We got up and said goodbye to Krakow early with a busy day ahead. We were changing countries again, this time going into Slovakia. The drive itself was fantastic, with so much to see – even excluding the places where we stopped. Below are a few pictures from the drive: The view from a steep mountain drive through forests, an endless field of sunflowers, a tiny church in a graveyard and a random “Aeroklub” with really old planes.
One of the cities on our list to visit was Bardejov, a UNESCO listed town. Although the first written mention of the town was in 1247, the inhabitants of the village can be traced back to 20,000 BC! There was a large protective wall around the core part of the city and amazing buildings around the town square. In fact, it was a little haunting because we visited on a Sunday and there were congregations singing hymns around us as we looked at the church that was hundreds of years old!
While driving along, we saw a castle in the distance. This was the first real castle that we’d seen since we came to Europe and we HAD to see it up close. We detoured off our route to explore it and we weren’t disappointed. Spis Castle is one of the largest castles in Europe and is amazing to see. It is also UNESCO listed but is mostly in ruins. It was built in the 12th Century and a lot of it is still remaining today, still looking over the villages it protected back then. We had to walk up a massive hill to get to it in 32 degree weather, but it was worth it. Not only was it amazing to be in a real castle, there were displays, a museum and even flintlock pistol shooting!
Spisska Nova Ves has had people living in the village since the 6th Century. We stopped there to look around and have some lunch. Although the lunch wasn’t great, it was a good stop on the trip and the town really is quite pretty.
Also on the UNESCO listing, Levoca was a cute little town that was built around the 12th Century. The buildings were amazing. We walked around for a little while, but torrential rain stopped play and so we headed off to Roznava to find our accommodation for the night.
On the way to Roznava we tried to visit a castle that was on our sight seeing list – Krasna Horka. Unfortunately it mostly burned down in 2012, but the renovations are not yet finished. The road to the castle was closed, but we did get a couple of pics that included the crane used for the renovations! When we did finally get to our accommodation, we had dinner and a couple of beers at a pub next door before turning in after another busy day.