The One about Cycling in Slovakia and Being Surprised

Eva has never been to a wine cellar. That almost sounded like an insult to Honza who comes from a wine region of Moravia in the Czech Republic. Coming from Zakarpattia Ukraine to Slovakia we were following river Latorica. Then we got to Tokaj region with the easy cycling paths and plenty of wine fields. We tried our luck and when we saw an owner of the cellar walking in with two tourists we asked if we can join them. He smiled and said: “Of course, bring the glasses.” We truly did not cycle with the wine glasses but because we wanted to recycle our glass jars we carried some pickles and horseradish jar and marmalade jar.

We walked to the cellar and tried the best wines of the regions. Luckily, the owner strictly does not use any sulphurs in his wines and so we tasted the real stuff. In the cellar, it is nice and cold. You can drink a lot and still do not feel tipsy but once we got back up to see the sunset, the head started to turn.

I got a message from Joseph, my boyfriend, saying I must be in Kosice, the next town where we were going, for a lunchtime. He gave me an address I must look for and did not say much more. We made our bed on the top of the cellars and went to sleep so we can wake up with a sunrise. In the morning I still felt tipsy but there was no time for being grumpy, there was a surprise waiting for me in Kosice! =)

We cycled the forest paths towards the Izra lake. The terrain was so bad that we managed to get there by almost 11 am. We had a little rest and met the group of fathers and kids who were celebrating the birthdays and days without wives. They invited us to to the table, we must have cheered with one who celebrated his birthday and we ate almost all the food they prepared for their kids. But definitely, it saved us. We continued up the hill towards Slanec and then down to Kosice. The city where my grandfather comes from.

We were coming late and I did not know if my surprise will be waiting there for me. When we arrived at the address which Joseph gave me, it was just a block of flats. I did not know what number I should ring and so I stood there and shouted Hello around to raise the attention. With no response, we thought we must be in the wrong place. We were asking around if they know the address and somebody sent us to another street saying it looks like it could be the vegan cafe which was just open nearby. I thought it must be it. Floriánska 1408/28, 040 01 Košice, Slovakia, Vegan Bistro VE.DOM.E

I came inside the cafe and asked if there is something for me. They brought me a letter which Joseph sent there some time ago. When we sat down they started to bring the food. He paid for our lunch. Moreover, it was a peanut curry which I was dreaming of these days so much. We were still quite tipsy and we ate lots of food at Izra lake, nonetheless, we finished our lunch and had a coffee and dessert and I was the happiest girl on Earth.

We had a great rest in Kosice. We went to a cinema and a concert and decided to stay one more night. We stayed with a Couchsurfing host who recommended us some weird stuff to see like the tall tower from the era when Kosice was the industrial city. The coal used to be transported in the air between the towers and the fence underneath the wagons of coal were protecting the streets from the fall of the coal. Nowadays, only the courageous ones are climbing to the top.

From Kosice we continued along Hornad river and water dam Ruzin towards Muran and Slovak Paradise National Park. We visited Dobsinska Ice Cave. Unfortunately, all days before the visit was very hot weather and we thought that the visit will be just a great opportunity to cool down. Just the day of our visit the weather changed and it was very cold.

Slovakia was the best country for me to cycle. Maybe it was also influenced by the fact that my mum comes from Slovakia but I have not really travelled the country and felt like I know nothing about it. I enjoyed the nature and cycling paths which were easy to cycle and well labelled. Slovakia is the country of mountains and forests, hills and meadow flowers. I loved it.

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Author: Michaela Davidova

artist designer: maker, pinhole camera photographer and designer, project coordinator and of course a dreamer and traveller!

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