Monday we travelled into Slovakia, country number 8.The drive not very scenic as we took the toll road to Bratislava. Arriving at the Danube and across it from the old town and castle. We parked up in the company of a few other campers. We ran into our new friends Mary and John who we met in Hungary. They gave us their tram tickets for the day, after they had returned from visiting the castle. Off we set in the direction of the castle and old town as they allow dogs on the tram. The old town is beautiful and very much like many a central europe city we have seen. It has an impressive castle and some fun statues as well as St Michaels gate, the entrance into the town. My favourite statue the man at work, if you have been here, you will probably have a picture of this guy popping his head out of the ground. We managed to cover most of the old town in a couple of hours and headed back for a rest. A free night wild camping on the river, a beautiful site at night. Riverboats travelling up and down. A much nicer looking part of the Danube, the water more an icy colour than the green/ brown looking part in Hungary.
Tuesday we headed to Trencin north-east of Bratislava. One thing about Slovakia, they have many castles and driving through little villages you see in the distance castles on the hill-tops. In Trencin we found the lidl, stocked up and headed to another free park on the river Vah. Parked at a swimming centre we were opposite the campground and underneath the castle. A walk up through the park and into the old town, again fun statues and one of a guy squirting water out of his mouth onto piles of rocks. My timing was out and he actually has a routine that has it bouncing off the rocks, so I only got the photo of him. Apart from the old town, the city itself is very old-fashioned, communist like in its shops and design. We climbed up to the castle and as they don’t take dogs I went in. The climb up had my lungs screaming but the view was worth it. A lady was at the top catching her breath and we both laughed as we looked at each other drenched in sweat. It’s amazing that even though you don’t speak the langauge, you still manage to understand each other. The castle dates back to the 11th century and is the centre piece of the town. Stopping for peach slushies on the way down, ours and the dogs new favourite thing. We wandered slowly back to the motor home. Food here is cheap and tesco like in Hungary is here and they have fuel stations. Definitely one of the cheaper places to get fuel at €1.23 L for diesel.
Today we moved onto Bojnice, known for its castle. The drive was way more scenic. Where France, Spain and Italy are known for vineyards. Hungary and Slovakia fields of wheat and corn. It’s all you can see on any patch of free land. Then out of no where fields of white and pink poppies, the smell drifting in the van….. if I could have bottled it, I would have. The wild flowers on the side of the road have me wanting to stop and pick bunches for my table. When we are parked in the Tatras later in the week, I am off on a mission to get some. The thunder is bouncing around above us in this pine forest, hopefully a short shower and the sun will be back out. We just made it back from the castle in Bojnice, a more fairytale looking castle. Carp, and turtles swimming in its moat. Shared with a swan and its cygnets. The walk down from the campground to the castle a scenic one, through pine forests and mapped out with a chapel and white mini chapels. Tomorrow we head north towards Poprad.