Central Europe Road Trip Part 4
To round off our road trip we spent a day in the quiet and underrated Slovakia.
We drove into Slovakia from Vienna past its tiny capital of Bratislava. We headed north towards home into the low Tatras, a range south of a higher range of the same name. It was night and we were exhausted. We searched for a hostel or other form of comfortable accommodation, but since Slovakia uses the euro, these were too pricey for us. Instead, we parked at a scenic lookout to spend one last night in the car. Turning the headlights off was magical. The only lights were the stars.
It was a frosty morning when we watched the sun rise from the warmth of our car. The low Tatras are not lofty and magnificent like other mountains. Instead of hemming you in, they offer wide open views of valleys and rounded peaks. We had nowhere in particular to visit and spent most of the day driving around the Low Tatras National Park. We stopped at a small inn that offered traditional agricultural goods. Ordering the famous sheep cheese was a bit difficult in Slovak. We climbed the hill overlooking the inn with many Slovakian families enjoying their weekends.
We drove around some more and eventually found a place to hike. We followed a small mountain creek up through a cold winter forest. There was no snow, but the trail was covered in precarious hidden patches of ice. The ground was still covered in frost since the sun only shone on our side of the mountain for a few hours and even that light was weak once it passed through the thick filter of leafless branches. The chill peace was relaxing for our bodies still shaken by the bustle and festivities of Vienna.
Once the sun was low, we completed our journey north into Poland and eventually home to Krakow. Thus our trip of many firsts ended.
The next post will be on our weekend trip to Bucharest, Romania.