We were looking at goods sold in the first store we noticed located just by a parking lot. Hmm... the salesman was very busy reading newspapers and he didn't pay any attention to us. So, we ignored him as well. Was he a friend of a monster-lady from a parking lot?
I noticed that in some esp. old and not renovated (= usually not private in real) stores there were quite often ignorant and non-sympathetic salesmen/saleswomen in Slovakia. Luckily it happened to me only a few times during my trips to Slovakia.
Don't buy anything there = let they go bancrupt ASAP.
The same may happen in Poland as well but very, very seldom nowadays as all stores are private in Poland now and there is big competition on the market.
What is HUI? Hiking under influence (of booze).
In contrast to DUI (driving under infuluence), HUI is allowed by law and even socially accepted unless you don't behave and get too drunk to move alone. But remember: hiking trail to the top of the castle maybe to difficult while HUI.
We didn't do HUI in Oravsky Podzamak although Kathy drank her funny, small coca-cola light can bought in Oravska Polhora which helped her a lot, I suppose :-).
Just in case... there are some other soft drinks available in Oravsky Podzamok usuful after too many hard drinks: first of all mineral water and various juices (but never orange). Energetic/sport drinks (like Isostar, Red Bull) maybe dangerous in that case!
It is not so easy to take a good picture in bad weather, dark daylight and in sunny days as well if you notice large contrasts between shadows (trees for example) and sun-lighted areas.
My top 5 advices:
1. on sunny day avoid taking pics in midday, better just after sunrise or before sunset,
2. avoid making pictures with objects of large contrast (white and black),
3. use 100 DIN film at sunny days and 400 DIN at bad light (or change it in your digital camera if possible),
4. use manual white-black balance if possible and if you know how to do it hehe,
5. keep smiling :-))) and follow the links below.
- Digital Photography Review - the world's best internet service on digital cameras;
- ShortCourses - a complete guide to digital cameras, digital photography, and digital video;
- Digital Photography. The Textbook - for beginners in photography,
- photo.net - one of the world's largest photo portals online.
Have a great fun :-)
Better don't go to visit the castle after almost all night party with a lot of cool and hard drinks unless you are as strong as we were, especially my women. Luckily I couldn't drink (almost) at night as a designated driver.
The trail to the top of the castle hill was not very long but quite steep. There was no other transportation than on your own feet.
Btw no access for wheel-chairs as well (cobbled way, then stairs).
There were quite many tourists visiting the castle in October (on a little rainy Saturday) that is out of the high season. I can only imagine what can happen there in sunny weekends and holidays in June, July and August.
I would rather skip this place on Slovak and... Polish (a lot of visitors are from Poland) holidays and in weekends from July to August esp. at sunny days.
The castle is visited in small groups. I think that you may wait looong first to buy a ticket and then to enter the castle. Add jammed parkings (not many area there), long waiting time in a few restaurants. The only advantage is that you can easily meet more people that time.
The tourist trail to the castle goes up and it's made of cobblestones (naturally rounded stones). Hmm, better to have good walking shoes or trainers (with no heel or at least low-heeled shoes) to hike there.
The cobblestones are especially slippery when wet that is after rain, so - watch your steps.
Most of locals including waiters in restaurants and salesmen/women in stores we met couldn't speak English or they knew English only a little. Not so easy to communicate unless you know Slovak or... Polish/Czech language.
Polish language is similar to Slovak and Czech one but it does not mean we can understand everything. Luckily for me a lot of people working for tourists (esp. waiters in restaurants) knew usuful Polish words. Some restaurants offer menu in English. Haha, they often put a sign in English on doors or front windows of restaurants and stores: OPEN or CLOSED.
Some stores are opened exclusively during summer season that is June (or May) to August (or September). We found a few stores including this funny souvenir store on my picture closed with no info when they open. Btw "suveniry" means souvenirs in Slovak language.
But - no worries - you always find a store opened to buy at least postcards there. And I can imagine crowds of tourists and long queques in say July and August there.
The area down to the castle looks a little neglected - I mean especially not well kept walkways and parking lots. There are unpaved parking lots and walking trails there. There may get muddy after rains as you can see on my picture.
But it's not a problem for most of VT-ers, I am sure and the castle is worth of a visit anyway. Just watch your steps and esp. your kids - they often love a mud, I suppose :-)
There was wooden watch-box (is it correct name for the construction on my picture or my next English neologism?) by the parking lot (or better to say a square designated for stopping cars and buses) down the castle. A lot of sheets of paper were sticked all over its glass windows.
I took the picture you can see and then a closer picture of the parking price list (look at my transportation tips) and suddenly a lady came out off the wooden box/small cottage and started to cry why can I take a picture there (it was not a museum although the wooden construction looked very old :-). Hmm... it's a family page = I can't quote her words although in contrast to Kathy I understood the monster-lady words quite well. Finally I ignored the rude lady - did I do something wrong?
Crazy character or just worse day she had? E-mail me whenever you meet her (small blondie approx. 55 yo with very loud, aggresive voice easy to recognise hehe).
Now, I think that the neglected parking lot was run by a city not a private company = nobody demands good quality of service which in real is relic of former Soviet communist system. Haha, we had a lot of monster-ladies in empty stores in Poland in say 80'. They (monsters not stores :-) either became extinct, like dinosaurs, after Soviet communism collapse or they changed and started to smile to their consumers. But in Poland "even" in public offices/companies you are treated well for a few years. In Slovakia? I don't know, just one unsympathetic case not to generalize.