Sledding on Black Mountain

Yesterday was GF’s birthday, he said he was beginning to feel old so I thought a childhood activity would fix him up, I called some friends and arranged to go sledding for the day.   Our trip to the mountains was really special.  The ski area of Cerna Hora  is about an hour by car from our village.  We left in the morning around 9:00 and arrived a little after 10:00. A lift pass is sold for the morning or afternoon.  We decided to wait till noon to buy our pass.  That gave us some time to look around and have lunch before we bought our afternoon pass for the slopes. We ate at a little restaurant near the ski center.  We thought we might grab a hot dog or a bowl of goulash but we were delighted with what the waiter suggested, roast pork loin with mushroom sauce, kraut and dumplings.  To be honest, it was way to heavy for a sporting day.  Our stomachs were telling us to sit down and take it easy for a while after lunch, but no, we went ahead and got our tickets for the lift.  There isn’t a charge for using the sled trail which is called Bell Trail.  The name comes from the days when the sleds were equipped with bells, the jingling of the bells  warned other visitors, who were traveling along the path, to get out of the way.  People have been enjoying this same trail for over a hundred years.  Before the ski lift was build, people were taken to the top of the mountain by horses.  The horses were harnessed to long ropes that were attached to the sleds.  When enough people gathered at the bottom of the trail the horses would tow the sleds and riders back up the mountain for another run.
It took 7 minutes to arrive at the top of the mountain in the Ariel car.  It was a clear day with a marvellous view of the valley below.  At the top we mounted our sleds and roared down the mountain for 3.5 kilometres and ended up at the lift to ride up again.   You should have seen us with our feet spread out in front of the sleds trying to slow our decent and manage the curves without plunging over the side of the mountain.  Actually there was a nice bank of snow on the side which I imagine would keep us from falling off but scary just the same.  The sled run starts at the top of Cerna Hora ( Black Mountain), winds through deep pine forests, crosses ski slopes and plunges down hillsides to the foot of the mountain.  We all felt like kids.  In no time at all the day was over and we were headed back home to a pot of soup that I had made early in the morning before we departed.   It was a marvelous day!  
This morning we both felt well when we got up.  It is amazing how just a day adventure makes you feel refreshed for a week of work to follow.