Shooting Stars, A Welcome to Slovakia 11 Comments

We ummm’d and arrrr’d about going to Wieliczka salt mines until we saw Simy and John. They were very disappointed with their visit and said the crowds were horrendous. That sort of made our minds up, so we got ready to move on.

Craig had a chat to our Dutch neighbours, a lovely couple on their first motorhome adventure whilst I sorted out some pennies. I loaded our caxton card with extra Euro’s to cover Slovakia and Forint for Hungary. As wifi options are uncertain for the next month, I thought I’d better check out Romania and Bulgaria too. This will cover us all the way to Greece…if we ever get there!

The Romanian Leu and Bulgarian Lev are not available as direct currency options through the caxton card, so best options for bank withdrawals. Looking at our current account bank fees for international currency withdrawals verses Caxton, it looks like Caxton is slightly cheaper. Good stuff, so I loaded our Caxton card with sterling. The sterling will stay on our preloaded caxton card until we withdraw against it in Romania or Bulgaria and then it will be exchanged on that days rate. If we don’t use then we just transfer the sterling back, simple.

We waved good bye to everyone at Adam Camping and hit the road. Slovakia here we come! Once out of Krakow we searched from the nearest Lidl. With £100 of Polish Zloty in our wallet we opted to spend rather than stash, after all Poland is so cheap we’d be daft not too. Armed with two Lidl trollies we made supermarket sweep look easy. We stacked our trollies with every conceivable item on a Lidl shelf from the practical fairy washing up liquid to oooeer, what’s this? Dont know. Looks good. Lets try it. Mac n Tosh even got a few treats from piggies ears, chicken feet, chappie pouches and dog treats. Our £50 shop had Vin looking a tad full. Good job we have a 5 ton limit.

With £50 to spare, I though Craig might treat us to a lush lunch but nah, LPG, diesel and tobacco. The nearest I got to an extravagant meal was the whiff of a microwave hotdog rammed in a stale bun at the petrol station. But you know what, its been that long since I ate out, I drooled over the hotdog, how bad is that. Time to tuck in to a Lidl donut and put on a sad face.

Border Crossing & more bumpy roads

Border Crossing & more bumpy roads

With all the talk of new countries and new currencies, we were all giddy and excited. We where off to the mountains and in a strange way, I was looking forward to the dangers of the mountain roads. As much as I hate the thought slowly teetering across a crumbling mountain pass with terrifying vertical drops, I find combination of terror and excitement rather exhilarating.

The Polish ski resorts of Tantra mountains were pretty and inviting with alpine houses draped in summer flowers and neatly mowed lawns. Outside the main resorts, the sleep villages looked the idilic retreat for the elite with large villas and exclusive spa resorts. The array of ugly billboards still lined the road side but instead of Media City bargains, BOGOF cosmetic procedures dominated the headlines. As we entered Slovakia, the billboards disappeared and an uninterrupted tree line took over. Immediate, it felt different.

Tatra Start

We arrived at Tatranska Lamnica and staring us straight in the face, the Tantra mountains. Wow they looked fab, but as I stepped out of Vin, I felt slightly cheated. We’d spent a whole day getting here (including 3 hours in Lidl and 1 hour drooling) but the drive had offered none of the mountain cling on, ‘oh shit’ we are gonna die, adventure that I had hoped. Lacking adrenalin, I grabbed a donut, looked around before we acquainted ourselves with the multi tiered car park. Negotiating a flat parking spot with prime viewing requires skill.

By 9pm it was pitch black and by 10pm the night sky was alive with twinkling stars. As Mac n Tosh watered the wild flowers against a black outline of mountain peaks, we looked up. The sky was so black and yet so bright with shining stars. It was amazing. Its seems such a long time since we admired such a clear night sky. A glimpse of a shooting star. Whoa. We smiled. This is one beautiful place. We stepped inside and slept at the foothills of the Tantra Mountains.

Parking Spot

Parking Spot

Our sleepy spot: Ski lift car park, which is advertised as free all day and night. With no one around we have the pick of bays and uninterrupted view of the Tatras.

Wild Camping GPS position Tatranska Lamnica N049.167700, E020.270363

Route: Krakow to Tatranska Lamnica, Slovakia


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11 thoughts on “Shooting Stars, A Welcome to Slovakia

  • Lin

    All sounds fantastic. Not impressed with the stale bun though you adrenalin junky ! I would be petrified on the roads you crave if I wasn’t behind the wheel. Then again I’m a terrible back seat driver 🤔

  • Ju

    Shame you missed the salt mines. We avoided the crowds by sleeping in the car park and going in early.
    If you are in the same car park as we were in the Tatras there is a hotel behind the car park (downhill in the direction of the town). At the front is a large conservatory which is part of the restaurant. See if you can twist Craig’s arm for a meal out there. It was cheap, really tasty and the tables in the conservatory are made to look like horse sleighs.
    We ordered off the local specialities menu and it was yummy.
    Ju x

    • Bumble Crew Post author

      We will keep the salt mine until next time, a good excuse to return.
      Think we are at the same car park but the wifi is so slow (painfully slow), I cant ses pictures on your website. All the cafes and bars and shut by 5pm? It is so quiet here.

      • Ju

        If you need faster WiFi, try nipping over to the tourist info at the bottom of the ski lifts. WiFi was superfast there, I spent a lot of time loitering around there on the benches downloading maps for Poland and the Baltics on my phone 🙂

  • Robert Ellis

    So you’re off again ,hope you have a pleasant journey ,Bulgaria is quite cheap for meals out ,a lot of places you can eat outside ,so you can take Mac n Tosh ,but I don’t think pigs ears are on the menu ,it’s Lidl or Aldi for your tea ,The people are very friendly,Yes I can see you ending up in Greece as that was on the agenda when you started you’re journey ,Good Luck wherever you go loads of Luv DADxxx Dudes xxx