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!