We're sitting in the bar of the Artin Hotel in Bardejov, Slovakia. It has been raining non-stop since we crossed the border. And I mean RAIN in capital letters. We decided to break camp from the chaty (cottage to you non-Slovakians) this morning, since we didn't know how long it would take us to drive to meet our ancestry researcher on Thursday morning. The ground around the chaty is soggy, squishy, mossy, puddly. The temperature has hovered around 5 degrees C, which as far as I can compute is about 41 plus or minus a few. Not your typical August weather by any calculation.
The landscape is velvet, as if covered with wall-to-wall golf courses. Rolling hills enveloped by misty clouds before the rain cuts the view off completely. The chaty is at the base of the Tatra Mountains, but we can't see anything. We have only see what is in the brochures. We decided to do "rainy day" things. We went to the ice caves. Sounds like the right thing to do when it is 41 degrees out, right. NOT. But at least it wasn't raining inside. Huge limestone cave with areas where ice formations build up. Tours are led though every 15 minutes in numerous languages through the able assistance of audio-visual equipment. Hundreds of people snaking through at one time.
When we exited, the rain was continuing. Next on the agenda was lunch. Slovakian food is hearty, if nothing else. Lots of meat, potatoes, bread. Very filling. Good and hot to warm us up. We headed for the skazen (open-air museum) in Pribylina to see village houses and other structures that had been moved onto the site. Pictures to follow in a post soon. The rain was moving us along at a quick pace. But Fergus was allowed to accompany and was quite enthusiastic about the quaint Slovakian architecture.
As we sit in this bar in Bardejov, we met a couple of gentlemen. Both live in the USA, but were from around here in Slovakia. They use this location as a base for their European travels. I asked about the RAIN. They said the entire month of August was glorious. Right, just until we arrived.