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Mizhhiria rayon of Transcarpathian oblast is famous, primarily, for its unique scenery. Yet the most precious gem in its crown is the National Natural Park Synevyr. The best way to get there is to start from Khust along the road A 263 to the rayon center Mizhhiria, or from the Volovetsky Pass, turning off the road E50/M06 near the village of Nyzhni Vorota.

The National Park “Synevyr” was founded in 1989. It attracts travelers by wooded mountains, alpine meadows under the clouds, the rapid rivers Tereblia and Chorna Rika, and the curative mineral springs “Berkut” type. Here also belongs the unique mountain swamp Hlukhania. The highest summits in the territory of the park are the mountains of Strymba (1,719 m.) and Nehrovets (1,707 m.). But the most valuable treasure of the park is the famous Synevyr Lake, also known as the “Sea Eye.” It formed as a result of landslides, at a height of 989 m. above sea-level, which dammed up the river valley in the post-glacial period. The valley was quickly filled with the waters of three mountain streams; the area of the lake and its depth never stop to change depending on the quantity of atmospheric precipitates.

There is another, poetic explanation of the lake’s origin. There is a small island in the middle of the lake. According to folk legends it is the top of a rock on the grave of the girl Syn and the boy Vyr. Evil people impeded their love. The envious threw the boy off the mountain. Left alone, the girl cried out a whole lake of blue tears, and then plunged into the water from a steep.

The 8-22 meter deep lake covers about 4 or 5 hectares. Trout, already a rare fish in other terrains of the Carpathians, is still in abundance in the clear, cold water of the lake.

A visit to the Museum of Rafting on the Chorna River will be of interest without doubt. However, the quality of the road will be right only for a land cruiser. Make your choice. At the beginning of the road don’t miss the remains of a log pillbox of the famous defensive system “Ar-pad’s Line.’ The muse­um is partially located on the water and is a hydraulic structure of the was used for rafting timber bound in rafts. Its complex, for that time, technical and architectural solution was based on the traditions of folk con­struction. The dex-terousness of Transcarpathian masters is well known far beyond the borders of the region. The religious, housing, administrative and other structures they made are real masterpieces and cannot but impress one with their inimitable beauty.

To get to the territory of the park you should follow cer­tain “procedures.” You have to pass two check-points and pay a double ecologi­cal duty. Then you can walk straight to the lake. It should be remembered that Synevyr park is one of a few territories where tents and picnics are not allowed. Near the lake there is a recreation center and a quiet hotel.

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