After over a month straight of beautiful cities in eastern Europe, we decided to take a small break and visit the mountains of Slovakia for a change of scenery. It was nice to get out of the city for a few days, but it was also somewhat trying at times due to the lack of detailed information available about public transportation, and the fact that almost no one spoke English in these smaller towns. For this reason, there where several times when we were not sure if we would make it to our final destination for the day, and we blindly hoped that the bus would come. We got lucky as it always did, although it was over 3 hours late one day.
The Run Down:
There were two main attractions that we wanted to see in the Slovakia country side; the first was to see the high Tatra Mountains, and the second was to visit one of the over 300 castles that this small country had to offer. We were not disappointed on either front.
- Tatra Mountains – We took a train to the foot of the mountains and found a ski resort where we could take the chairlift to the top of one of the mountains. We were shocked that it took us 3 chairlifts and almost 30 minutes of riding to reach the lower peak that we visited. It also dropped about 30 degrees Fahrenheit by the time we reached the summit. It was beautiful, but also really windy and stormy at the top. Andy enjoyed the gale force winds and pouring rain with his Chacos and shorts (he did not come prepared!). But in the end the hike was a lot of fun and the views were spectacular!
- Spis Castle – This castle is one the the biggest in eastern Europe, and boasts a great view of the 3 cities that it overlooks from atop the hill. The castle was first created in the 13th century and was inhabited by various residents up until the 19th century. The country side around the castle was beautiful!