Thursday 14th July
Our mission for afternoon was to buy some sugar as we were out and buy an inverter as ours was playing up and doing strange things. On the outskirts of the town of Poprad is a massive shopping complex where we first stopped and then decided to have lunch at a Slovakian restaurant. It was very busy and when we finish we knew why, it had a set menu with a selection of 8 main meals which change every day. Before the mains we were served a large bowl of soup which was included in the price, then we had a main dish along with a large beer and a radler. It was very filling and the price was 10.10 euros about $15 Australian, good value and a good meal. I went to the electronics shop while Jenny hit the Tesco. I managed to get a new inverter and Jenny did some shopping buying amongst other things what she thought was sugar, when we has coffee later I had to spit it out ,as instead of sugar Jenny and bought a large bag of salt, this is one of the hazards when not knowing the language. Shopping done, it started raining and we headed up to the High Tatra Mountains finding a campsite and hibernating for the rest of the afternoon and night, watching as the tent people tried to stay dry in the rain.
The weather cleared overnight and in the morning we packed our backpack ready for any rain that might come. There was a gondola which took people to the mountains and after a 2 kilometre walk we bought tickets to ride up the first part of the mountains. To reach the top we would have had to wait until 3.00pm and the cost was 26 euros more. As it was very overcast we thought that there wouldn’t be much to see in the cloud cover but it was a pleasant ride in the gondola and we reached the first level where there was a restaurant, bar, children’s playground and an observatory, we spent some time walking around the mountain lake and climbed a bit further up the hill to see if we saw any more views.
The cloud cover occasionally cleared to give views of the mountains and the plains below. Back down to the town we found a small supermarket and this time bought some sugar. It was now late in the afternoon so we stopped and had a pizza for a late lunch before walking back to the campsite. With good timing we reached the campsite just as the rain came down.
On Saturday we did some washing and caught up with some internet before leaving the campsite at 4 pm in the afternoon. We arrived at the Unesco site of Vlkolinec, a small village tucked away on a small road in the mountains. The road was very narrow and we were glad the traffic at that time was very light. It was now after 6 and the small village had only a hand full of tourists as we wandered the couple of streets where the old wooden houses were. The houses dated back a few hundred years and were all intact. Our place for the night was a small car park about a kilometre from the village, we were there with another Italian motorhome and had a very quiet night.
We left early in the morning to avoid any traffic coming up the narrow road and had breakfast on the main road. Our destination was another castle, I know what you are all thinking the ABC tour of Europe [another bloody castle, another bloody church, etc] but this one was one on our list of to do things. It is in the town of Bojnice and after parking up and getting a glimpse at the castle we were not disappointed.
As it was a Sunday and the weather was good there were plenty of locals out and about, not only to see the castle but in the same area there was a zoo, a pool complex, a dinosaur park, a birds of prey show and plenty of food and drink places. After a look around we purchased out tickets and had to wait for an hour until the English tour started, as it was the only one for the day. The tour lasted an hour and a half and took us through the three upper levels as well as the cave underneath, the rooms were all furnished and the castle in great condition.
Unfortunately we did not take any inside photos as you had to purchase a photo sticker first, and as all the signage was in Slovakian we didn’t know until the tour started. We have seen plenty of castles over the past few years and this rates as one of the best, [Castles and caves seem to attract our interest] for 8 euros it was a great way to spend the afternoon. We bought a couple of souvenirs for the dashboard and some large wafer biscuit’s that a lot of people were eating. The night we spent in car park below the castle, very quiet until the morning when the driving school was using it for lessons. Next stop Bratislava.
The following photo’s are courtesy of Google images as we didn’t have a photo sticker.