At the Purcari Winery in the village of Purcari, Moldova. Photo taken December 7, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Half way to Budapest!

When we were figuring our route to Budapest from Poprad, we had considered doing the journey all in one day. But that would have been a long travel day since there was no easy direct route between the two cities.

So I looked at the map and found the small city of Banska Bystrica as a half way point. Yesterday morning, we hopped on the 9:30am bus and for €6.20 ($7.75) each we did the 128 km (80 mile) trip.

Poprad to Banska Bystrica.

Our last view of the High Tatra Mountains.

Taken out the bus window. This guy was actually sitting by the gate to the pub and had obviously brought his beer back to enjoy with his horse and wagon. At 11:00am. Hey, maybe he's already put in a hard days work!

Made it to Banska Bystrica and we had already scoped out a hostel online that looked like it would do us for a night. Actually, we've got a couchsurfer host lined up for tonight, but she could only host the one night so we had to find something else for last night. So we walked over to this hostel, and got ourselves set up with a room for €24.00 ($30.00) for the night. They advertised kitchen facilities, so we were a little disappointed when we found that the kitchen doesn't have any pots or pans or dishes or utensils. Yes, there's a microwave and an oven and stove.. And each room has it's own fridge...but there's nothing to cook anything in. Doesn't make any sense. Anyhow, it'll do for one night.

Then we went and explored this small city of around 80,000 people.

Never heard of this place before. Banska Bystrica. Only reason we came here was because it was on the way, but we're glad we did. It's a pretty enough place and there's enough to see and do just wandering around to keep us busy for the day. Everyone has heard of all the big cities in the world, but there are so many of these smaller cities that can be just as interesting.

Our first view of the central plaza. Our hostel is only a five minute walk to here.

Only a few minutes walk through the plaza and you come to a modern office tower and shopping mall!

You'll notice that the sky doesn't look the greatest in the two pictures above. Well sure enough, it began to rain while we were in the shopping mall, so we stayed in there for a while until the rain stopped!

Inside the mall, this older man was painting some kind of a mural.

That's a lot of faces to paint! Amazing!

Been a while since we've spent any time in a shopping mall!

After the rain stopped, we continued our walk.

An empty side street.

We came across a wedding. Check out the guy in the traditional clothing.

This is a different church, but there was another wedding taking place here!

After our walking around, we found a grocery store and bought half of a BBQ chicken, and a couple of potatoes. Ruth did the potatoes in the microwave, and we had them on the tin foil with the roast chicken. Used plastic knives and forks that we got where we bought the chicken! Not the best dinner, but you can only do so much when you don't have any cooking utensils!

After dark, we went back to the plaza and sat and had a beer and a glass of wine on a patio and just people watched. It was a nice evening.

That same empty side street still had no people on it!

The fountain in the square was all lit up at night. Very pretty!

We don't meet our couchsurfing host until 5:00pm this afternoon, so we've got the day to do some more wandering around. Nothing special planned, but there is a 5 km walk we'll probably do, plus an interesting looking museum that we'll tell you about tomorrow morning!

20 comments:

  1. Even the small towns have a classic European charm, you guys are living the dream of a lifetime. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

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    1. This was a beautiful town/small city. We enjoyed our short stay here.

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  2. These towns are exactly as I pictured them. I love looking at the very old...just about ancient...buildings.
    You are right, the mural is amazing.

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    1. We love the buildings and architecture here in Europe.

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  3. Small cities are always nicer than the big ones in our opinions, and loots like the same in Europe too.

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  4. Interesting mural - I did a google search on Yahoo. The artist is Alan John Porter from England. Read his amazing story behind the painting:

    http://inspiratioon.com/2012/03/alan-john-porter-things-will-happen-if-you-believe-thats-the-key/

    Sorry I don't know how to make it clickable!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for the link. It is definitely an interesting story. Had we known the gentleman was English speaking we would have probably spoken with him but we just assumed that he would have been Slovak and being older probably wouldn't have spoken English. I have hopefully made the link clickable now.

      inspiratioon.com/2012/03/alan-john-porter-things-will-happen-if-you-believe-thats-the-key/

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    2. Yep, the one I put in is clickable.

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  5. stayed in a lot of hostels when I traveled through New Zealand and never came across a hostel that didn't have pots/pans and dishes as well...

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    1. This wasn't a normal hostel but still very similar and any of the others we stayed at always had pots, pans and dishes, maybe not the best selection but at least they had some.

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  6. Scoped out....I have not heard that phrase in quite a while.

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  7. Kevins sister ElaineSeptember 2, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Did the shopping mall have some of the same chain stores that we have in North America or were they completely different?

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    1. Yes, they had some of the bigger name stores like New Yorker, Marks and Spenser's, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Levis and Adidas just to name a few as well as many of their own chain stores.

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  8. Very nice material that Ruth is leaning on in the header photo. Is it marble? Lots of money to put into a public square.

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    1. Contessa, we really couldn't say for sure, if we had to guess we would probably say marble. It is definitely a beautiful square.

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  9. Sometimes simple and improvised meals can be the best. The company makes up for the rest! I bet it was tasty. Looks like a cool town. It probably has an interesting history.

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    1. I has quite an interesting history. More on that in the next blog post.

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  10. How do you make that Euro symbol with your keyboard?

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    Replies
    1. Hold the left "alt" key down while typing the numbers 0128

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  11. Well I have to agree, the smaller towns and cities have a whole lot to offer and way less crowded. What a beautiful city Banska Bystrica is - all the older buildings in Europe I find so facinating.

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