My holidays in Slovakia, August 06

by Xavier

Summer 06, with 2 of my friends (Nicolas and Florent), I was heading to Slovakia to spend my holidays.

In bratislava

After a long night driving from Belfort to our holidays' destination, we finally arrived in Bratislava the next day at the beginning of the afternoon. Bratislava, capital of the Slovakian Republic and second biggest city of the former Czechoslovakia, is a nice place to chill out... pretty and quite safe. As soon as we arrived, we went for a tour around the city and climb up the old town to reach the castle and have a nice view over the town.

The new bridge "novy most", built at the beginning of the 70's, is one of the biggest monuments dating from the communist period. It was said that a part of the old town was razed (with its beautiful heritage) in order to make the construction of the bridge possible.

We were staying at a student residence in the North-East of the city center. The place was openning its doors to tourists during summer. Good adress... if you like to be surrounded by french people during your holidays abroad. Well, no wonder, it was the cheapest place found in the french travel guide book "le Routard"...  Next time, we'll be more clever. Anyway, the location was nice, pretty close from downtown, in the campus area, with all the facilities (which means a mini market next block openned until late with cheap beer!!...). Around the building, many names written on the floor with many colors... They are the name of the students who gratuated this year. Cool!
Evening in down town. Nice bars, and if you're a bit down and tired from a long travel.... try one or two glass of Absinth and you'll be ready for a long night party!

Next day, we started to look for some information about our future hiking destinations. We agreed on two trips in 2 different places : The High Tatras and the Slovakian paradise. We bought the hiking maps and studied it in order to think about possible itineraries. We're ready! Another night in Bratislave before heading even further East...

High Tatras

Nearly 400km far East from Bratislava is the gorgeous range of Mountains of High Tatras. They are actually called the "smallest high mountains in the world"!! 10 peaks above the 2600m, the range is across 2 countries (Slovakia and Poland) and delimit an area of 26 km of length.
During my previous stay in Poland in the spring 2004, I  hiked for a weekend along the Polish part of the High Tatras, and I just wanted to return there. The place is actually incredibly wonderful.

Slovakian paradise