As far as road trips go, this one was very cool. Especially in hindsight, now that we sit at home in lockdown, or lock down light, or whatever you want to call this. The point is, all borders are closed, at least for the time being, and traveling is out of the question. So looking back, this trip was fabulous. There was so much to see like Spiš Castle, and so many adventures like the Wielizka Salt Mine tour.
But best of all was of course that we could go places and do so easily. Together, in a car, just driving along and looking only for a place to sleep in the afternoon. Not really knowing what the day would bring. It was the perfect adventure to feel young again. Something I definitely have to repeat. So here is what I learned on the road trip to make this the best adventure ever. Yours, Pollybert
1.) In Poland the drinks menu is called drinki.
2.) Street lamps are not continuously on everywhere in Krakow. Or perhaps some are missing? Anyway. the same goes for Tratranská Lomnica in Slovakia. While walking back to our penzion after dinner I had to use the flashlight on the phone to find the way.
3.) Krakow has a great fast food culture with breads and/or pizza called Zapiekanki.
4.) While walking around Krakow in the morning I came across someone taking a whizz. It was not a jogger, so just be aware.
5.) Krakow has many churches, 40 already just in the old town
6.) Separate rooms are wonderful when you are together on a road trip. It makes you look forward to see each other again in the morning
7.) The trumpeter of the St. Mary’s church trumpets every hour, every day to all four sides from the tower. The sounds stops abruptly becasue according to the legend he tried to warn the townsfolk and was killed by an arrow.
8.) Ignore all parking possibilities before an attraction even though someone flags you to it. Most of them are more expensive than the actual parking of the attraction.
9.) Always drink a strong liquor after Slovakian food. You’ll need it to digest.
10.) Slovakian cuisine has almost no vegetables anywhere. It’s mostly meat, pirogi, or small dumplings. However cabbage comes to the table in form of sauerkraut or salad. Not a lot of variety.
11.) Room prices in Slovakia were the same as in Austria. Poland was way cheaper. The most expensive but smallest room was the one in the mountains. But we weren’t even in the Slovakian ’Davos’ or ‘Aspen’ (Stary Smokovec) but instead stayed at the cheaper version in Tatranská Lomnica.
12.) There was no chance to understand anything, either written or spoken, of the three languages Czech, Polish, or Slovak. On the whole it sounded all alien to me.
13.) The attitude to mask wearing is handled differently in every country. Sometimes even within a country. Overall Poland handled it most casually but in Auschwitz they were strict in the hotel and in the camp (always mask on inside). While in Slovakia we had to wear a mask during the visit of the Spiš Castle even outside and most people complied with this rule.
14.) We found most accommodations by stopping in front of the hotel/pension and asking for a room. Interestingly enough it was sometimes cheaper to book through Booking.com.
15.) The autobahn vignette for Slovakia can only be bought online. You don’t get a physical sticker anymore. Just google the website and save yourself some time.
16.) Look especially for accommodation with video-surveiled parking. It’s easy to find, usually not more expensive than regular parking, and you will obviously sleep better
16.) Think about what’s on the route of your road trip before you start. Make it a mix of culture, nature, and history. I truly loved that we had a list handy of what we could see.
17.) Don’t ignore cities or villages just because they are full of Communist Plattenbauten on the outskirts. Usually the center is a beautiful old town.