Slovakia - Bardejov & "Fango in the morning, Tango in the evening" in Bardejovské kúpele

Slovakia - Bardejov & "Fango in the morning, Tango in the evening" in Bardejovské kúpele

I look for a nice parking space. Most of the time it works out quite well, but this time, for some unknown reason, it doesn't quite work out. The first place turns out to be a car park next to a busy main road in Bardejov, the second is the tourist bus park in the spa town five kilometres away and the third is at a disused open-air swimming pool. We then end up in pitch darkness in front of a municipal or town hall and a post office with (fortunately only) nightly chatting youths.

But why Bardejov? The city is supposed to be a historical jewel. And since we are increasingly fascinated by Slovakian city centres, we make a small stop here. The town is surrounded by the picturesque landscape of the Topľa River and the Lower Beskydy Mountains.

Bardejov was considered a centre of wealth early on, as evidenced by a Cistercian monastery and numerous craft guilds. It is interesting that in the 14th century Bardejov was allowed to use the title of a royal free town. A bronze sculpture of an executioner in the main square is evidence of this period. Whether we like it or not remains to be seen.

The historic centre of Bardejov, which (once again!) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, captivates with its medieval charm. The market square and the imposing town hall form a fairytale backdrop. The special thing about Slovak city centres is that they are traffic-calmed or even car-free. And the market squares are also quiet, despite the beautiful weather. Here a family, there a few old people. Hardly a trace of tourists. People speak to us in Slovak as a matter of course, but usually respond to our apologetic "Sorry!" in the best English.

We take a short break in the church courtyard café and then walk around the city wall to drive the calories out of our bodies. This only works to a certain extent, because the wall is incomplete and the calories from the cakes are an obscene amount.

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So it's on to the not far away Bardejovské kúpele. This is the city's spa, after all. There is a royal flair here. So they say.

I don't want to let the royal flair stand. It reminds me more of a collection of real-socialist FDGB buildings. FDGB? This way. For real socialist questions: I'll be happy to answer them in the comments.

Yet Bardejovské kúpele has an impressive history. As early as the 15th century, cures were regularly offered here. Because of the healing springs that bubble up here.

The spa quickly gained an excellent reputation that extended to the courts of important European monarchs. Historical personalities such as Marie Luise, the wife of Emperor Napoleon, the Russian Tsar Alexander I, the famous Empress Elisabeth, also known as Sissi, and many aristocrats sought rest and healing here.

The geographical location of Bardejovské kúpele, surrounded by extensive forests, provides an ideal microclimate. The mineral water of the spa, one of the most significant in Europe, is particularly suitable for treating diseases of the respiratory tract, the cardiovascular system, the digestive tract and physical and mental exhaustion. We took a little sip and already we feel quite well.

The heart of the spa is the spa colonnade, which is connected to the Kurmittelhaus. We actually wanted to have a massage here. Unfortunately, they didn't have an appointment for us. We were told that the water from the healing spring would be enough. But such a little massage would really have done us good.

The audience here is interesting: Actually, except for a few tourists like us, everyone is well past retirement age. Everyone walks around here dressed in summer clothes and especially with some kind of gym bag over their shoulder. Later we learn that many come here for some kind of treatment, but live in the nearby town or in one of the two hotels here in town.

The spa-wellness spark doesn't really want to jump out at us, and the Sissi monument doesn't manage it either. So, thanks to the healing water in our stomachs, we continue our journey, completely recovered, to enjoy another little pitch odyssey.

But all's well that ends well: once again we fall asleep sheltered in front of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But that's another chapter.

pure life

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Merci for "travelling with us

Here you can find our future lectures:

Road trip realities: How we manage to live in a campervan for years.

14 September 2024 in Zellerreit, Mühlthal 1, 83533 Edling, east of Munich globetrotter-treffen.de

27 September 2024 in Basel, ELCH neighbourhood centreinformation will follow

24 - 28 October 2024 Two lectures at the Suisse Caravan Salon

Camels, cultures and contrasts: travelling through mysterious Persia in a camper van.

24 - 28 October 2024 Two lectures at the Suisse Caravan Salon

Life-pure-lecture-Vanlife  


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