Wednesday 26th May - Left Hungary and headed north for Slovakia and the farthest point east of the trip. This part of Hungary was more interesting once were in the North. Still miles and miles of non-stop fields but now there were occasional farms and villages. Also vineyards between Eger and Miskolc with tiny triangular little houses which looked to have only 2 rooms one up and one down - these were for the vineyard workers. Some of the fields were absolutely bursting with wild flowers particularly enormous red poppies and some vibrant purple spiky things. Saw people working in the fields, generally black clad women and they were usually to be found right in the middle of one big expanse of green. Imagine getting up in the morning to start work on that. We originally had Miskolc on our visit list but we were glad we had stayed in Eger instead when we came Miskolc which was just one big heap of concrete. From the distance the block after block of communist style grey and dingy flats looked like a medieval walled town perched up on top of the hill. From nearer to they just looked horrid.
Kosice was our first stop once over the border in Slovakia. The roads in to the city centre from the inevitable and oppressive concrete flat complexes which ring the city, are characterised by tram tracks which run down the middle and which are well used. Trams which passed us were generally full. Once we had found the old historic centre we were very pleasantly suprised - it was warm, lively and attractive. It has a fine cathedral and several other monuments but what we found particularly charming was the long double width main street. This is pedestrianised, has some lovely buildings along both sides and tram tracks running its length. Sensibly no motorised trams are used, just a horse-drawn one. In front of the Cathedral is a small garden with a musical fountain in the centre. This dances in time to the music which is played through speakers round the square. A very imaginative feature. An altogether excellent street for strolling and people watching. Delighted to find a small Tesco on the main street so we popped in to get some bread and came out having bought : Apples, peaches, bread, pastries, onions, wine and beer for just £4. A veritable bargain even better later when Bob found that the beer (30p) was really good. Far cheaper than in Hungary. Having saved so much money on our cheap shopping we splashed out and had a coffee and piece of cake in one of the many pavement cafes along the main street. This cost a total of £1.30.
Went back to the campsite on the scooter but had a bit of difficulty finding our way across to it as it was on the other side of the motorway and we could not get across. We tried one route which involved our riding over a tiny pedestrian footbridge and round the back streets behind the campsite. Interesting way to see how other people live and we certainly set all the dogs on the street barking.
Left our campsite and Levoca behind bright and early feeling a little better after a good nights sleep. Decided to stick to our original plan and headed for Liplovsky Mikulas and Lake Mara which was only a short drive away. This was where we had planned to spend the previous night but had not had time after spending so long with the police so had camped just out of town in Levoca. Arrived at the lakeside campsite by 11am and camped up on a pitch almost overlooking the lake. Disappointingly we were not on the lake shore itself as that was fenced off from the campsite. We went into the town on the scooter for essential supplies we had intended to buy the day before, of bread and milk (had only black tea and coffee for breakfast). Back at the campsite, after a decent drink, we decided to go for a walk round the lake shore as we had seen lots of herons as we were driving in. The lake would have looked spectacular in sunshine but unfortunately as usual for this trip it was totally overcast and then drizzling. We walked a mile or so round the lake then up to the village before returning to the campsite along the road. Good to see some pretty countryside as we seem to have spent rather a lot of time pounding the city streets. Shortly after we got back the rain started in earnest and carried on right through the night. Our splendid view of the (High Tatras) mountains behind the campsite with their snow covered tops soon vanished into the cloud as did the lake itself. Spent an evening chatting and exchanging Motorhome experiences and security with an ncouple from Coventry who had parked just behind us while we were out on our walk. Very late to bed at 2am.
One advantage of no laptop is that we did not need an electric hookup so from this point we saved a little in campsite fees. Needed those savings to help to buy a new laptop when we got home. The disadvantage of no laptop are: (a). No way to download the photographs from the camera cards which rapidly became full and slowed the camera down / used more battery power / (b) I just plain missed it - especially when it was raining and not much else to do.
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|more .... Photos .....||BELGIUM||GERMANY (1a) (1b)||AUSTRIA||SLOVENIA||HUNGARY (1) (2)<<<|
|SLOVAKIA||>>>CZECH (1) (2)||GERMANY (2a) (2b)||HOLLAND to HOME||HOME and GARDEN|
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