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
After we reach the top and walk the first couple of hundred meters, we'll see a lonely farmer house and haystacks
In some places the road, which is rather a wide path, was hacked out in massive stones
The rock wall on the left is covered with metal net to avoid falling stones
The path goes through a mix of meadows and forests
This chapel on the right suggests that we're going a proper way
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
On the way to the Protyate Kaminnya you'll meet a spring with refreshing water. Having own cup would be of use
A lonely peasant house seems to be lost in this area with very sparse population
Still, long and thick wires suggest that such loneliness is not totally true. Not at all
Approaching our destination we meet several cows on a little glade surrounded by the forest
Despite all this beauty, there are clear signs of deforestation. The Ukrainian Carpathians are being hacked out. And this process raises deep depression
The big meadow in this pic's middle used to be a dense forest just several years ago
And now we're approaching our destination. These big stones are a sort of "outskirts" of Protyate Kaminnya
Surprisingly, they are covered with trees whose roots literary dig into stones.
Here's a closer look
Looking at such giants from the bottom upwards leaves unforgettable impressions
Another huge rock
As we're going deeper into the massif, the rocks are growing bigger and curvier
Often covered with moss serving as soil for trees
The ground is covered with a blanket of leaves from the past autumn
This pine as if came from the Jurassic period
Its roots deserve on a Wolf Prize for their shape, with the prize awarded to the nature
Another picturesque stone
And one more mossy rock
In some sense this forest looks a bit like Japanese gardens
Stones are never tired of impressing their viewer
This little camp means that we've almost reached our goal
Just a couple more steps down
And here is its base
The very bottom of...
...the Falcon's Eye!!!
So big and majestic!!!
The pines on its top are 10-20 meters high. And these people seen from that top would look not bigger than ants
Some tourists who we met had climbing belongings... but I'm not as big a fan of the extreme
Falcon Eye's left
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 :)
Some more photos from this attractive place
A close-up of pines on the top (one more thanks to my 15x ultra zoom). Any idea where they take nutrients from?
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 :)
We've done it! Our next stop is the Nimchych
Doing our safe 6.5 km back to the Nimchych. Another fascinating green landscape
Protyate Kaminnya on Google Maps