We couldn’t come to Slovakia and not visit one of their famous castles!
We drove through the mountains with the most amazing scenery. Lush green hills rose up around us with old log houses perched on the hillsides. The craggy clifftops and rich vegetation reminded us a little of the Amalfi coast…beau-ti-ful!
We arrived at Oravsky podzamok with the castle towering over the village, it looked pretty impressive from the ground. We bought a ticket and walked up the steep path to the entrance, it was locked, so as instructed we gave the enormous dragon door knocker a knock and eventually someone came and opened the door informing us the next tour would start at 2pm, she then promptly shut the door and locked us out! This was a first we thought…a tour guide and ‘high security’! As we were waiting, a group of OAP Slovakians walked up the path and sat next to us.
The small door cut out of the large wooden gate opened bang on 2pm and a Slovakian lady invited us in. We tagged along with the OAPs, the tour was conducted in Slovakian, there were sadly no English tours, but there were information points in English and as we’re now ‘castle experts’ we could work a lot of it out for ourselves! The tour lady led us up through the 2nd and 3rd gate (Ben was impressed with the defences!!) and then unlocked a door into the palace. She moved us through each room like a little heard of sheep, unlocking the next door in front of us and locking the one behind, checking regularly that we were all still present and correct. God knows what we would have done in the event of a fire, there was no way of escaping the maze of palace rooms!! We wound up through the rooms, out into courtyards, on to large terraces, up more uneven stairs, into random exhibitions nothing to do with castles (!) and then a final climb to the top. The castle seemed to go on forever but once at the top the views were fantastic! Slovakia-done…for now anyway!
*Heading into Poland tomorrow. First stop, Krakow.