Snow in the Polish Highlands.
We left Krakow this am to head to Hungary. We drove throught the Polish highlands where we could still see snow in the mountains. We crossed the border into Slovakia without a hitch en route to Budapest. My thoughts on Slovakia had been that Bratislava was where the movie Hostel took place and I had no desire to be kidnapped by some pyschopath, sold to some other freak and have my eye plucked out. However, once we started into Slovakia I discovered that not only is it absolutely beautiful, I'm 100% sure I'd love to go back and actually see it as opposed to just driving through it.....stupid Hostel movie :)
As usual I was bowled over by the history of the country, this whole trip really just highlighted for me how I have no knowledge of WW II at all.
The Polish/Slovakia border
I'm still trying to figure out if we weren't taught it or did I just completely not pay attention when we learned about it. I honestly don't remember anything other than Pearl Harbor and Hilter was a really evil guy. Anyway, I found it fascinating that Czechoslovakia didn't separate into 2 republics until 1993, that they wanted to separate prior but weren't allowed as Czechoslovakia was part of the Eastern Block and even though Communism left in 1989 it took an additional 4 years for them to divide. Evidently, the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia was a Nazi state during WW II and the Czech part was occupied by the Nazi's, how weird is that. Anyway, once again I was mesmorized by all of the historic information I learned on this vacation. There were parts of Slovakia where there were these huge concrete buildings that had evidently been plants during the Communist era, that have since shut down but the old abandoned building still stand.
Communist built apartment buildings in Slovakia
It's kind of sad, because it's such a beautiful country to have these huge, ugly abandoned buildings just standing there.
We crossed into Hungary, merely a 10 minute crossing! Tunde who was Hungarian then explained that Hungary had initially fought on the German side during WW II until the government realized what was happening. The government then attempted to pull away from Hitler and actually refused to deport the Jewish population to the camps and also tried to negotiate with the Allied Forces but the Nazi's then occupied Hungary. Hungary was later occupied by Russia and also became a part of the Eastern Block until 1989. Ok sorry enough with the history lesson, but I just find this stuff fascinating, I'm a nerd I know :)
We got to the hotel, it was the standard hotel room we had become accustomed to until you sat on the bed.
First off, it was really, really hard and when I looked under the mattress there was a layer of plywood, lol. Then I made the mistake of sitting on the bottom edge of the bed and the whole thing flew up in the air. We of course got a good laugh at this and oddly enough I actually splept pretty damn good in that bed, lol. After all that excitment we then got ready for our cruise on the Danube. It was a beautiful night for it, clear skies and the perfect temperature. While we were waiting for the boat we all discovered a Traband car, you know the car that's supposedly made of cardboard and plastic, well it was a limo version, really just a station wagon, but of course we all went over and posed with it and took pictures. They are kinda cute actually, lol. I attempted to take pictures of Budapest at night but of course only 2 or 3 of my pics came out but the memories last a lifetime!!