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Smolonice Castle

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On arriving at Smolonice, we were transferred to the castle by bus. Although it was very hot, it was pleasant to sit in shade in the courtyard and view what was happening.

There were peacocks and peahens wandering around. And there were demonstrations of falcons and other hunting birds. How the handlers prevented encounters between these two sets of birds, I don't know!

There were musicians in traditional costume, playing at the end of the courtyard.

The volunteers had set up a table selling train souvenirs, and I bought the T-shirt. In one corner of the castle there was a large room set up for wine-tasting, and wine-selling. We tried one or two, and although the wine was very cheap indeed, so was the taste. Many of the Viennese on the trip were buying, however. We did look at some of the decorated plates, but the thought of hand-carrying one to Britain and then home put us off.

Eufron asked about the age of the castle. "Oh, it was finished in 1978" was the reply. Seems a shoe-manufacturer had wanted a castle and decided to build one. Then came the communist takeover, and the building was slowly completed, but the public were not allowed access. With the fall of communism, most of the building was opened up, though a big part is still the headquarters of (I think) the Science Council.

On the return trip, we had the Albatross part way (to Skuty), then a "heritage" diesel as far as Bratislava.

And there we waited.

As on our previous visit, getting out of Slovakia took a very long time. The OBB apologized for the delay - but then, they apologize even if the train is only a couple of minutes late. They do expect the trains to be on time.

Back to Vienna

We'd been drinking litres of fizzy mineral water on the train, but now we were hungry. We decided to go from the Sudbahnhof directly back to our hotel and get dinner there.

But it was Sunday night, and the dining room was closed! The desk clerk suggested a local restaurant, but that was closed too. We continued along Rotensternstrasse to Nestroyplatz, seeing a McDonalds in the distance. But across the street was an Italian restaurant, with families sitting around tables on the sidewalk. We gratefully collapsed and had pizza and beer.

And so to bed.

Click on thumbnail for larger picture. For most, I can provide higher-resolution photos by email, if needed.

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Courtyard of castle, Smolonice: falcons and other hunting birds
Photo 1075_05 on 21 Jun 2002
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Courtyard of castle, Smolonice, and tower
Photo 1075_04 on 21 Jun 2002
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Courtyard of castle, Smolonice, with musivians
Photo 1075_03 on 21 Jun 2002
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Courtyard of castle, Smolonice
Photo 1075_02 on 21 Jun 2002
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Courtyard of the castle, Smolonice
Photo 1076_23 on 23 Jun 2002
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Courtyard of the castle, Smolonice
Photo 1076_22 on 23 Jun 2002
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Courtyard of the castle, Smolonice, with musicians
Photo 1076_21 on 23 Jun 2002
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Courtyard of the castle, Smolonice, with musicians in traditional costume.
Photo 1076_20 on 23 Jun 2002
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The castle, Smolonice
Photo 1076_19 on 23 Jun 2002
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Courtyard of the castle, Smolonice
Photo 1076_18 on 23 Jun 2002

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This page last updated on 27 Sep 2010 21:22:01.