We set off from Krakow with what looked like a long haul to Budapest, while it was long we found another gem like Dresden. Our travelers also gained a clear understanding of how the EU has effected safety on European roads. Buses & trucks are tightly regulated in the # of hours that can be driven in any one stretch. So even though we were just 40 minutes from the town Martina wanted to visit in Slovakia, our driver indicated our bus would automatically stop if we tried to stretch the hours before stopping. We gained an unexpected stretch break and a few travelers found some items they might never have found. We resumed our trip through the Tatra mountain chain enroute to Banska Bistriczka in Slovakia and what a gem it was!
The little town, almost just a village was beautiful. We parked in the parking lot of the local museum on Communism & WWII memorials. Our walk into the town square was fairly short if up a slight hill. The square had a beautiful fountain in its center with statues on either end. A few churches at the top of the square; while cafe’s, shops and various businesses including a few banks lined either side. Fortunately all the shops and cafes took Euros so students used what they had from Berlin or credit cards to get through lunch. Mac and I had the best meal of the trip a Sheep Cheese pie. It was incredible. Travelers found perogies, baquets and other delectable items to satisfy their hunger. After 2 hours we climbed back on the bus and headed on to Budapest.
Many times it’s these little gems like Dresden and our Slovakia town that students really remember and talk about when we return. Touring exposes students to so much culture and history they just can’t gain in a classroom.