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Looking at the map of Eastern Europe is for me akin to looking at a menu full of delicious things and not being able to pick. Ukraine? Belarus? Hungary? Slovakia? How to choose? The deciding factor for this trip was a leftover from my Russian adventures. In February last year darling brother Alan saw Hostel, a brutal film set in the Slovak capital Bratislava (but filmed in the Czech Republic), and got a little concerned I was about to be force-fed the business end of a drill press. He never has quite shaken this opinion of Bratislava. So, the chance to send a postcard to him from this place? *evil twirl of moustache*.

Thus, I roped fellow Melbourne PhDer and temporary Eurotrash Simon to leave the flat dullness of Eindhoven and fly Ryanair (1 Eurocent plus taxes? Awesome!) to B-town. The next couple days were spend drifting around beautiful, safe Bratislava and surrounds checking out castles and eating Slovakian cuisine which is heavy on potatoes and pork and other meats (I will begin cooking experiments soon after I get home), and observing the ladies in the old town. Now, Slovakia is covered in forest, and Slovakian girls are as tall as trees.

After Bratislava, we looked at the travel-nazi research I had done and decided to head into Central Slovakia to check out UNESCO-listed villages, caves, mountains and more castles. On the way to the little village of Ludrova, our chosen base, Simon decided out trip wasn’t enough like Alan’s slasher film and decided to find a psycho at the rapidly darkening, abandoned train station who forcefully insisted on calling a ‘special’ taxi that wouldn’t rip us off. Thankyou, Simon. To my surprise the taxi turned out to be legit and official and I didn’t have to whack anyone with my cudgel-like tripod (Simon included) and make a dash for it. Anyways, our accommodation in Ludrova was fabulous and if anyone is headed that way I will pass on details of this family-run flat. In this area we got a good local experience eating, drinking and chatting with the people.

Leaving here we set off for Orava Castle, where the first vampire film made, Nosferatu, was filmed. Being in the public domain, you can view it here. I will pick up from here later. In the interim, the fine details are best told by the photos.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 16th, 2007 12:28 pm (UTC)
Looks pretty cool, and I'm glad you managed to keep your skin intact during the experience!

How was the airline? For that price I'd be worried the wings are gonna fall off.

Photos are cool, though you need to flip some of them! That opera house looks mad, did you actually see a show? Also : http://pics.livejournal.com/paulfraser/pic/00085ezd/g22 I can only think what they were selling there! Handlove? Hmmmm... and http://pics.livejournal.com/paulfraser/pic/00088qt7/g22 <-- Gold!

Also, whats UNESCO?

Look forward to the next installment.
Jun. 17th, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I should flip the pictures and stop people from twisting their necks. Maybe eventually.

The Ryanair fleet is very new, but I imagine prices will go up when maintanence becomes an issue.

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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