Travelogue: Slovakia – The Tatras Mountain & Kosice

We had breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant the next morning. The selection was limited and it seemed like it was on first come first served basis since they didn’t really replenish the food. So if you come late, then nothing to eat lor. I didn’t know breakfast was included in our stay, so after we were done eating I was like like eh? Don’t need to pay ah? So we decided to just walk out of the restaurant and see what happens. lol

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The breakfast was actually not bad, just too few too little 😦

We set off for Tatras mountain soon after. It was a short drive to the mountains. Unfortunately at that time of the year, the lake was still frozen but I could imagine during summer when the water is clear and reflective of the mountains, how beautiful the scene will be. No wonder when we were in Bratislava, people were excited when they learnt we were going to Tatras

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The Tatras and the frozen lake

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We drove through Banská Bystrica then visited the historical town of Banská Stiavnica, a UNESCO heritage site also known as the mining town. We did a short walk through the town to learn about its past before we finally moved on with lunch

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View from the cemetery. The view would be better without those trees

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Wandering parts of the town

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There was this wall where you can learn some story of the town’s past. But I was not listening half the time cos it was already 2pm and we had not eaten. All I could think of was.. can we go eat already?? lol I was so listless and the effects of the motion sickness wasn’t helping

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We finally got our lunch at 230pm. I was overjoyed. Monarchia was a place our guide recommended and it looked like it was a pretty popular with locals. But perhaps I didn’t seem to have much luck with them that day

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Ordered coffee with icecream, they gave me coffee with whipped cream

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Chicken Breast with Asparagus steamed with Butter, served with Rice €7.90

Ordered chicken with grilled vegetables, they gave me chicken with rice. SIMI SAI

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Chicken Breast with Grilled Vegetables served with Butter Sauce €7.90

But eventually, they changed all my orders to the correct one for me

Anyways the food here was not too bad and prices reasonable. Plus free wifi. Can consider if you are in the area!

Monarchia Restaurant

Štiavnické vrchy, Andreja Sládkoviča 53/2, 969 01 Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia

So with more energy now we continued walking the town, visited Holy Trinity Square and this tiny mining exhibition near the square where you could see how mining was like donkey years ago. I think it was really not easy to be a miner. And you will be thrown into prison if you are late for work (according to the guide). See, punctuality, how important

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Holy Trinity Square

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Mining exhibition that is located inside the information centre

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My friend commented I looked too happy to be a miner. LOL

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Cold, wet, dark, dangerous

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One of the many mining entries to the underground we encountered

With this we completed our 2-day tour and proceeded to drive back to Bratislava. I think the tour is generally okay. The friend seemed to enjoy it a lot cos you got to learn a lot on the history of the place and the country. The guide is very knowledgeable, informative and enthusiastic to share. But I felt like sometimes he talks non stop, to the point I get a headache literally. HAHA. Just be prepared to load your trip with lots of snacks cos meal time is very flexible. You don’t know when you start eating

We chanced upon a street food festival back in Bratislava where we decided to join the longest queue at Twister bakery. And then we saw that the vineyard we visited was participating in the street food so we dropped by to say hello, only to find out it was his brother and not the guy that brought us around. It was a damn awkward and paiseh conversation we had. They look damn alike i tell you. The friend asked if they were twins. LOL

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Super cute food truck

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img_5888Twister €4.30

It was actually not bad. Soft chocolate bread dusted with cinnamon, mixed icecream, chocolate, strawberries, nutella and wafer sticks. Everything a kid will like

We had breakfast at Urban House the next morning before our train to Kosice that leaves at 11.33am. Urban House belongs to the same group as Urban Bistro. We found out when we took a look at the menu and we were connected to the same wifi. Honestly the menu is pretty limited, not the best choice for breakfast I will say. But they do good interior designs. It makes the whole place very chic and photogenic

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Flat White

The coffee here has a nice aroma, but it is really acidic. Not my kind of coffee, but I needed that caffeine

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Egg Royale Double €8.90

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Their poached eggs were more cooked which I preferred, but I still don’t like poached eggs. Ha. The salmon was a little too salty and the bread was just burnt. Still, it was a rather filling breakfast

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American Pancakes €4.90

The pancakes were good, but were drenched in too much berries and sauce it was just overwhelming

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I think clearly this place, looks better than it tastes =/

Urban House

Laurinská 213/14, 811 01 Bratislava, Slovakia

We went back to check out earlier cos there was a marathon happening in town and we don’t know if we were gonna get stuck in it. And the recept asked why we didn’t get to Kosice from Poprad cos it’s so much nearer. Well that was a good question cos the tour didn’t offer that option. So off we head to the train station again to continue our journey to Kosice!

So we had the same train route from Bratislava that will eventually take us to Kosice. But this time round we had the first class cabin, which comes with free water, coffee and tea and wifi. Oh the crew even offered us newspaper in Slovak, which we can’t read obviously but it was quite funny when she sheepishly offered us and we just laughed as well

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Bratislava Train Station

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The mobile cart will come around from time to time for you to get your snacks or if not, you can always go to the restaurant cabin to have a proper meal. It was a very long journey, accompanied with some intermittent wifi, some blogging and stoning. So after a very long train journey, we took a cab from the train station (€5) to our hotel, Family Vila Regia which was located pretty centrally

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Where our hotel was located

To find the hotel, you walk through this walkway and go up to the second storey where the restaurant and check-in is located. The rooms are located on the third floor. We like our room. Actually I don’t remember what were the rooms I had booked for the entire journey so to see the rooms when we arrive was a surprise. Ha. The only dread was lugging our luggages up stairs after stairs

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The friend was hungry so we made haste for dinner. On the way to dinner, we passed by St Elisabeth cathedral and was drawn in by its size. The cathedral is impressive in many ways. It is the biggest church in Slovakia and it’s beautiful from all angles. It’s like this cathedral is just photogenic

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St Elisabeth Cathedral

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It was so huge it couldn’t fit into my iPhone frame. ha

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And it also makes a good backdrop for some shots 😀

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St Michael’s Chapel

In contrast, the chapel looks very tiny next to it. lol

We wanted to dine at Republika Vychodu but it was so packed we decided to go back to our hotel to eat since they had pretty good reviews as well. I think we were the only diners in there so we had all the attention. Ha

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Roasted Duck Liver with Caramelised Shallots and Red Wine Sauce €4.90

I ordered this thinking it would be similar to foie gras but clearly this was a shock. The texture was grainy. It felt like eating chicken liver from what you eat for chicken rice, really not something I fancy

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Macanka-Slovak Traditional Mushroom Soup with Sausage, Bacon and Croutons €2.90

The soup was similar to the one we had at Hotel Sobota which tasted pretty normal but the friend really liked the croutons

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Small Pieces of Beef Sirloin with Roasted Sausage, Bacon, Tomatoes and Peppers done in Spicy Way served with Potato Pancakes €13

I think the waitress laughed at me when she saw how shocked I was with the mains. Still I must say, this was really delicious. The beef sirloin was tender, the whole dish was flavourful and the potato pancakes were a delight. It was super yums

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Chicken Breasts stuffed with Cheddar Cheese and Ham on Spinach Leaves served with Roasted Potatoes filled with Creamy Dressing €8.90

The chicken was crisp and succulent. I think this was executed nicely with the meat sweet and juicy, complemented with the melted cheese

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Homemade Pear Coconut Strudel with Caramel Sauce €3.50

We had their recommended item, a strudel for desserts which was a lovely dish. I like how balanced the flavours are. The caramel sauce wasn’t too sweet, yet you can still taste the sweetness of the pear and also the fragrance of the coconut. Oh not to mention the perfectly baked pastry skin. I would recommend to give this a try as well

I think this place serves some pretty decent food, and we had 10% off the bill for being their hotel guests as well! Yay!

Villa Regia Restaurant

Dominikánske námestie 599/3, 040 01 Košice, Slovakia

Woke up to breakfast the next day at our hotel where we got to select a main alongside some bread, pastries, coffee/tea and orange juice. The breakfast was pretty decent and filling and soon we head out to explore the city

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Bread and pastries

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Scrambled Eggs with Bacon

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Ham and Eggs

There was a mini market just outside our hotel so we took a stroll and saw really cute Easter items but they were too delicate to be brought home. I think they might break even before reaching Singapore =/

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A mini market

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Flowers, Easter rabbits and eggs for sale

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According to Slovak’s Easter tradition, guys would buy willow branches and use them to hit the girls and in return receive gifts from them. When the guide was telling us, she was like yeah you get hit and you still give chocolates. And in addition, the guys will throw cold water over girls. LOL

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But the hitting is a sign of good luck. The friend and I were pretty amused

We headed to the tourist information centre where we got ourselves a city map and we combed all the attractions in half a day. This is how small Kosice is, even though we didn’t really know what some of them were. We just looked at the map, GPS, oh this is an attraction, take photo and move on. ha

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Nice to meet you. Welcome to Kosice 😀

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Some of the attractions, with most of them located centrally together so every 2-3 minutes you walk, you can find one sight

It was a hot and sunny day and we needed somewhere to hide. So we found ourselves at Raňajkáreň Rozprávka, a quaint cafe located at Hrnciarska street for some cakes and tea. I love this place. The whole place has a certain charm about it, from the detailed decoration to its homemade bakes.

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Shops along Hrnciarska street

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Poppy Seed Cake €4.90 (Daily Special)

The cake was labelled Mak. So I asked the waitress what flavour is this? The waitress thought very hard and told me Mak. Then I was like ohh.. with lots of ??!! in my head. Walao, it’s like saying nothing can. And later I google translated to Poppy Seed -.-

But despite not knowing what flavour is this, we gave this a try. It was actually a pretty interesting cake, with feels of acai berries in a cake form

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Carrot Cake €1.80

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My favorite is definitely their carrot cake for being so soft and moist. It is worth a try!

Raňajkáreň Rozprávka

Hrnčiarska 17, 040 01 Staré Mesto, Slovakia

So after our cake adventure we decided to explore St Elisabeth tower which we walked past the day before. And it became so warm we got ourselves an icecream for €0.50. I was like did I hear right? Ha.

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But it tasted not quite like pistachio and it melted super fast. Not very satisfying at all 😦

The tower was located next to entrance of the cathedral and costs €2/pax to head up. The tower was baroque style, narrow, dimly lit and 160 steps high. When we finally reached the top, the friend told me her legs got no strength. I told her I’m out of breath. Lol

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Entrance to the tower

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The view from the top was pretty nice. And we got to enjoy the breeze for awhile before we started climbing 160 steps down and took in some sights during sunset

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Watcha’ looking at?

This statue that was near the cathedral gave me lots of fright at night. I was telling the friend this 黑黑漆漆 thing really 人吓人吓死人. Cos when you walked at night you can’t really tell what it was

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Balloons and popcorn

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Main street

And then cos we had nowhere to go, we decided to go back to our hotel to chill before heading out for dinner at Republika Vychodu. Yeps, we just have to try it. And I’m glad we did! The crowd was visibly lesser but we saw a whole row of tables being reserved. They also had a range to choose from; breakfast to salads to mains

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Slovak’s Apple Cider

The apple cider was less sweet and a little sour. And towards the end it tasted like medicine

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Oxcheek with Potato Spinach Puree €9.50

The oxcheeks tasted absolutely amazing. Tender, moist and flavourful. The mushroom and thyme sauce was robust and goes well with the dish. Someone just need to recreate this back home, maybe with less mashed potatoes. Ha

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Chocolate Cake

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Oreo Caramel Cheesecake

We had a cake each, cos greediness calls for it. Pretty decent cake as well, though her caramel was a little overwhelming and my chocolate was a little gao

It’s a nice little cafe worth popping by but I like how the first 2 pages of their menu is advertising themselves for being the no 1 cafe on TripAdvisor … though the food here is honestly pretty decent

Republika Vychodu

Hlavná 108/31, 040 01 Košice, Slovakia

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Ending the night with a night view of the cathedral

And we wrapped up Kosice the next morning by chilling at one of those random tea and coffee place at the sidewalk after breakfast, just cos we had covered the city and ran out of things to do for the next 2 hours

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Chose the same breakfast again

It was really quite a good place to chill at Clematis Tea & Coffee and people-watching under the pretty awesome weather. The friend commented we had become very European. We learnt to just chill and do nothing. Lol

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Tea and more tea

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Tea from Martinique Island €2.99

Chinese Green and White Tea with Papaya, Pineapple and Sunflower Petals, Complemented with Peach aroma

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Posing with my birthday cake ☺️

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Just chill, and do nothing

The tea here was actually pretty good with a fruity, sweet lingering aroma and a wide range of selection to choose from. They had so much varieties when the waitress came around, I was still not done with my selection. lol. They had a menu on coffee as well. The range is actually quite amazing

Clematis Tea & Coffee

Hlavná 45/84, 040 01 Staré Mesto, Slovakia

We head back to our hotel and caught a cab to the airport (€12) which was about 15 minutes drive away. The airport is small, and when we arrived there was no counters that were opened so we thought we had to self check-in but we couldn’t find one. So we asked around and realised the counters were yet to be opened. Wah damn chillax this town. And then we waited to board our propeller plane that was so tiny we could just climb up like that, which will take us to our final destination, Prague!

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Our tiny plane

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The ride underwent some amount of turbulence

I think Kosice makes a good base if you need to travel to elsewhere. But a day is more than enough. I felt like we had so much time we don’t know what to do with it. It’s a compact town with most of its attractions situated together so you don’t necessarily need to walk very far. The food we had here was generally pretty good and we were satisfied. The oxcheeks really left a lasting impression. 😀

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