Today I crossed into Slovakia.
This felt very emotional for me guys, because, although I rarely talk about it, my birth father…who I never knew…was from here.
It felt odd and it felt cold and just not right to cross the border and to head straight to the spa, so I decided to have a bit of an explore on the way.
I saw a castle on a hill in the distance, Trencin Castle, and thought that might be a good place to start.
There are two types of castles all around these parts. There is the castle translation as zamek, which is a castle inside a town, on the same town level, and castle translated as hrad, which is a castle on a hilltop above the town.
This was a hrad, and boy was it up high!
There were hundreds of stairs and little walks straight up the hill and 30 minutes later I was barely above the town roofs.
But finally I reached the first guard turrets.
Look how far below me the town was now!
But the castle was still miles up on the hill!
Finally I reached the inner courtyard. What a maze of towers and courtyards and wind-around passages this place is.
And I walked around the bottom of the tower and had a look.
Amazing! I’ll show you in a minute, but first, it was time for my tour to start.
This castle is a typical structure which was built up on itself since god knows when in the prehistoric neolithic time. Once it was the seat of Matthew III Lord of the region, but before that it was a stone age settlement, bronze age settlement, an important, guarded tower for the Roman Empire, and the bedrock for probably the oldest building in the whole Bohemian region.
Here are bits of medieval pipes.
Here is bronze age ware.
Here are ancient castle keys and swords.
This is the remains of a Roman Empire tower. Under it were buried some important people of that age complete with jewels and arms.
And this is an ancient Roman stone inscription about the tower and burial site.
Bohemia was built up on its own self.
The tour wound down to the freezer…the castle kitchens.
Walls 7 ft thick, it took a lot to heat the place up. But then I imagine there were tons and tons of people to cook for and probably several ovens and fires going.
Now the old kitchens serve as a stone museum. These rooms hold some of the larger artifacts found on this site.
And this! This is a secret, 4 ft high passage from the kitchens to the lady of the castle’s bed chamber!
Then it was time to go to the tower and the more formal tower rooms.
And then, just because I haven’t done enough climbing for one day, I decided to get to the very tippy top of this castle.
And I looked down.
And then I looked up and out to the whole, wide world.
Then I went back down.
Four hours later! After walking back down from that height, I set off X Slovakia to Piestany to my spa.
Well then, isn’t this a beautiful surprise!
A beautiful, thermal Art Deco, Old Worlde spa on spa island right beside a river.
Ok, I must admit that it wasn’t all a surprise. I did choose this spa knowing a little something about it, but still..
Here is my robe and slippers waiting for me on my bed. There is also a plate full of fruit and three litters of water on the bedside table.
There is also a little letter personally welcoming me here sealed with a red sealing wax seal.
I’ve had my appointment with the spa nurse and doctor, who both declared me fairly healthy (except for a touch of the old osteoarthritis and the old wonky cell business), and prescribed four days of treatment.
(this is a beautiful 1952 painting in the clinic area)
And so here I’ve finally landed for a few days. Here in this Art Deco loveliness.
And apart form my room and the clinic, the only other place I’ve explored this evening is the dining room.
Isn’t it just the grandest?
Look at the series of chandeliers in the main part.
This is the area I like, this back little alcove looking out onto the gardens.
So here I am for the evening, back in my room, on the top floor, overlooking the lovely grounds.
And this is the last view I will leave you with.
Time for a little rest.