August 30th, 2015
The plan was to get up and check out the castle that was near the accommodation, then hurry to the next castle so we could catch the only English guided tour of the day. The castle road was closed and would have been quite a long climb up so we made the executive decision that the next castle with the tour would be more worth while. I think we made a great decision! The Orava castle was massive, dates back to the 13th century and the guide was very good!
We then headed to another historical village called Vlkolinec, which was in a stunning location in the hills.
We also stopped for lunch at a restaurant where the famed Janosik was reportedly caught. The story is that this fellow went off to law school and when he returned he noticed how poorly his people were treated by the king, working tirelessly and being taxed all the time. He started to steal from the King and give it all to the poor. He did not keep any for himself which sets him a part from our Robin hood stories. He was eventually caught because a ‘friend’ turned his location in. He was tortured and given a slow and painful death and hung up in the street by hooks as a warning to the people to never try this again. His real friends though stole him in the night to give him a proper burial. Not all Slovak legends are hero’s though: I was also told of Elizabeth Bathory, I won’t go into the gory details but her Wikipedia page is here. In Slovakia’s defence she was actually Hungarian and the location was ruled by Hungary at the time.
After a great 2 days, we headed back to Komarno to another amazing gesture from Ludmila’s mother! She made Paprika Chicken for me! This is a dish that my Grandmother made when I was a child. Its been at least 15 years since I tasted it! Speaking of food, I was able to try many traditional dishes while I was here, it was all really good and I’m afraid of what would happen if I lived here! Some of the foods are:
– bryndzové halušky (bryndza cheese, dumplings)
– bryndzové pirohy (bryndza cheese filled pirohy)
– strapačky (cabbage, dumplings, bacon)
– kapustnica (cabbage soup)
– pörkölt (paprika chicken, dumplings) – somlói galuska (hungarian dessert)
– chestnut puree (dessert)
-bryndza = typical sheep cheese
Kofola = black soda drink made with apples
tvaroh = something like cottage cheese
Later in the evening we went for a walk to the Hungarian Border which is the centre of the Danube river, and since both are members of the EU, there is no longer any customs offices used or an official border crossing. Was still pretty neat to set foot in Hungary for the first time, since that is where my Dad’s side of the family immigrated from.