Slow Road to Crete: Another First And Farewell to Kerstin


Was That on my Bucket List?


The lady in the TIC had mentioned a 7 Ladder Gorge Walk.  Kerstin and I are old hands at this now, so it had to be done!  J nobly stayed home with CO2.  A walk up to the start of the canyon.  A lot shorted and easier than the other Slovakian one and the max ladder climb was 15m.  The ladders and handles seemed a lot more secure.  Pretty.

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But the real adventure started on the descent.  We could have walked down, but why do that when there’s a new experience to try.  Zip lining. At only EUR20, it seemed a reasonable price too.  Although it would have been quicker to walk down.  Didn’t know it was on my bucket list of things to do, but it is now firmly ticked off.  And after about 20 of them, I felt done, but had to complete the course of 40-45 zip lines.   On the first line, I failed to land on the platform and had to turn and then hand over fist to haul myself back and up to the platform.  And of course this was in front of all the people waiting!  

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What have we ‘chosen’ to do? 

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One injury.  I caught may trailing foot on the platform.  Resulting in a slight ankle sprain and a shin bone bruise.  Kerstin had and interesting landing technique … if there was a cushion on the tree indicating a fast landing, she opened her legs wide and straddled the tree trunk.  Her bruises were consequently on the inside of her legs!

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Don’t we look the pro’s now?

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 Supper out.  Limited choice within easy walking distance, unless we fancied a burger … Not!  Hungarian in Romania.  Kerstin and I made good choices … the Goulash soup was a meal in itself..

Will She Ever Get Home?


Last night Kerstin had attempted on multiple devices to check in for her afternoon flight to Stuttgart.  Only when she used the MacBook did the flight show as cancelled.  No email from the airline!  And of course the help line just refers one back to the website.  Grr.  Last minute flights with alternative airlines costing an arm and a leg.  So Kerstin booked a lunchtime flight from Budapest tomorrow via Istanbul.  Just as well she had booked the same airline for both flights as the flight arrived late in Istanbul, missing the connecting flight to Stuttgart.  She was put up at an airport hotel but didnt get any opportunity to explore Istanbul by the time she had cleared customs.  And fortunately she had brought her passport, as she needed it here, although within EU she can travel freely with her German ID card.  She let us at lunchtime today as it is a 3 hour rain ride to Budapest (no such thing as high speed trains here), spent the night in Budapest, a second night in Istanbul and messaged she was on the train to Reutlingen the next evening.  A 2.5 day journey!  This is Europe.  Why are things no longer working as they should?  Don’t get me started on service levels!

In the afternoon, J and I wandered into the local shopping pedestrianised street.  High rises either side.  Most of the shops had closed.  Lots of graffiti and broken paving slabs and positively dangerous crumbling steps.  We had a too sour lemonade whilst two Romanains drank 3 beers with chasers each.

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The better section of the street was in sun.

Herman Fortified Church


In the guide books and marked by the lady in the TIC, but we had low expectations.  Started to feel like we are scratching the bottom of the must do things around here.  A sure sign that we have stayed long enough here.  However, the fortified church was lovely.  Peaceful.

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Fortified entrance tunnel.

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Ladders up to rooms … not allowed to climb these!

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 Massive thick stone walls and you could walk through the top in semi darkness.

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My crew waiting for me … O ever anxious.

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There was a tower to climb, and I was conscious Kerstin would have encouraged me up … so up I went.  Dodgyy steps and dark … worthy of a gorge.  

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 Got down just in time to avoid my ears being assaulted by the on the hour bell.

We failed to find anywhere for a spontaneous lunch and so had our meagre packed lunch and drove over the other side of Brasov for a walk.  A short walk as it was raining quite heavily by now.   The area is known as Solomons Rocks.  

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 We felt for the families using the organised BBQs and tables in the rain.  Not all were covered.

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Not a path, but a looong table and benches.  There were war memorials at then end.

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We had been told this was worth a visit. King Carlos 2 had used the town as a summer residence and then had his own castle built.  The noble and wealthy followed, building their own graceful residences.  A local told us the town mayors have always had a tight control on planning thus ensuring the elegant nature of the architecture is not spoilt.  What we hadn’t realised, until we tried to park was that it was the town festival.  So it was buzzing with life:  people, music and food stalls.

Sadly our car was bumped whilst it was parked up.  Someone had kindly waited to pass on the reg number of the perpetrator, who apparently refused to stay or leave his details.  We contemplated informing the police, but a) proving it if he denied it, b) the hassle, c) the changes of getting recompense – low, and d) our excess is EUR650, so not worth making a claim.  Much as we hate for the bugger to get away with it, it was not worth pursuing.  Karma will get him!

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A mime troupe perfuming a war tragedy.

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Coffee and 2 kinds of cheesecake … yummy! 

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Loving the tin roofs, but probably not the quietest in rain.

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King Carlos’ Peles Castle.  Couldn’t go in as J stayed down in town and I had CO2 with me.

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Another renovation project.

Last Day in Brasov and a Close Shave


We had a slowish day … loading some stuff into and on the car.  In the afternoon we wandered up and over the base of the hill to Brasov old town.  Found more old streets and engaged with it a lot more than we had when we arrived in Brasov.  One of those where you go with the flow … Brasov City’s festival day … not a patch on Siaia yesterday’s efforts, but a good vibe.  We had a glass of wine and decided to stay in town for supper.  No supper for CO2 with us, so into a supermarket for a purchase of Pedigree Chum, which normally gives them the squits!  Ho Hum … fed off the pavement.  What started as a twilight walk back over the mountain ended up as dark stumble.  Thank goodness for phone torches!

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Found more pedestrianised streets.

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Yes, J is sporting a rather short haircut.  We’d bought a replacement beard trimmer yesterday.  It does hair too, and not having been happy with the styling from the Bratislava hair cut … I had a go at it.  Now I am used to doing J’s hair … usually do it with the dog shears after I”ve pruned Oscar!  Did a good job and just checking it over … oooh missed a bit.  Grabbed the shears to trim …. Oops … wrong guard on it…. a very short stripe on top  So had to give J a prison cut all over!  Thank goodness he’s not a vain man!

Slow Road to Crete: Based in Brasov


A Long Driving Day


Rather than erect the 2 tents after a long driving day and break the journey, we decided to do a loooong driving day and get to our AirBnb in Brasov, Romania.  830km but 3 drivers.  we struck camp and set off10 mins ahead of schedule at 8.50 a.m, despite my having to completely repack the roof box so we could close it.  I’d done the Hungarian and Romanian road tolls online last night.  We stopped about 3.00 desperate to use the toilet, so had soup or omelette.  No Romanian Leis yet, but fortunately could pay the EUR11 for 3 dishes and 3 drinks on a card.  Going to like these prices!  Or so I thought, they were never to be matched until Bulgaria.  Roads pretty slow through Romania as no motorway … a very limited transport infrastructure.  

Tired and in the dark we struggled to find our apartment … I expertly navigated us to the bins … it was on a map the host had sent!  Thankfully it was ground floor for all the unloading.  And we pretty much unloaded everything, thankfully a large hall with cupboards to stash it all.  We even managed to dry out the tents over the next few days … the smaller we erected in the lounge, where K slept.  The big one went over a washing line I strung up outside.

Flat was fab … bath and shower.  Comfy bed.  Coffee machine.  And …. a washer / dryer.  And all for £40 per night.  we’ve been paying EUR30-35 for the 3 of us … so a no brainer really.

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Tent drying, but kept CO2 out!

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Dirty laundry is comfy!

A Slow Day


J and I got up rather late … not sure what time K was up.  But she’d managed to have a cold shower (tap round the wrong way … must be perfect plumbing in Germany) … I had a long soak in a hot bath! 

We set off around the mountain to Brasov.  Actually more like up and over the base of the mountain next to us.  Must be a mountain and not a hill as it had beware of the bear signs and a cable car.  First stop was an ATM.  I took out 1500ROM … seems like such a lot, but roughly 5ROM to £1. So many notes … there is even a note for I ROM.  Then lunch … despite moving away from the main square, the soup was double the price of the roadside country caf of yesterday.  Not for the first time have locals told us they cannot afford to eat where the tourists do.

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View of Brasov from our FLAT (LOL) walk around the mountain. 

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In holiday mode, so a mojito.

We wandered the old town.  5th largest in Romania.  Lots of history.  Attractive, but didn’t wow us.  Perhaps we are a bit architectured out.  German is widely spoken here. Saxons were brought in to run the area.  

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The so called Black Church as it had been burnt at some point, hence the name.  Some lovely Ottoman carpets too … saw others in another church.

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They adopted Lutheran teachings and changed the Black Church layout to reflect.  Services are still held in German.

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Kerstin translated some of the German sayings … such as when your’e older you can look back with wisdom.

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The narrowest street was a disappointment … more like a London underpass … graffiti and urine!  Actually none of the latter, but ugly.  Graffiti allowed … but this ain’t art.  Bristol has a graffiti festival where art is created.  They missed a trick here.  

School went back today.  The youngsters looked smart in blazers as they queued calmly for cones of chips.  Only a few in MacDonalds.  And no litter, they put their rubbish in bins.  As if!!!!  We read that they take flowers in for their teachers at the start of term … we saw a number of high school children with bunches.  Can’t see that ever happening in city centre Bristol where I taught! 

Chance encounters often give a really warm feeling.  I spoke to a lady briefly by the wine.  Then she was by the beer.  Romanian, but lived and taught in Leeds for 30 odd years. She taught French and after years of reluctant learners moved from secondary to higher education.  


Not All-Bran


As we arrived in Bran, it tipped down … coffee and local honey cake (Yum).  We took turns to go into Bran Castle.  I walked CO2 round the other side of the castle and saw the old customs house, Bran chapel, the first hydro power station in Romania … the Queen had had it put in and it benefitted the whole village.  The castle did have some info boards on Dracula … Bram Stoker based his book on Bran Castle.  But what was particularly interesting was the information about the post 1900 royal family.  Queen Marie did it up around1910 and it had a homely feel … none of the room were large.  Her daughter Ilena lived here until 1945 when the royals were banished.  Both queens were skilled and talented.  Marie successfully negotiated a unified Romania after WW1 in 1925.  Ilena was a pilot, artist and finally a nun in the USA.  Strong ladies.

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We set off for a short walk not too far away near Zarnesti.  The rains had stopped … just along a river, said I!  But to a viewpoint which should have been a clue to the ascent.  A bit of a steep climb up and the paths I’d selected for the down was missing or cordoned off.  So a slightly longer walk than planned.  But so worth it for the views.  This is what we came to Transylvania for … and it delivered.

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 Rather than get her feet wet, the agility dog flew across this pipe.  Several times as we made her do it again so I could take a pic! 

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Slow Road to Crete: Under and On Top!

Ice Cave


Expecting to be aching after yesterday’s gorge ladders etc, we were amazed we both felt fine.  Just slightly heavy legs.  I think taking it slow and carefully, and all those chocolate stops helped!  We had planned an easy day, just in case.  But the sun came out.  Should we change our plan and get up to the High Tatras?  We’ve been waiting for a sunny day to get a cablecar / funicular up to walk, but didn’t want to spend the money if we were just going to be in the clouds.  We nearly did sway, but I said we weren’t prepared for the mountains … we hadn’t bought ingredients for a picnic etc … so no.  Mountains when ill prepared are not a good idea.

I’d been looking at Atlas Obscura again … an Ice Cave (also mentioned by the TIC chap who had suggested the gorge ladder walk.  A derelict iron works with a huge blast furnace and another cave of argonite formed into amazing shapes.  Fortunately, we read that the ice cave was by guided tour and there was one at 9.30, early enough for it to still be cool to leave CO2 in the car.  What we hadn’t realised was that there was 2km walk uphill to the entrance.  Kerstin strode on ahead and purchased tickets.  When J and I arrived, she was ‘discussing’ whether we would make it on time.  Just as well we, did, as the next tour was not until 11.00.

We have done lots of caves and generally don’t bother now.  But never an ICE CAVE.  I had not realised ice caves were a thing.  Apparently Dodsinka Ice Cave is one of the best to visit.  Spring water flows in, and then freezes.  During summer, some partially melts but then re-freezes in lower caverns.  Again, a Slovak only speaking tour, but as we hung back an English speaking guide held up the rear and was able to give us some more information.  Some years ago, locals used to ice skate in one cavern.  In the winter, bats move in, as it is warmer in the cave than outside.  Reckon, they must have to clear the bat poop before opening up to visitors.

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A toboggan slope?

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Kerstin was on photo duty … we paid extra, so think K took about 100 pix!  She likes to get her money’s worth!! 

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The scant English info. 

The rest of the day did not go to plan.  We found the iron works, but stern looking guards told us to go away.  We think it was being worked on to turn it into a museum.  And we decided  against the 50 min extra drive to the aragonite cave … one cave a day (week, month, year?), is more than sufficient.  So we drove to a small lake we had seen on the drive down and had our picnic.  Then back to base camp via Decathlon (again).


The High Tatras – Extended


We extended our campsite stay for a further night a second time.  The weather was set fair and we were determined to get into the High Tatras mountains.  We were up and at ‘em early doors … with copious supplies of fodder and liquid.  We thought we would arrive nice and early at Vysoke Tatras, but so did everyone else.  Car parks full, so we parked on the road 1.5 km from the funicular.  An early indicator how popular (busy!) walking here is.  Return tickets purchased and we joined the throng in the funicular up the mountain side.  Yes, it was very busy, but the scenery was lovely.  We took it slow and a number of folk over took us.  One lady nearly had a serious accident as passed me … Kerstin was behind and saw the rock she trod on wobble … all I could see was windmill arms … so I instinctively grabbed one.   Didn’t even get a thank you!!!

I failed on navigation duty … missed a turn.  To be fair none of us had seen a path off.  Chatted to a lovely Czech couple who have a motorhome and get away as often as they can.  They recommended that we keep going up (down would have been harder on knees and we would have struggled descending over all the rocks and scree) to a cable car.  Then train from next town.  It was further than J has walked for a long time and when we reached the cable car, he was rewarded with a beer!  We bought tickets for the 3 of us and CO2 for the cable car and didn’t hang around as damp cold clouds were coming in.  What we hadn’t realised was that it was only cable car so far.  The next section was chair lift.  OMG, we’ve 2 dogs with us!  No problem, just lift them on.  So K and I grabbed a dog each and hung onto them tightly.  Only 2 people per chair so J followed with the back pack.  It’s obviously considered quite normal, as another dog was sat (with owners) in a chair going up.  Both CO2 quivered for a few mins once back on terra firma.  Another K9 adventure that we’d not planned.  Oops. We just caught a train to where the car was parked … so I attempted to buy train tickets online with the help of the lady sat next to me … managed to get one adult fare … all of EUR1 for a good 20 min trip.  

A great walk if busy.  If passing we would definitely stop around here again … and further east is supposed to be lovely.  But until this trip Slovakia had not really grabbed us.  There are only so many Austro Hungarian faded towns and castles one would want to visit.  Off to Romania tomorrow.

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 Managed to elbow a small child out of the way to get the view from the front of the funicular! 

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Hard to get pix without other walkers.

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Lots of rocks to clamber over.  Sadly CO2 had to be on the lead … I did let O off a few times towards the end when everyone was already off the mountain!

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Did they have porcelain up here???

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Mist coming in.

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Restoring a property in the mountains … kitchen base layer delivery!

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I had to strip a number of times as I’d expected it to be cold up in the hills … ended up just wearing my base layers, so effectively I was in my underwear!  

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Cable car – the easy bit.

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Difficult to grab a pic unhanded whilst clinging onto a dog. 

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Finally some Romania planning … all base layers on.  It was only 5C at 6.00 the other morning.  I’ve turned into a fair weather camper so we have booked an AirBnB in Brasov for 8 nights starting tomorrow!



Slow Road to Crete Bratislava and Around

Self Guided Bratislava


I AM the Tour Guide Extraordinaire!  Well with the help of Atlas Obscura and Maps.Me populated with bookmarks of what to see.  I dispensed with the umbrella or flag.  And I didn’t have to chase my tour group along or count heads.  There were only 2+2.  The +2 were on leads so had no choice but to follow.

I know it seems lazy to drive the 1.2 km to the bus stop from the campsite.  But we expected to be foot weary at the end of the day.  And that last km is always the killer.  Pay on bus.  CO2 half price.  Muzzled but actually forgot on return and no one blinked an eye.   All of EUR6 one way for an hour journey for the 5 of us.  I later googled what a Bristol to London day return is … £80 off-peak to £176 peak.  Kerstin was staggered.  It would have been crazy to drive.  And it was interesting watching the folk alight … various bus passes.  Some eligible for a discount.  Others no fee.  And we noticed the national genealogy traits of high cheek bones and pale skin.  Not that we are generalising, but we are!

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Muzzle (unnecessary) and wedged in!

When we alighted, we were unimpressed.  Architecture is a thing and it seemed all very Communist.  Blocks.  However, the old town with its shabby chic Austro Hungarian buildings was lovely.  Like a different world.  Worth a day trip, but not a weekend.  Unless you want to scrutinise all the museums in detail?

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First stop was the TV / Radio building.  Once voted one of the ugliest buildings in the world.  Being worked on and effectively sanitised.  Shame, as I liked the rawness of the rust.

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Great abseiling job.

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Largest city fountain and Freedom Square built to remember freedom from Communism … surrounded by (some high rise) buildings from the Communist area.  The fountain is the Linden flower – symbol of the Slavs.  Largest open city space.  Uninspired.

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An Atlas Obscura … Skater girls and a real post box.

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Camil the sewer worker … on a kerb.  Apparently responsible for a few damaged cars.

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The New Highway completely destroyed the old Jewish Quarter and the Fish Market.  I googled the UFO restaurant as a possibility for lunch but stupid money.

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View of the Danube, the UFO and the surrounding tower blocks from the castle.  We didn’t go in … as rebuilt relatively recently and CO2 unwelcome.

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Also from castle.  Check out those high rises … they are EVERYWHERE  And still being built.  Has no one read the erudite papers on high rises and mental health?

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Charmed by the shabby peeling Austro Hungarian architecture of the old town … but even MacD here.

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Town Hall … with …

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… a Bonaparte cannot ball still lodged.  Still amazes me how far east he got.

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Not a cocktail but a fresh fruit lemonade … yum.  We developed a taste for these.  Raspberry, forest fruits, citrus and even lavender.

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We (I) have misplaced (lost) J’s beard trimmer so J went for a head and chin chop.  K and I used our time usefully.  3 for the price of 2!

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The Blue Church.  Modern C19, but I liked.  Grammar school next door by same architect.

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Tour Guide – digital!


Nitra Nice But … Trnava Nice No But


Bit of a long drive to the furthest point Nitra and it was far too long a drive for what was there.

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Drove through several KM of what must be the largest central European logistics hub.  Impossible to get a pic of the scale of it.  We saw box pre fab new builds with flat roofs for the workers advertised for sale @ EUR starting 249 … property is NOT cheap here.

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K and J took a look at the small walled church and a few buildings (castle – small!).  I can’t remember what they said about it, so it can’t have been memorable … I didn’t go in.  We all had drinks and cake on a terrace listening the Radio Swiss Jazz … smooth easy listening which is now bookmarked on my radio app.  All agreed this was the best part of this town.

We moved onto Trvana.  I’d found an app.  Did I mentionI was tour guide extraordinaire!  A self guided walking tour.  Much improved once I realised I could play the text rather than read it.  Slightly dry humour in some comments, so good.  Trnava was the first Slovak free town and still is.  The Town Council had the foresight to build the walls wide to allow growing room, so they are still intact.  And interestingly made from brick as the right sort of soil was available locally … must have been a huge production as there are a huge number of bricks in this huge city wall. First and best university in Hungarian Empire.  Until Empress Marie Therese in about1770, had it moved by barge and road (lock stock and barrel – science labs, books etc) to Buda, her capital.  A new Uni was only established in the 1990s.  Now this was a town we could recommend for a weekend away. Very mellow with more shabby chic Austro Hungarian buildings, but sense that it was loved and lived in.

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Kertsin climbed the bell tower and suffered the bells ringing … J and I repaired for ice cream and a lemonade (for some of us!)

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Castel Cerveny and Modra


The Red Castle (although nothing red about it!) is a major tourist attraction (isn’t everywhere in the advertising?). K went in on a timed ticket … had to join a 75 min Slovak tour but was given an English paper with limited info.  She had to pay and extra Euro for this. And we’ve been aware that non Slovak speaking tours are few and far between and you pay extra.  In fact, not many non Slovak folk touring / exploring at all.

Whilst K toured, J and I walked and I climbed the mini tower for a view of the courtyard.  The Fuggers and Palfri family owners used the underground caverns as stores for their traded goods and copper from their mines … protected largely from the Ottomans by the castle fortifications.

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Lavender lemonade this time .. and cake!

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Castle Cerveny courtyard

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O with an unfeasible large stick.  Calf / shin basher.  

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Quite a complex.

And so onto Modra. Billed in the guide book as the home to the best red and white wines.  Hoped it was better than the supermarket Modra red I bought the other day that I was reluctant to even cook with!  We stopped outside Modra at a wine sign … had a tasting.  Nice whites @ EUR4/bottle.  Apparently the reds are rubbish … well that explains the supermarket trash.  Came away with 4 bottles for the 3 of us.  Chap also made and sold patisseries.  So K bought 4 cakes … for the one of her!

I looked at the Majolica Pottery.  Very predictable, so no purchase.  Would have liked to take pic of the 3 signs on the wall … each with a clock … London, Paris, Modra.  The fourth sign had had its clock removed  … Russia.  Does the Ukraine invasion mean Russia has lost it’s time?

Early supper in Modra was a mistake.  Modern gastro joint with over inflated prices … obviously the place to be seen!   Note to self … get the chap at the Tourist Office to write down his restaurant recommendations, so you can find it later!

Slow Road to Crete but Fast to Slovakia


Being Legal … Barely




We have had Jez in Crete with us since February.  Whilst this is (probably) illegal as we have Greek residency, and Greek law presumes that if you are avoiding road tax if you drive an overseas vehicle, this was a risk we were prepared to take.  Police are much less likely to check the credentials of  motorhome drivers than a car.  However, risks we were not prepared to take are:

a) Our insurance specifies a limit of 6 months in Europe.  And give our ex pat status I could only find one insurers for our UK registered van.

b) EU law used to be 6 months visit per country before you had to register/import the vehicle.  Since Brexit it is 6 months for the EU.  Grr!


We drove back arriving on 20th July and we have mostly stayed in Jez on woodlands Farm near the Aged P’s in Chichester.  I flew back on 28th July to fetch the car and camping kit, driving back with Gillian … Girls Road Trip.  J had 2 nights in Dublin to see family.  A quick 4 nights in the east country to see friend and collect a few items from the Devon house shed. 


But today we left Jez with Abacus Motorhomes in Andover.  They are an Adria dealer, service centre and motorhome sales and hire. Our insurers specify Gold standard, but given the £ooo’s of stock held here, they have accepted Abacus as our storers.  It works OK as they can pull Jez in for work whenever parts are in / they have time.  And at £65 per month, it is a lot more than we paid in Greece, but cheaper than most Gold storage.


We have largely emptied Jez, so our storage box at the Aged’s is full.  And the Greek car is also full.  Full of essentials we need to take back to Crete, a few want to take and we still managed to leave enough room for Kertstin, who will be joining us.  With roof box moved to the side and 3 x camping chairs wrapped in a tarp, we managed to fit most essentials in!


We had a last meal with the Aged P’s and Maddy & Jordan.



And we’re off




Ferry as used it coming across with the Greek car  – a lot cheaper than the Tunnel if you want a Flexi ticket.  With the ferry they will accommodate you on the next available 48hrs either side of your booking.  But never again.  Seemed to be at Dover for hours and then hours on the ferry.


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Don’t know why we had to have a yellow Pet sticker, it didn’t seem to make much difference as to where we were loaded! 


We arrived late in Belgium and erected the small new to us tent in the dusk.  Just as well I’m expert at erections!!!!  Grew up camping!  Supper was excellent at the Camping / leisure centre bar / resto.  Until we came to pay … no cards.  Cash only.  Opps, I had about EUR3 in coins only.  2km to the nearest ATM.  I was about to walk it … tired and the the post supper feeling of well being deserting me, when J said, I may have some Euros left from my trip to Dublin.  Yay … I went back and paid up, telling the bar man that my husband was hiding money from me!


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This looked so comfy and was! 

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Our diddy tent is not so diddy.

Put to Work!




We managed a cup of tea on arrival at Kerstin’s and a dog walk, before she dragged me out to work!  Why is it that she always seems to have a property project on the go?  We left Amsterdam early one summer to spend 2 weeks stripping wall paper and washing down when a tenant had left one house in an unbelievable condition.  This time, Kerstin has an inherited elderly relative’s apartment to clear.  She needs all the years of accumulated stuff sorted and boxed so the decorators can come in, before she can let it to students.  A wonderful old building with great features but stuffed to the gunwales.  She did treat us to supper though.


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And we’re off




Before leaving, we headed into a TUV, despite reducing the Greek car registration document to scant MBs, it would not upload to get the Unwelt Plakette.  So we headed off to a TUV (MOT test centre).  Nowadays it is rare to get good service, let alone something for free.  Got both here!  Happy.  The the pet store for dog food (Oscar had helped himself when we weren’t looking and what should have lasted for several days, was no more!) and a water bowl … left ours somewhere in Belgium … 1st casualty! 


We managed to cram Kerstin, her bedding, a rucksack AND her numerous food supplies … she’s a grazer … into the car, and even dropped off some plums at her work!.  Then decided to just keep going to Slovakia and the campsite north of Bratislava.  A long drive and only one misdemeanour form Oscar.  He found Kerstin’s special sausage, gifted by a neighbour,  and ate the end!  We left Germany in temperatures of 22C and it slowly dropped to 14C and started to rain.  We put the tents up in the dusk / dark … and drizzle.  It was late by the time we ate!  And it rained all night!  


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CO2 are like the princess and the pea  hardly any headroom.  And some of Kerstins food supplies!

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Camping Karpaty.  Home for 5 nights.

Bratislava:  Castle and Scrap




Easy morning.  K and I walked around the small lake.  Commenting on how lush and green it is … must be all this rain!  First muddy puddle I’ve seen since April!  No supplies sourced yet, so much was dog-eared (not dog aka Oscar this time) cup-a-soups with the promise of an afternoon snack!


Lots of stops planned, not all made.  And not by all of us, all the time.  First stop was Devin Castle.  Nicely told … No dogs.  J elected to snooze in the car with them.  It is a huge ruin on the Austrian border, overlooking the boats on the Danube.  Numerous owners until Bonaparte blew it up.


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 The Danube.

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Charred Roman loaf  might have gone down well with our meagre cup-a-soup!

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Views across to Austria.

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The most interesting part was the well. Yes, it did look deep, but you had no idea just how deep.  Until a bucket and tap were deployed.  You filled one with the other and tipped it into the well.  Waited.  And waited.  Waited some more until, finally … splash.  The acoustics amplified the sound of the splash too. The water separated into millions of droplets as it descended.   It was addictive, we and others had several go’s.

Long awaited … drinks and hotdogs (ice cream for me as I’m on me holidays!) at the base of the castle.  We tried to get close to the missile base but the road was blocked and it was too late and we didn’t have the energy for a 9km hike.  


So we moved onto Snot Park.  No, I misread this … it is Srot Park.  Kerstin and I had been discussing if we were born again (not the the Christian born again type!), what skill or talent we would like.  She would be someone who could construct long lasting beautiful and functional buildings.  I said I’d like to have vision.  To be able to create beautiful things that elicit an emotional reaction.  This park is by someone who has Vision.  He started it in 2019.  Animals and cartoon / fantasy characters made for bits of steel.  Loved it.  No one on the gate, just an honesty box.  And sadly one laminated photo of an owl, some b’stard had pinched.


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A slight detour on the way back home took in the VW factory car cable car.  No pix as I was driving and it was not in operation  Supper up the hill at the restaurant overlooking a small lake.  Traditional roasted lamb with small noodles and sauerkraut … actually delicious.  And the wine weren’t bad either!