After some visiting with family in eastern Poland just off the Ukraine border we head for the Dukla pass. This pass separates Poland from Slovakia and was a strategic stronghold since if you could hold this pass you could keep the Russian from advancing on the Germans in Slovakia. An observation tower,
and open air WWII museum are in the vicinity.
|Observation Tower Dukla Pass|
|Open Air Museum Piece|
|Sandra showing Magnitude of Roadway|
|Wooden Churches in Slovakia|
As well this area of Slovakia, like much of it bears a lot of similarity with Romania, in particular the wooden churches. However these are not adorned with paintings like the Orthodox churches of Romania. Our day ends in Bardejov,
|Beautiful Bardejov Walls|
|Praying Hands Bardejov|
The Zornicka has a “Fabulous” rating and is again one of those “don’t judge a book by its cover” type places. From the outside it looks like Soviet barrack housing, inside it is a nice place and we get upgraded to a suite room for 4E more and we are the only ones in the place. Erie! After a fantastic breakfast we head out for a day of sightseeing some of the high mountains of Slovakia.
We head next for Spis Hrad, a famous WHS castle which is stunning to see from a distance as we come out of the mountains. We hike up to it and take a look around.
|Spis Castle Inside Ruins|
|Cerveny Klastor and Tatra Mtns|
|Rafting - No life Jackets|
Then onto Cerveny Klastor, and Dunajec gorge in the Tatra mountain region. While there we see people rafting on the river and the weather has turned absolutely gorgeous. We then drive up into a ski town in the High Tatra mountains but the weather looks threatening so we drive onto Banska Bystrica, a town I had read about. We stayed at the Penzion Expo and walked into the old town for supper where we had a very upscale meal of duck breast and dumplings on a bed of beetroot which was fabulous. The town square there was beautiful in the evening as well. Like always our most informative time is talking with the locals and in this case the person spoke very good English, and had been to North America for education. She explained exactly what we had seen, a poor country still trying to figure itself out after separating from the Czech Republic. While a part of the EU it is still a country of remnants of its Soviet past, with a problem of Romas as their homeless. It looks like strong leadership is needed to help define the country’s strengths, which includes recreational opportunities galore, and carve its own path.
The next day we head from Banska to Sturovo and then cross into Hungary at Esztergom.