Cold Krakow, Slovakian gems, and bustling Budapest

Trip Start Apr 24, 2006
Trip End Aug 23, 2006

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of Hungary  ,
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hi all,

Hope everything is well with you, whether you are sunbaking in the UK heat, or snowman-making in the NZ winter.

Our last entry was written as a respite from the rain and cold of Poland, now we write this taking shelter from the heat and humidity of Budapest. We have managed to jump from below 10 degrees to 30 degress plus in less than a week - and it hasnt come soon enough!!

Since our last entry we motored straight to Krakow, where we ended up staying 6 nights as it proved to be a great place to base ourselves. The Salt Mines nearby are amazing, the view of the chapel carved by hand from the salt itself is worth the trip out there and the price of admission alone. Krakow Old Town is also good for a wander and a bike ride, with their main square being the biggest in Europe (200mx200m). Last, but by no means least, we went out to Auschwitz for the day, which was certainly a sobering place, especially the Birkenhau part of the camp, which is appallingly big and the train tracks used to take people into the camps really painted the picture of what had happened there - not an enjoyable experience, but one that is certainly good to do.

In the week following Krakow, and with a extra addition onboard who we just couldnt shake (one of Marks best men, Meds, came out from London to see us for the week), we headed through the fantastic Tatra mountains, down through the castles of the Slovakian plains, and into the relaxing capital, Bratislava. We found Slovakia to be a little gem of a country, with great variety in an area half the size of Portugal. The Tatra mountains (from both the Polish and Slovakian sides) were fantastic, and with some of the views you could have easily been at Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. We went on a couple of 5-6 hour walks that were really excellent. Mark also paid the price for his laxidasical attitude to puncture kits, having to walk his bike back after he got a puncture while out on a ride up the hills - and after he had done all the hard work going up too - serves him right! Bratislava, the capital, is a great little town, which has one of the nicest Old Towns we,ve seen, nice and compact, well restored, but lively with restaurants and drinks flooding out onto the streets - not much to really do there as well, which means you spend most of your time eating and drinking - brilliant!! Definitely worth a weekend break.
We couldnt talk about Slovakia without mentioning how ridiculous cheap it is there, we couldnt spend our money when getting massive feeds for 2-3 pounds and 0,5litre staropramen beer (about 3-4 quid in London) for 20p - just ridiculous!

Since then we have made our way down to Budapest, which we will begin properly exploring tomorrow, as we have spent most of the day sorting out a few admin issues with varying degrees of success, such as our Romanian visa (come back tomorrow) and Sting concert tickets (now safely in the back pocket).

Anyway, have a great day!

From Mark and Natalie
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: