Exploring Slovakia

rps20150824_183343I had a few days before my friend Babs joined me to go hiking together in the Tatry.  I decided to head North and follow the Slovakia section of the Iron Curtain Eurovelo 13 which follows the river Morave from Bratislava to the Czech border.   It was a different world from the well trodden Rhine and Danube cycle trails.

From Bratislava I went to a nearby small village called Devin, obviously thriving,  with art galleries and wine cellars.  This changed the further I went, from the capital to empty small villages with one tiny shop which  had hardly anything on it and huge forests untouched by humans for over half a century. 

rps20150824_182519 Left over signs of what it must’ve been like where dotted all over the landscape –  bunkers and memorials to those who fought for change.  I kept on thinking about what those majestic trees must’ve seen and I longed for them to tell me the story. 

rps20150824_182929Memorials to the First World War where also everywhere.   I found the one in Hor Oresăny particularly moving.  I sat by it for a while thinking about the young men in the photos that never came back to their village and wondering when we will learn the lessons of history.

I  had my first wild camp experience on this trail. I went down what  I thought to be a small road, instead it was a sandy track that went through the middle of a huge acacia forest. It was getting late so I camped in a small clearing. There were hardly any sounds but as night started to fall,  the place filled up with the noise of thousands of  insects.  I felt a bit apprehensive,  there is something about forests that I find unnerving. In my sleep bag I used all kind of techniques to try to relax but my ears refused to switch off attentive to the smallest of sounds. Finally I went to sleep only to be woken up shortly after by the sound of movement and breathing by the tent. I laid very still scared to move whilst my imagination went wild. It was a very long night and in the morning I saw the footprints of what must’ve been deer not  to far from the tent. It would have been so much better if I hadn’t been on my own! 


It was exciting meeting Babs and together we headed for the Tatry.  Tatranska Magistrala,  there was something about the name that I found irresistible when in London and it didn’t let me down . The hike was tiring but pretty wonderful,  striking mountains,  wildlife,  flowers, staying in mountain huts…   I was in my element,  after all mountains are my first big love.

Then,  sadly,  it was time to say goodbye to Babs and collect Foxtrot who’d been resting for a few days. My next port of call was  Spišský Castle,  one of the largest castles in Eastern Europe. An impressive sight siting on a hill rising above the plain of Western Slovakia.


From its ramparts I could see the hills I’d cycled over and the ones to come as I head for Hungary for my next rendezvous with friends in Budapest.




11 thoughts on “Exploring Slovakia”

  1. OMG! The acacia forest must’ve been amazing but camping in it?!
    There are few things in life quite as scary, I think, as breathing sounds & movements outside one’s tent. I experienced the same in the Rockies one night and in the morning unzipped the tent door to find a huge moose staring curiously at me…But at least I wasn’t on my own and had someone with me to share the very long, very fraught night.
    I think this calls for a ‘Hilda’s Medal For Bravery & Endurance’
    Well done chica! xx

  2. Well done Blanca – the tent experience sounds all too familiar! Brave lady…

    Enjoy the time back on the bike.

  3. Aupa Txuri! Para ahuyentar insectos y visitantes curiosones acuérdate que llevas la mano cosquillera que también sirve para eso. Un super muxu de parte de todos.

  4. You are very brave, Blanca! There’s no way I would have the nerve to wild camp on my own anywhere, let alone in a spooky forest! Continue to enjoy your travels. I can’t believe you have got so far and haven’t even been gone for two months yet! All the best, Chris x

  5. Beno dice que los ciervos no muerden, pero si no sabes que lo son acojonan.
    Besos de los dos
    Animo y cuidate campeona!

  6. These pictures are amazing, Blanca! Slovakia looks incredibly! I hope you’re having a great time in Hungary and that you are enjoying yourself!

  7. ¿Cómo andas chiquilla?.

    Por cierto, no te dije, pero me encanta la foto tuya que has puesto en este post.


  8. Just love hearing all about your trip. Keep checking for your updates. Can’t say I envy your night in the forest! Please give us some details about the every day stuff. How are you finding shopping, cooking etc. how is the kit working. What are you missing. Hope your having plenty of amazing experiences which will give you years of happy memories when you look back. Enjoy and keep laughing. . . .

  9. Ruby described camping wild in the forest too – after everyone she’d met had warned her about bears. So she spent the night imagining she would be bear meat – Scary stuff and well done you!

    Bianca – you look amazing in your photographs – really well. I’m enjoying reading your posts – thank you.

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