On the third and last day of our trip, we had decided to cross the border to Slovakia and visit some towns there. I had initially planned on stopping in about 5 towns in Northern Slovakia and re-entering Poland through the border from another side. But we had to anyhow get back to Lodz by Sunday night because of the work from Monday. So we decided to just stop in one castle town and only pass by the others.
I have been very fascinated by borders, countries and culture since my teenage years. Crossing the border, which is just a little board with the country’s name actually here within Schengen zone, was a nice experience. The views were amazing and the weather had finally improved for the better. The roads were spiral and nearby you could see the magnificent Tatra mountains. The road to a castle we were going to visit in Slovakia was largely quiet. I was in cloud 9, because the views were just amazing. And the feeling of being in a new country for the first time is always incredible. We would see small Slovakian towns along the way and I understood so much of the words in banners and boards because of my knowledge of Polish language.
We stopped in Orhavsky Hrad, a beautiful stone castle after riding for about an hour. The lady at the counter spoke better Polish than English. We had to wait for the guide and it was a bit clumsy to walk on the heavy motorcycle gear but we had no other options. We did a tour of the beautiful castle which took about 3 hours. The guide was however only in Slovak, which we found out only later. My boyfriend managed to understand the overall gist of what the Slovak guide was saying. He said he understood more than half of the written Slovak though. The entire place was so beautiful, cultural and unique. The views of the Tatra mountains and green hills were exquisite. I didn’t want to take my eyes off. The weather had really favored us. I wish we had more time in Slovakia as I was loving every minute of it. The castle tour took us much longer than we had expected, and so we decided to go back to Poland following the same route. We had to be back at work from the other day, and we didn’t want to risk reentering into Poland late and getting stuck in frequent Polish traffic on the way to Lodz.
The route back to Poland was going smoothly. We stopped along the way for some photo breaks. Slovakian side I felt was comparatively more quiet and peaceful. We saw lots of number plates from Hungarian, Czech and Polish vehicles. Slovakia is located such centrally in Europe. When we were less than 30 kms from the border, we were stopped by a car with siren. I was confused. It was undercover police of course, and they were there to give us speeding ticket. I hadn’t even realized that we were going over limit. We were fined 60 euros for going around 20 km/h (it was a residential area) over the limit. The cops even spoke Polish, it was quite funny to hear the accent. It was our bad luck though as we were so close to entering Poland 🙂
After crossing the border to Poland, we did the scenic tour to our apartment in central Zakopane. There we had some snacks and shortly left after collecting our stuff. We avoided a lot of traffic on the way back to Lodz, thanks to the motorbike. A journey that takes about 5 hours from Zakopane to Lodz would have taken us about 8 hours if it wasn’t for the motorbike.
I loved the culture and nature in Zakopane. I think 2 days is nearly not enough to see all of Zakopane and the road trip through Slovakia was truly spectacular as well. I would love to go back to both of these places for more days the next time.