A Travellerspoint blog

August 2010

To Tuscany, Italy and Sunshine!

Friday 13th August to Monday 23rd August

Friday 13th August

Set off early as it would be a long drive and the rain seemed to follow us all the way! We were still in two minds really as we said our goodbyes to Austria. As much as we wanted sea and sun, we didn’t know how easy it would be to find anywhere in Italy and we would be getting extremely low on funds while there! But hey as long as we left enough for fuel for our journey back, it would be ok!

We decided to head straight for the town of Soave where we had stayed before we had left Western Europe for Eastern Europe all those months ago! We knew it was a nice aire with free water and electric and it was on our route down to Tuscany. It took a very long drive of 500 miles to get there though and it was nearing 10pm when we arrived! On the way down it felt like the rain was following us all the way! Also we were reminded of the terrible junctions Italy seems to have! Still we were back where we had been, which seemed strange!

Saturday 14th August

Woke up to an overcast day, every now and again rain would come to say hello! Still it was a lot warmer here. We didn’t really do much at all that day, but stop in and read. I think the amount of miles we had travelled yesterday we couldn’t be bothered to move!

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Sunday 15th August

The sun was out today, so we decided to head up into the hills and into the many vineyards Soave is surrounded by. It was a lovely walk through the vines, seeing the grapes hanging there. Last time we had been here the vines certainly had no grapes, so it was great to see them now.

Soave Grapes!

Soave Grapes!

Vineyards of Soave

Vineyards of Soave

Taking a break in the sun between the vineyards!

Taking a break in the sun between the vineyards!

Olive tree, fig tree, vines and soave castle!

Olive tree, fig tree, vines and soave castle!

Soave Castle and the many vineyards!

Soave Castle and the many vineyards!

Back from the walk we now for some strange reason fancied a drink of wine! Problem was as it was Sunday no shops were open! And we couldn’t really afford two glasses at the bars in this posh town!

Monday 16th August

Decided to continue our journey down to the coast, but first we had a load of washing we needed to sort out. A simple thing normally using a laundrette, but this morning our progress was slowed and confused by two old Italian women who didn’t speak any English! Eventually we left with our washing done, although not dried. Lorna had the brilliant of idea of hanging it up inside the motorhome to dry as we drove! So we set up two lines and put some of the stuff up. We then set off to a town on the coast we knew had a Sosta (Italian version of an Aire), called La Spezia. The journey there was via many winding hilly roads, but the sun was out!

Arriving there we found it to be a paid aire near the docks! We drove around a little but the coastline was just houses with nowhere to park! We ended up parking back near the Sosta in a small car park opposite the docks! Not really what we had in mind and we couldn’t actually see the sea! Still it would do for today and tomorrow we would continue down the coast in search of somewhere else to stay. The first bit of washing had dried mind in the motorhome from the journey, so Lorna strung the next load up. It saved us money from the driers in the laundrette, even though for two days we couldn’t really see or move much for clothes hanging about!

Tuesday 17th August

Continued south on the coast to check out some other Sosta’s and find somewhere to stay. The journey was slow and the coast of Italy left us thinking we would find it hard to find anywhere! All the way it was houses and resorts, what was worse was we had arrived in August. This is the month all the Italians take off for their holidays, so the coast was very busy! Maybe this hadn’t been such a great idea after all!

We ended up near the coastal town of Livorno, just below Pisa. We did have a glimpse of the famous leaning tower from the road. But decided it would be best to visit it on the way back up, when the holiday month of August had finished! We found a free parking spot we had seen in our book, in a place called Antignano. The book had a great picture of a spot overlooking the sea, but in reality it was a piece of dirt land in-between some housing. It wasn’t the nicest of places and we both thought the people parked there seemed a little strange, to say the least! It would do for today and tonight though.

Wednesday 18th August

Decided although we were in the sun and by the sea, there must be a better spot than this one! So in the early afternoon we set off again further down the coastal road. So far Tuscany hadn’t really been what we were expecting or had seen, maybe we were in the wrong part! Where are all the lovely rustic houses? We decided that they were probably more inland or further south.

Further down the coast it seemed to get better and there were occasional breaks in the housing along the coast. We spotted a few places that we could maybe park up in, but still continued an extra bit more. We then stumbled across a small place called Cecina and a woodland on the coast. Just alongside this between a small road and fields were a few car parks and further down there were lots of motorhomes. We found ourselves a spot and parked up, with a field behind and tree’s in front. Although we couldn’t see the sea, we knew from all the people heading into the woods with their beach towels it was very close. It was just nice to find somewhere not surrounded by houses!

The parking was free and the sun was out, so many Italian motorhomes were taking full advantage. We settled in a spot and after a while took a wonder to find the sea. It was a lovely short walk through the trees, till we came out onto the busy beach. The sand here was pretty dark almost black and the trees right up against the beach were pretty dead! Wasn’t the most beautiful of beaches, but it was better than we had seen so far and we sat back in the sand and enjoyed the sun.

Free parking in Cecina, Italy

Free parking in Cecina, Italy

Cecina Beach, Tuscany, Italy

Cecina Beach, Tuscany, Italy

Relaxing by the motorhome in the sun, Cecina

Relaxing by the motorhome in the sun, Cecina

Thursday 19th August to Monday 23rd August

We decided this would be a perfect spot to stay a while, so after a short bike around headed back to the beach for the day. It was so nice being back at the sea and in the sun. For the next few days we enjoyed the sun and the location.

Wooded trail leading to beach, Cecina

Wooded trail leading to beach, Cecina

the sea, Tuscany

the sea, Tuscany

On Monday morning I found a four leaf clover! Wow we thought, were bound to get some luck now! Later that day we went off to empty the toilet at a nearby Sosta, after emptying I sat back in the drivers seat and turned the ignition…… Nothing! We tried a few times and even roped an Italian into trying to jump start us, still nothing! I couldn’t work out what it was, the battery dial in the motorhome said it was full and the alternator had been working fine on the way over, due to again the dial inside the motorhome and also the lights came on in the dashboard, so the ignition should be ok!??! Well we weren’t going anywhere!

Thank god we had paid to become members of the German company ADAC’s European cover! After a few calls and two hours waiting in the sun an Italian representative came out too check over the problem. He didn’t really speak English, but we found out the battery was well and truly dead! Apparently the alternator was fine but the battery even after a charge still wouldn’t start the engine! It always happens when you are low on money! We would have to buy a new battery and it was a big one! We had the option of following him back to the garage where he could sell us a battery, only problem was it was €225!!! After a word with a couple of other motorhomers, they all said motorhome batteries were around that price, so we sadly followed him back and parted with the money. On taking out the old one, it looked like it was the original so would have been about 20 years old! With the light starting to fade we drove off with our expensive new battery and feeling a lot poorer than we had started the day, so much for the bloody four leaf clover! Good luck, yeah right!

Posted by marklorna 07:27 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

The hills and weather of Austria

Thursday 5th August to Thursday 12th August

Thursday 5th August

Headed further south in Austria, through the countryside stopping in a town called Grein on the Danube river.

Danube, Austria

Danube, Austria

We seem to have met this mighty river a few times in our journey through Eastern Europe and here it pops up again! In Grein we headed for the tourist office but found it closed for lunch for two hours! Oh yeah we are back in Western Europe! When it opened we wished we hadn’t bothered to wait, as the person behind the desk was useless! We wanted information and a camping road map of Austria, the Tourist offices were supposed to have. We left with a rubbish leaflet in Austrian on hotels! Anyway we decided we would find another office with hopefully a more intelligent member of staff in another town.

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We continued south and by evening ended up in a town called Molin on the edge of some mountains and a national park. There we found a small car park off the road, looking over a meadow and forests with the mountains in the background. We sat and watched three deer popping out the tree’s to eat the grass in the meadow, lovely.

Friday 6th August

Headed into the town and to the tourist office to find some information on the park and places to park and walk. This time the person in the office was very helpful and provided some information, although we have noticed so far they hardly have any info in English! We did find out though apart from the deer, they have some wild bear and some wild Lynx! Anyway map in hand we ventured off into the Kalkapen park and down a small road that turned into a track, before finishing in a car park. It was lovely surrounded on all sides by mountains and thick forest, even the sun was trying to come through the clouds!

Hymer in Kalkpen Park, Austria

Hymer in Kalkpen Park, Austria

We headed off on a walk into the hills and forests and got to a lovely meadow with great views of the mountains, although clouds obscured the tops.

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On the way back we encountered some strangely horned black sheep, but no bears!

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Then we spotted this strange little creature darting around the plants sucking up the juices! It looked like a tiny humming bird, but was so small we don’t know if it’s the world’s smallest bird or some sort of bug?!?!

Is it a bird or is it a bug!

Is it a bird or is it a bug!

Saturday 7th August

Woke up to a wet miserable day! It’s amazing how much the weather affects your mood. I suppose though when living in a vehicle there’s not much to do when it’s raining outside! We had planned to walk up one of the mountains today, but that was now off. Well I suppose perfect weather to get up to date with this blog!

Coming into Austria with our money running low, we started a new plan for budgeting. We worked out with the amount of weeks and money we had left, what we had to live on for a week! This would be food and fuel and anything else. Most of the time the fuel would always be the most expensive cost anyway. So from now on if we got low on fuel, we would just stay around where we were till the next week! This way we would actually be able to stick to our budget. We had already spent this week’s money on food and fuel though, the food being fine as we were now stocked up. The problem was we had used half the fuel to get to where we were now, so we would not be journeying a great distance further!

We probably should have done something like this ages ago really. We had always kept track of money, but it was always so easy to just drive miles and miles especially with the amount of countries we wanted to visit. Fuel had always been the most expensive cost, but now we would just not go anywhere when it was low! Only problem that left was making sure we were somewhere nice to spend a few days when we had a low tank!

Sunday 8th August

The sun was out today, but we needed to make a move because we had run out of water! From our camperstop book we found an aire with water and electric further south, in a town called Vordernberg. It was a long drive and by the time we got there we were very low on fuel! In fact we had to put an extra €10 in the tank, going over our previously planned budget! We had a walk around the pretty town and then settled down in the aire for the night.

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Monday 9th August

After a visit to the tourist office, we set off to the ski station just before the town of Vordernberg. We now had a small map and decided as the rain had ceased we would take a walk up the mountain. We parked Hymer at the ski station and set off up the mountain.

It was a good steep walk up to the top, where there was a ridge between a few other peaks. Sitting down next to the cows up there, we took in the views.

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After headed back down to the aire, we were set to use the boiler for a shower. But as always seems the case it decided it didn’t want to work! The flame wouldn’t light, so after trying a few times and reading the manual we found it could be one of a few things! Something to sort out another time! Also with the age of this motorhome it could just be down to some accumulated dirt getting into the ignition spark of the boiler! Sometimes these things would sort themselves out over a few bumpy roads, otherwise those same bumpy roads would cause the problem!

Tuesday 10th August

From a map showing places of interest, we decided to head further on, to an Emerald green lake in the mountains near the town of Tragob. When we arrived there we found the car park had no camping signs and was paying! So we couldn’t or wouldn’t be parking there! We drove away up a hill trying to find something else and found a small lay-by next to a stream, around the corner from the village. Off came the bikes and we headed down to the lake to take a look around. The lake was green and in a beautiful setting, nestled at the foot of mountains. Well Austria is full of them!

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Wednesday 11th August

Set off again towards the town of Murzsteg, to a beautiful mountain road we had heard about. So far the whole plan of staying in one place wasn’t really working out! When we arrived to start the mountain road, we were dismayed to find a barrier and a payment machine! It was €5 and this for us was too much to spend on a drive. Our money was low and we shouldn’t even be spending it on Petrol all the time, let alone €5 just to drive the road! Disappointed we turned and headed away, stopping by the side of the road for a bite to eat.

Austria is beautiful but we were bored, we couldn’t put our finger on what the problem was but we couldn’t decide on what to do! Our budget was really only allowing us the fact that we really needed to stay around Austria or Germany till we headed up to Amsterdam and back home. I think the weather wasn’t helping us, it was August but cold and the rain just kept coming! We were both wondering did we really want to spend our final couple of months like this? We kept thinking we wanted sun and the sea, but the only real option was Italy. It would cost to get there and back, also Italy wasn’t the cheapest! It was stick it out like this or maybe even head home, the problem was we had already booked the ferry tickets for end of October! Either way we didn’t seem to be enjoying ourselves at present, maybe we needed a break from this travelling lark!

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We headed back west into the Naturschutz-Bebiet National park, looking for a place to park for the night. We eventually found a nice lay-by next to a flowing river and settled down. Just in time as the rain came down very heavy, taking us back to our earlier thoughts of sun and sea! We resolved that we would find some internet tomorrow and research free parking spots by the sea in Tuscany and how many miles it would be and cost us!

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Thursday 12th August

Spent most of the day sat in an Aldi car park by MacDonald’s, picking up their free wifi and searching the net. We also had the idea of finding some organic farms to stay at in Italy and work. The main scheme is WWOOF, basically you work on an organic farm or some sort of green project, stay there for free and normally get food, but no money. It would suit us perfectly and it would actually be nice to get some work in. After a lot of searching the only problem was that all the websites wanted money! It would be for a year or two years subscription, but we didn’t have it spare to pay out! Maybe we would find something when we were there.

After we decided we would rather have less money in the sun and by the sea, than stay in wet Austria! Austria was supposed to have been a place that was easy to park up in and we could enjoy the summer in the hills. But it had turned out we were constantly driving around trying to find somewhere and the rain would only break for a day then continue, it was depressing us! It is a beautiful country and all you expect it to be with the mountains and houses. I don’t know maybe it was the weather clouding our judgement but we just got very bored here. The place seemed too nice and every town looked the same. At that moment in time I think we were just bored, with the country, with the travelling, with the weather and probably with each other!

For the present we continued on west to a lake by the town of Hallstatt, on arriving we were greeted with no motorhome signs and paid parking! Further on round though we found some parking beside the lake and settled down, just as the heavens opened! That was it, we decided we would head off to Italy tomorrow, hopefully for better weather and some happiness!

Posted by marklorna 07:22 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

To Prague and then to Austria

Sunday 1st August to Wednesday 4th August

Sunday 1st August

We couldn’t really afford to stay any longer at the campsite so decided on heading in the direction of Prague, hoping to find some free parking. After a fair bit of driving around through the lovely Czech countryside, we eventually stumbled upon a car park by a lake above the town of Melnik.

Lake near Melnik, Czech Rep

Lake near Melnik, Czech Rep

Yesterday Lorna had become ill with a bit of flu symptoms, the first time either of us had been ill for the whole trip! She blamed the weather!

Monday 2nd August

Lorna still felt bad so we postponed the trip to Prague, no fun would be had walking around the city while feeling ill! Had a walk around the lake and found at the back of the lake a few old houses built into the rock.

boat on the Lake, Czech Rep

boat on the Lake, Czech Rep

House in the rock!

House in the rock!

Around the corner I also found some large rock carvings!

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We drove around to another lake and spent the day reading, while overlooking the water. Today was actually another sunny day, when it wasn’t behind a cloud!

Tuesday 3rd August

With Lorna a little better we headed off early into Prague to find the campsite. This proved very difficult and we ended up driving around a lot and even into the city centre. We eventually found the correct road, by a process of elimination and the campsite. It was a small place called Camping Zizkov, but the closest to the city centre.

We found a spot and then headed off on the tram to the centre, making sure we brought our raincoats as the clouds looked dark! No sooner we were in the centre the rain started, but only lightly. Prague centre was very pretty but very very full of tourists and a wet day is never the best for sightseeing.

Old town square, Prague

Old town square, Prague

Strange clock face and carved figures, Old town square, Prague

Strange clock face and carved figures, Old town square, Prague

As we were walking over the bridge towards the castle, the heavens really opened and the rain came heavily down! We decided to retreat to inside a bar, though one away from the very tourist parts (as they charge more!). We felt a little let down by Prague, but perhaps it was just the bad weather, I’m sure on a sunny day it would be better!

Prague

Prague

We headed off to pick up a postcard and head to the area near the campsite, which was supposed to be more of a student area! While buying the postcards we randomly bumped into Tom & Elise (the Australian couple we met in Hungary!). They also didn’t think that much of Prague and with the weather, were heading off to the cinema!

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We found another nice bar near the campsite out of the rain, before heading back to the campsite. At the campsite they had a fire going and people gathered around, so the rest of the night was spent speaking to different travellers and the very friendly staff.

Wednesday 4th August

Got up to a sunny day! Typical really as we had planned to travel all the way down to Austria today! As the campsite wasn’t the cheapest we couldn’t afford to stay another day in Prague and actually see the city in the sun! So off we headed.

We were heading to Austria as we hoped it would be better weather, as well as lovely countryside and mountains. Most importantly though our budget was getting low and in Austria we could free park in most places! So we thought we would head that way, park for free and enjoy the great outdoors. We travelled south through Czech saddened to think this would be our last Eastern European Country and from now on we would be back in the so called west and worst still back in the expensive Euro!

We arrived into Austria and were greeted with nice roads, hills, forests and cows! Austria straight away is what you expect it to be lots of open meadows and Austrian pretty houses, although they have big houses! After a lot of driving around we found a spot to park down a small road near the town of St Oswald. We were right in a forest and so far had seen a lot of deer, always a nice sight

Posted by marklorna 05:29 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

From Slovakia through Poland and out to Czech Republic

Wednesday 28th July to Saturday 31st July

Wednesday 28th July

The rain was still coming and the temperature had dropped, we were starting to think that was the end of the summer! Especially as now all we were doing was heading North! Depressed we headed toward the Tatra mountains on the border with Poland. We planned on heading up into the Tatras to stand on top and take in the views. But driving past them with the rain pouring down, clouds around their tops, our walking boast still soaked and our muscles still aching from yesterday we decided against it!

We passed into Poland and continued north looking for places to free park. This turned out to be mission impossible though as Poland seemed to have houses everywhere! Even down small roads when you thought you were getting into countryside, we would turn a corner and there would be more houses! We had planned on taking a few days to get up to Krakow, but by the end of the day our only option was parking in a paid car park in the Salt mine town of Wieliczka, just below Krakow! So far Poland hadn’t been what we were hoping for, also the rain just continued and we got more disappointed!

Thursday 29th July

Got up early and headed to see the Salt mines, we had heard they were wonderful containing sculptured buildings underground from salt! The cost was very pricey and we had to go on a guided group tour, as you’re not allowed to wonder around them. I never was and defiantly am not now interested in guided tours! I like wandering around on my own and everything you need to know is usually in a leaflet. This was no exception and the mines ended up being a big disappointment. Rooms full of sculptured salt figures were good and the great church intricately carved out deep underground was impressive. But apart from that the guide was just boring with bad jokes and half the time was spent waiting behind other groups. The rest of the time we just seemed to pass lots of underground souvenir stalls and places selling food, where our guide would stop to see if we wanted to buy anything! Also once underground we were told we would have to pay extra to take photos! I did manage to sneak one picture in though, it’s not the best mind!

Poor picture of Salt mines, Wielicka Poland!

Poor picture of Salt mines, Wielicka Poland!

It was good but essentially one spectacular carved room and lots of tunnels, maybe it was the price and the fact we weren’t in the best mood to start with!

On a better note when we came back to the surface the sun was out and the rain had stopped. Our next stop though was going to be Auschwitz, so that wasn’t exactly going to be a happy place. We decided to leave that for tomorrow and slowly head there hopefully finding a free parking spot on the way. Although the sun was out Poland still wasn’t being kind to us in the way of free parking places. After a lot of driving to and through, our only option was paid parking again. The problem or for a better word the prospect though wasn’t great, as this paid parking spot was the car park right next to Auschwitz! Still we wouldn’t have to go far tomorrow, the thought though of spending the night next to the place didn’t exactly fill us with happy thoughts! There were other motorhomes there when we pulled up and we made sure we parked facing away from the buildings.

As we were there we did think about heading around now as it was still open. We thought against the idea though, as it would be bad enough going around it anyway. Let alone going around then sleeping next to it! It would be best if we tried to put it out our heads till tomorrow!

We were surprised at the location of the place though, I suppose we thought it would be out the way in the countryside. Instead it was on the edge of the town with houses backing on to it. Also it was a strange car park come TIR stop, with lorries, cars and a small building with cafes and shops! Just seemed weird next to such a place! We weren’t amazingly looking forward to going around it anyway, I mean it just seems strange visiting such a place. But at the same time, it needs to be done to see the reality of everything that happened.

Friday 30th July

Got up to more rain, but I suppose depressing weather for the depressing place we were about to see. Arriving in the building even at 9am there were hoards of tourist groups, making the visit seem even stranger in my mind.

The place I suppose is everything you expect it to be, grim, morbid and thought provoking. Most of the buildings have displays showing the treatment of people and just the mass scale and terrible efficiency the Nazi’s used to work and kill millions! It is a very sorrowful place, full of suffering and hard to grasp people did and could do this. So many wasted lives!

I wanted to take some pictures and felt strange doing so, as I just wanted to capture the grimness of it.

Auschwitz

Auschwitz

But what amazed both of us were not only the huge amount of tourists about barging past etc, but the way they take pictures. It’s almost done as holiday snaps, you know pictures of smiling people next to a gruesome electric barbed wire fence, behind which are the horrible barracks! Just seems very weird. You can imagine them back home showing a slide of their holiday snaps, “look there’s us on the beach in Croatia, there’s us at Disneyland Paris and there’s us at Auschwitz!!” Just seems strange to me, but each to their own I suppose.

Anyway the whole place and history is good in a way to actually see, but so saddening. There just aren’t words that can describe the tragic lives of the people imprisoned and killed here by sadistic crazy Nazi’s! Human life is just worth so much more.

Gas Chambre

Gas Chambre

Shoes Auschwitz

Shoes Auschwitz

Suitcases, Auschwitz

Suitcases, Auschwitz

From Auschwitz, we continued down the road to the other camp of Birkenau. Auschwitz was a converted army barracks, but this place is on another scale and purpose built! It is huge, the scale of it is shocking! A purpose built morbidly efficient factory of death.

Vast purpose built camp of Birkenau

Vast purpose built camp of Birkenau

End of the ride at Birkenau

End of the ride at Birkenau

Inside the Prison Barracks, Birkenau

Inside the Prison Barracks, Birkenau

The crimes people are capable of are unthinkable, but happen! My god, you walk around thinking how could they of thought they could get away with it, but they did for years! Thank god, well more to the point thank the people who fought in World war two and defeated them! The place breaths death and suffering, it’s staggering and it’s within touching distance of our generation. The poor innocent victims that got led here, to suffer… Will people ever learn is the key I suppose, I hope they will, they need to. I suppose that is why coming here is a good thing.

After this we decided we needed to head away and into Czech Republic. So off we headed on a long drive to a campsite in Czech, near the Polish border, near the town of Trutnov.

Saturday 31st July

Woke up to actual Sunshine and the prospect summer could still be with us! Got on the bikes and headed up to the national park, ready to see the local rock formations here. On arriving we found that we weren’t allowed to take the bikes in and also we had to pay to enter the park! So we paid out and headed around the rocks, it was nice but very busy as it was a weekend.

Rocks in Teplice nad Metuji, near Trutnov Czech Rep

Rocks in Teplice nad Metuji, near Trutnov Czech Rep

More rock formations, Czech Rep

More rock formations, Czech Rep

Climbers on the rocks, Czech Rep

Climbers on the rocks, Czech Rep

Posted by marklorna 05:21 Archived in Poland Comments (0)

From Budapest to Slovensky Raj National Park, Slovakia

Saturday 24th July to Tuesday 27th July

Saturday 24th July

Sadly we left the campsite and Budapest, wishing we had more time (well more money!) to spend there. I definitely want to come back to this city, I could even live here a while! Before leaving entirely we headed to Memento park on the out skirts of the city. A place where someone had gathered together old communist statues and placed them in one park! Strange but interesting..

They love statues!

They love statues!

Strange statues!

Strange statues!

Communist statues, Momento Park

Communist statues, Momento Park

We then set off northeast towards Eger, but stopped halfway in the Matra National Park and found a small car park just off the road in the woods to stop for the night.

Sunday 25th July

The beautiful sunshine had later on yesterday turned to clouds and rain. Today the rain continued, so we sat in slightly depressed at leaving the sunny and fun Budapest!

Later on we continued on to Eger and passed through it to head up into the hills of the Bukk National Park. After a good while driving around small roads we found a spot and settled inside out of the rain and wind. We now put into play the 10km rule of finding a parking spot, if you see an okay one and drive for 10km seeing no other you turn back around and head for the first one! Saving fuel and time. We got this rule from Patrick & Hannah, who we met at the Budapest campsite, cheers guys!

Monday 26th July

Decided it was time to leave Hungary and head into Slovakia, even though the continual wet weather was putting a dampener on our mood! We set off north and for the first time in a long long while passed through an open border! It was a strange feeling like it was wrong coming into the country unannounced. The landscape and housing seemed quite similar to Hungary and in fact Serbia, but you could tell there wasn’t so much money in this country. We’d had heard conflicting tales about Slovakia and whether we could wild camp or not, Lorna wasn’t convinced we could. So we headed up to the lovely wooded mountains of Slovensky Raj National Park and to a campsite. There were plenty of walking opportunities, but the continued rain made us not bother for today.

Tuesday 27th July

Even though it was still raining we got our raincoats and headed off into the park for a walk up the mountain. Lorna was especially excited as this walk meant ladder climbs up waterfalls! We set off down the designated path and just as we got into he woods there was a small ticket booth, where we had to buy day tickets to enter the natural Park! Money for nothing, but probably more likely the government doesn’t help towards any costs maintaining it. Once inside the walk was down paths along the stream, which had turned into a river! Basically the paths didn’t last long and we were basically picking our way across rocks in the water making our way up the ravine.

Making our way up the river!

Making our way up the river!

What path!

What path!

The rain didn’t let up and we got to wet wooden paths over the gorges. I say paths it was just two logs with bits of wood nailed in, so balance was all-important!

Safety first!

Safety first!

The wet walk!

The wet walk!

the Slovensky Raj, river walk!

the Slovensky Raj, river walk!

The wooden walkwayover the gorge!

The wooden walkwayover the gorge!

Then we got to our first ladders, vertically up besides the waterfall.

Lorna climbing up the waterfall

Lorna climbing up the waterfall

Climbing up the waterfall!

Climbing up the waterfall!

All good fun

All good fun

The rest of the walk up the mountain gorge continued in this fashion, but it was great. By the end of it we were knackered and completely soaked but loved every minute of it. We still had to walk down the hill mind back to the campsite!

The wet metal ladders!

The wet metal ladders!

pathway up the water, Slovakia

pathway up the water, Slovakia

ladders up the rock

ladders up the rock

Posted by marklorna 05:16 Archived in Slovakia Comments (0)

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