid falling stones

Way to Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The path goes through a mix of meadows and forests

Meadows and forests near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

This chapel on the right suggests that we're going a proper way

Chapel on the way to Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Haystacks again

Haystacks, steep meadow, Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

And this meadow is not as plain as we're used to see. Quite the contrary, it would be very good for extreme mountain skiing in the winter and paragliding in the summer

Steep meadow on way to Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

On the way to the Protyate Kaminnya you'll meet a spring with refreshing water. Having own cup would be of use

Spring on the way to Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

A lonely peasant house seems to be lost in this area with very sparse population

Peasant house, near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Still, long and thick wires suggest that such loneliness is not totally true. Not at all

Power lines, near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Approaching our destination we meet several cows on a little glade surrounded by the forest

Glade near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Despite all this beauty, there are clear signs of deforestation. The Ukrainian Carpathians are being hacked out. And this process raises deep depression

Deforestation, near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The big meadow in this pic's middle used to be a dense forest just several years ago

Deforestation, near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

And now we're approaching our destination. These big stones are a sort of "outskirts" of Protyate Kaminnya

Near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Surprisingly, they are covered with trees whose roots literary dig into stones.

Near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Here's a closer look

Pines on stones, Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Looking at such giants from the bottom upwards leaves unforgettable impressions

Near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Another huge rock

Huge stone near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

As we're going deeper into the massif, the rocks are growing bigger and curvier

Near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Often covered with moss serving as soil for trees

Massive stones, near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The ground is covered with a blanket of leaves from the past autumn

Blanket of leaves, near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

This pine as if came from the Jurassic period

Pine on stones, near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Its roots deserve on a Wolf Prize for their shape, with the prize awarded to the nature

Roots of pine on stones, Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Another picturesque stone

Vivid stone, near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

And one more mossy rock

Mossy rock, near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

In some sense this forest looks a bit like Japanese gardens

Forest on stones, near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Stones are never tired of impressing their viewer

Impressive stones, near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

This little camp means that we've almost reached our goal

Tourist camp near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Just a couple more steps down

Impressive stones near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

And here is its base

Base of Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The very bottom of...

Bottom of Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

...the Falcon's Eye!!!

Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

So big and majestic!!!

Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The pines on its top are 10-20 meters high. And these people seen from that top would look not bigger than ants

Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Some tourists who we met had climbing belongings... but I'm not as big a fan of the extreme

Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Falcon Eye's left

Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

The camp and rock paintings in front of the Falcon's Eye. This Mermaid dates back to... well, let's leave this issue to archaeology professionals :)

Rock paintings, mermaid, Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Some more photos from this attractive place

Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Absolutely magnificent

Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

A close-up of pines on the top (one more thanks to my 15x ultra zoom). Any idea where they take nutrients from?

Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

And now it's time to return. On our way to the Eye, in our last 500 m we were going all the time down. Now we'll have to do this distance all the way up. Climbing up a 45° slope is somewhat challenging :)

Near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

We've done it! Our next stop is the Nimchych

Near Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Doing our safe 6.5 km back to the Nimchych. Another fascinating green landscape

Back to Nimchych from Falcon's Eye, Protyate Kaminnya Rocks, Bukovinian Carpathians, Vyzhnytsya/Putyla Districts, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine

Protyate Kaminnya on Google Maps

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