Quest for a Parkrun Z Day 5 - Zdiar

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May 19th 2019
Published: May 19th 2019
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Today we have a 5 hour drive to Slovakia for no particular reason other than so the old man can check Slovakia off his list of countries visited. It’s actually only 200 miles, but involves crossing the Tatra Mountains. We plan to stop en route at Oswiecim to visit the concentration camps of Auschwitz.

A visit to a concentration camp turns out to be surprisingly expensive. By the time you’ve added parking, entry fees and a trip to the toilet, it’s over £30. In any event, you’re not allowed in without a guide and the next English tour is in 3 hours time. So we depart for Slovakia instead.

We stop for brunch in a pizzeria too far off the tourist trail for English menus to be an option, so it’s a case of pizza Russian roulette. Because of my nut allergy, I rarely buy food without checking the ingredients thoroughly, but I figure I’d have to be spectacularly unlucky to accidentally order a hazelnut pizza. We opt for a Vampira, which turns out to be a really tasty mixture of salami, onion and masses of chillis on a spicy tomato and cheese base. I’m not sure about vampires, but I shall avoid naked flames for a while, as my mouth seems to be on fire.

We drive the final 65 miles through picturesque countryside, up into the mountains to the Slovakian border. There is no border control but you know you’re in Slovakia when the nice, smooth road runs out and you’re suddenly bouncing around, swerving to avoid potholes.

We reach our guesthouse, which is deserted. To be fair, it’s 3 pm and we told the owners we’d arrive around 6. There’s not much to do in this remote area in the pouring rain. So we go to the shop, buy beer and snacks and consume them in the car, hoping the landlord appears before I piss myself.

We’re in luck. A man turns up and gives us our keys. The apartment, which cost £31 for the night, is huge and clean and bright. It has picture windows and a balcony overlooking the mountains. We had planned to go for a walk, but the view from the room is so beautiful it hardly seems worth moving.

Zdiar is like a ghost town. According to Google, there are several restaurants, but none appear to be open. So we spend the evening sitting in our room enjoying the view and a healthy supper of beer and Oreos.

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