In the town of Trai Mat near Da Lat, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Da Lat, Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hanging out with the young people!

Yesterday morning we walked into the nearby village of Istebne. They have one of the oldest churches in Slovakia in this village, one of only four remaining wooden churches.

It's a little different because this church has no steeple. The bell tower was actually built after the fact, and is actually a separate structure.

Istebne wooden church.

Unfortunately, no interior pictures allowed. The church was built in 1686, and although it's been restored several times, much of the interior is original. It's really quite something to see. It was all closed up when we got there, but there was a woman doing some gardening and she went and got another lady who had a key. It cost €1.00 ($1.25) each to get in, but we also got a free postcard each with that!

Received an email from our couchsurfing friend Jana, asking if we wanted to go to Orava Castle with her and some friends. So at 2:00pm we met them at the little local train station to go the 17 kms (10.5 miles) to the castle.

Ruth, waiting at the train station.

It cost a total of €3.60 ($4.50) for the return trip to the castle for the two of us.

On our way up to the castle. Andrea, Martina, Monika, Lukáš, Jana, and Ruth.

We decided it was worthwhile to pay for the tour of this castle. It was €5.00 ($6.25) each for the tour, plus another euro ($1.25) to enter the castle chapel. So a total of €12.00 ($15.00) for the two of us.

Lukáš, Monika, and Andrea. Quite happy to practice their English with Ruth!

The entrance.

Looking up from the courtyard.

Orava Castle was built in the 1200's on the top of a rock formation 112 meters (367 feet) high. It's an imposing structure overlooking the river below. It was the scene for the filming of the 1922 dracula movie "Nosferatu".

Some interesting interior furniture.

A museum display with a stuffed two headed calf from 1890!

The interior courtyard. The castle is built in sections, with each section progressively higher up.

The main courtyard.

Even live displays! See, we listen to live music in Europe!

The dracula display. Too funny.

And of course there's a view from the top!

Martina, Lukáš, and Jana.

When we finished the two hour tour, we figured out that we had a two hour wait for the next train back. Good thing there was somewhere convenient to sit and have a cold beer!

Ruth, Andrea, Monika, Martina, Jana, and Lukáš.

We had a great afternoon with our young friends. They are between the ages of 16 and 21, so it was a fun experience hanging out with them and learning what some young people of Slovakia think of travel and their ambitions in life! Today, they're taking us for a short hike to a waterfall, and then maybe we'll make it to the aquapark that we never made it to yesterday! Calling for a high of 34C (92F), so it's gonna be a hot one!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. *pfft*! One spelling mistake is all it takes to change everything...

    What I said (er, wanted to say):

    I remember trying to watch "Nosferatu" with Klaus Kinski. I'm afraid the statue doesn't quite capture his essence. Maybe it was because I was quite young at the time, but wowsers did that ever give me a fright. Now it just seems silly.

    You guys seem to fit right in with the young 'uns by the way.

  3. ...because "freight" is quite a bit different from "fright".

  4. Hi guys, see you are still having a good time. Good for you. Did anyone ask you if these are your kids? Hahahah. Like when people asked me if you guys were our children I just wondered if you had that happen yet. Adios and safe travels. Dont forget us down here in sunny, er, cloudy Mexico.

  5. Too bad you couldn't take pictures inside the church. But the castle is really amazing how it's built on different levels. You and young uns just seem to go together. It's your young at heart attitude.

  6. Another wonderful day of sightseeing, thanks again for the tour. glad you had a fun day with the young ones. We actually saw a two headed calf born at the farm here last year, sure a strange sight to see for sure.


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