Day 244: Spissky HradOctober 16, 2017 in Slovakia
Definitely feeling on the mend now, still not great but on the way towards it. Today's destination was the ruined castle of Spissky Hrad and the associated town of Levoca, about 90 minutes drive west of Kosice. The morning was chilly and foggy, but we set off anyway.
Arrived at the castle around 10:30am, and we literally couldn't see a thing. The car park is right at the base of the castle, but were it not for the signs we wouldn't have known there was anything there! Quite eerie really, it was just you and the hundred metres or so around you.
Hoping for some better luck, we decided to head for Levoca (also a WHS) and see if it was less foggy. This was just a typical "old town" site, so a dense fog wouldn't matter so much here anyway. By the time we arrived the fog was starting to lift, and the air seemed quite reasonable.
Spent an hour or so wandering around and checking out the sights: mainly the town square, cathedral and a few other buildings. Did our filming, grabbed some lunch in a cheap local restaurant (two big dishes, two drinks and a coffee for about 10 euros), then back to the car where we headed east to the castle again.
The fog had completely lifted and now we could see the castle from miles away, a very spectacular sight! It's made from white stone, sitting high on a hilltop so it completely dominates the hilltop and gleams in the sun.
Parked, walked uphill to the entrance, smuggled Schnitzel past the no dogs sign, then commenced wandering. It was really cool and very large, apparently one of the largest castles in central Europe! It was used for several hundred years between about the 12th century when it was constructed for defence against the Mongols, through until the 1760s when it burned down. The reason for it burning down is unknown, though one suggestion is that people were brewing moonshine on the premises and things got a bit out of hand. Though my favourite theory is that it was a tax write-off, since land tax was based (for some strange reason) on the size of your roof. Burning the roof down would save a castle-sized land tax bill!
Did all of our filming, though interrupted twice by enormous rending booms. For a moment I thought Trump had started world war three, but on reflection it was likely just a supersonic aircraft high above us. We'd heard similar noises occasionally in Hungary as well.
Back to Kosice where we spent the rest of the evening relaxing at home. Ducked out briefly for dinner at the same sushi restaurant as a couple of nights earlier, though this time I had a pad thai and wasn't as impressed. Should've stuck with the Vietnamese food!Read more