Europe 2009 – A Fine Day in Trencin


Since I didn’t go to sleep quite as early as I have the past couple of nights, I was still a bit tired when the sun woke me up. Also, there is a disco across the street from the hotel that goes until way past 2am and the people and the music are quite loud. So my sleep wasn’t as restful as i would have liked.

I got online to check email and facebook. After a while I sent Lucy a text about what happened the previous evening. That is when I discovered the communication error and the fact that her work was in a completely different city and she would be taking a train to Trencin later in the day to see me. I felt better knowing she was ok and that the language translations just got messed up.

So, I headed out to see the castle. I went through it the last time I was here. But it was raining then and I couldn’t get as many pictures as I wanted. It is cloudy today, but for the moment it is not raining. We’ll see how long that holds out.

When I got to the ticket window (which is half way up to the castle and it is quite a climb) the lady showed me the schedule for tours. There is an English tour at noon. They didn’t offer that on my last trip. So I will hang out for a while to do that one.

They have a little snack shop at the castle. I purchased a sausage and coke (great breakfast) and had a leisurely snack and caught up on my journal entries while I waited for the tour time to arrive.

There were only 3 of us on the English tour, me and two ladies from Canada. When the guide started talking I became worried that this would be an extremely boring tour and maybe I should have just taken the Slovak version. He was doing the looking in the air and rocking back and forth routine that people do when they have said a speech a hundred times and don’t even have to think about what they are saying.

As the tour progressed he became a little more involved in what he was talking about. Also, one of the ladies asked a lot of questions and he had what sounded like reasonable answers. The paintings and rooms were pretty much how I remember them, but now I had a better explanation of what the subject matter was. There are English descriptions on the paintings, but very limited at the most.

At the end of the tour you are on your own to climb the main tower to get the bird’s eye view of Trencin. It is an extremely narrow stair case and it gets more so towards the top. Luckily there are landings with little displays to give you a break from climbing and to allow people to get out of each other’s way.

I had noticed, on the times we were outside moving from building to building, that the clouds were getting thicker and darker. By the time I made it to the top I was once again faced with a cloudy view of the region. Maybe someday I will get a clear day on the tower. The next time I probably won’t do the full tour and just the tower.

Once I came down from the tower I wandered around the lower castle area. Since it wasn’t raining, they had several activities going on. There were falconers, a blacksmith, an antique rifle demonstration and archery. Because of the archery setup, you couldn’t get a close look of the prison tower on one corner of the castle. They described an oubliette, but also stated there is no documentation or stories of anyone every being put there to die. Mostly it was a deterrent to anyone that might think about disobeying the head of the castle.

I think I’ve seen everything and taken a lot more pictures than my last visit. So I’m going to head down and see what’s to eat. Of course, since the tour started at noon, it’s already 1:30pm. I’m not that hungry, since I did have the sausage before the tour. On my way down I find the covered staircase that was mentioned during the tour. Originally the only way into the castle was from the forest side. But in later years the stairs were added.

I also stopped to take a few pictures of a church and I found a small gate that led to a forest park on the back side of the castle. I thought about exploring it, but wasn’t sure I wanted to spend a lot of time just making myself more tired. I guess it’s another excuse to come back here in the future.

Once back down in the old town, I discovered that many of the shops and restaurants are closed on Saturday. At least they are at this time of day. Maybe it will pick up later on, as long as the weather holds off. I found a covered cafe and had a beer. I can hear the thunder in the distance. I really don’t want it to rain today. I was hoping for a nice night to walk and talk with Lucy. We’ll have to see what happens.

I didn’t want a big meal, so I stopped by the little shop in the passage and grabbed a premade sandwich and a coke. Just about the time I made it to my room the rain started. For a while it was pretty hard and it didn’t look like it would stop any time soon. But eventually it slowed to a small sprinkle.

I just stayed in at this point. I’ve seen the city in the rain and didn’t need to experience it again. Later on I received a text from Lucy that she was about 1 hour from arriving. So I started getting ready for a night out.

It was still sprinkling when Lucy made it so we opted to go to a local pub and just sit and talk. There was a small loft with a couple of tables and we found our spot there. She is a quiet girl, but after a while she started to open up and talk more about many things.

We sat up there for a few hours until it was time for her to go. She is working north of the city at a camp for physically disabled children and it takes almost 2 hours to get there. So she needed to get over to her parents home for some rest before getting up early for the return trip.

We walked back to my hotel and took a few pictures of our time together and then said our goodbyes. I’m sure I’ll return to see her and Slovakia again. I’m just not sure when.

After returning to my room, I got cleaned up and laid down to sleep when my phone started buzzing to let me know I had a message. It was Lucy texting me that she was home and going to sleep also and she thanked me for the evening. She is a very sweet girl and so considerate. I returned her message and went to sleep.

Author: Alan (Travelin' Al) Stiebing

Alan Stiebing has been traveling for over 20 years. He blogs and photographs his experiences and passions for and other digital and print outlets.

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