For three weeks we explore a country with incredibly beautiful nature, open, friendly, fun-loving people and spacious, comfortably equipped campsites.
If you do not want to sleep in a tent, you will find countless nice guesthouses or private rooms. In the cities you have cultural activities and throughout the country a very good cycling infrastructure. It is uncomplicated.
Slovakia is an excellent holiday country, barely larger than Switzerland. Two-thirds is mountain or hill country, much of it in the nine national parks. The hilly agricultural countryside, wine regions and the old mining area with gold and silver mines around the pitoresque medieval town of Banska Stiavnika also offer panoramic views and are fun to cycle.
We are provided with maps of the region and information material in tourist information centers, so that we can not miss any attraction, trail, hiking trail or others. We get tips for following from locals and vacationers, often Slovaks in their own country. In bike and outdoor stores we find a wide range when we need to replace or add something to our equipment. (Better than at home where we often order online).
Funny, somehow the temperature display is stuck. For days and weeks it is around 30 degrees celsius. Since the shadows are already very long, this can be endured well.
By the way, Slovaks do not drink to eat, they eat to drink. Drinking beer is tradition. Drinking beer on tap is culture. We join in and are happy to see that the delicious Radler 0.0% Grapefruit is also often available on tap, and cheap as well. Worth mentioning are the many small ‘Italian’ ice cream stores where there is ice cream in the waffle with many varieties, at prices that even families can still afford.
In addition to waste separation, a deposit system for cans, glass and plastic bottles is established. A 15-cent deposit is paid everywhere. Only the small stores do not take the bottles back.
The only thing they are not able to do is baking. Slovakian home cooking is hearty. Fortunately, they adopt the specialties of their neighbors from Hungary and Austria. Delicious Italian pizza, burgers and kebabs are available in the cities. The supermarkets are as well-stocked as they are at home.
The only thing they can’t do is bake. Slovakian home cooking is hearty. Pastries, taste just as the name sounds. Fortunately, they adopt the specialties of their neighbors from Hungary and Austria. Delicious Italian pizza, burgers and kebabs are available in the cities. The supermarkets are as well-stocked as they are in Germany.
With melancholy we leave this beautiful country for Austria via the capital Bratislava on the Danube, knowing that it is not out of the world. Vienna is only fifty five kilometers away as the crow flies. We will be back, one day, with or without a bike.
By the way, we discovered Slovakia only by chance. We were looking for a travel guide about the High Tatras. So we bought the travel guide ‘Slovakia’ by André Micklitza (Michael Müller Verlag). According to test the best and current from 2022. Not always we share his views, but without him, we would have experienced less of the country.