Thursday, February 20, 2014

I know, it seems like 700 year since I posted something..... 
We have been traveling each weekend.  Two weeks ago we went to a city in Slovakia called Trencin.  The city was smaller than Nitra (which has at last count just under 100,000).  We took the train, which was very nice going, and difficult returning. Going we took the IC, which is a nice train in that it is modern, clean, quiet and well modulated.  They spoke English and Slovak to explain the stops. Returning, however, we took a regional train.  It was over crowded, with people sitting in the aisles and we could not hear the stops.  The announcements were also not in English. This is the trip that caused me to purchase the printer I refereed to in a previous post.

We encountered an interesting phenomenon while in the train station. I am so used to not understanding what people are saying, that I just tune them out. I can’t understand, nor do I attempt to when people are just walking by.  I part because its not my business what they are saying to friends, and in part because it makes my head hurt to think so much as to understand anything!

Anyway, I am used to tuning out, when all of a sudden I realized that there was English on the loud speaker!  Caden and I were so shocked we just stood still and stared!  It was the first time we were able to understand, and it took us a minute to even recognize that English was being spoken! This wonderful situation was in the train station where IC and ICE trains come through.  We so happy!

 We also met some more Mormon Missionaries in Trencin as well as some American businessmen.  After going multiple days with no conversation except between my self and a 10 year old,  ANY English conversation is good!

Trencin was nice.  I have included some pictures.  The primary site to see is the Castle.  It is the third largest castle in Slovakia, and sits in the middle of the city on a hill. The castle was built and rebuilt many times- such that original walls were included in each new castle. In fact, we climbed a staircase that was over 700 years old!  It was steep and very narrow, and quite short.  I had to duck many times.

Pedestrian Area With Strange Trees


Old part of the castle

A Royal Chair


View from Hotel

Castle Gate
One of the factoids that I learned really stuck with me…I guess because it was about clothes!  We went into a chamber that was a closet. Yep, this entire room was dedicated to clothing and accessories for the lady of the house.  The room was probably 25 x 25 and was behind guarded entries.  Apparently clothing was so expensive that people would guard the clothing as they would gold and silver!  If this was not enough, through another door was the bedroom of the lady of the house.  It was a 12 X 10 room.  Seriously. The clothes ad more room than the living area did!

Two other things really stuck out about this side trip we made.  One was the hotel.  It was FABULOUS!  I included pictures here, but they don’t really do it justice.  The room was large, airy and included breakfast. It was under 50 Euros, and they had a relaxation center on the first floor- that included a hot tub, massage and solarium.  Caden and I both got massages, for a total cost of 18 Euros!  That was amazing!  The location was perfect also, as it was directly attached to the pedestrian zone and about 200 feet from where you took the path to the castle.  The hotel was called the Grand Hotel.

The last thing that stood out was the fact that a 15-minute bus ride took you to one of the most famous Spas in Eastern Europe.  The town was completely dedicated to the spa (fed by natural thermal springs of course).  We went swimming in a thermal heated pool in the middle of winter.  The pool was a typical Europe pool, with whirlpool, rapid area, bubbles and in pool sitting.  I had experienced European pools before, but Caden was very impressed!

Enjoy the pictures!


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