Category Archive: travelling around europe

Annual Pilgrimage to Goral Country

otoolefamilyslovakia

This week Slovakia celebrated its independence from Communism. As it was a bank holiday, many traveled to the capital to protest the government’s lock down policies. Our little family instead made the 2-hour trip to Pieniny National Park, by the River Dunajec, to visit my wife’s father’s family home. We usually do this for All […]

Poland Trip August 2020

p9b

Thanks to the bloody pandemic, our original plan to drive across Europe and follow the Templar/Cathar route across the South of France and the Pyrenees/Northern Spain was out of the question. As was our backup plan to go to Croatia due to Hungary making it impossible for me to pass through. So, right at the […]

Pandemic Spring and Solar Minimum

edwardotooletiltersfacemask

Well, the weather sucks. We get the occasional bout of warm weather with pure blue sky followed by days of torrential rain (and I mean hardcore rain), hurricane winds and sub-zero night time temperatures. And we’re supposed to be in late Spring/early Summer. Two days after planting the tomatoes the temperature plummeted, and it looks […]

Another Year Passes, My 21st in Slovakia

edwardotoolelesnicahill

Our lives out here are completely affected by the seasons and the various events and changes which happen within them, far more so than if we lived in an urban environment. Autumn brings with it the crazy rush to get wood in and prepared for winter, both day and night Red Deer stags cry out […]

Austrian Alps Trip 2019

alpsview

My daughter wanted to see Hallstatt in Austria so we booked a hotel in the Alps and, following a week’s break by the sea in Croatia, made a 12-hour drive through Slovenia and via the incredible Loblipass to Tauplitzalm above Bad Mittendorf. At 1650 metres (5413 feet) above sea level, we were woefully unacclimatized to our […]

Zborovský hrad (Zborov Castle)

zborovcastle

On Saturday I managed to get a little riding in. Scarlet needed her engine turning over so I took her out, although with the heavy side-winds and a temperature just a little too cool for the gear I was wearing, the ride felt more like a chore than fun. I also haven’t changed her tyres […]

Diversity – First Spring Weekend 2019

redsquirreleating

On an extremely spontaneous impulse we decided to stay the weekend at the house for the first time since leaving it on New Year’s Day. It’s been a long, harsh winter this year and having a couple of days of heat and blue sky was too irresistible. Unfortunately, the interior of the house is still […]

Livovská Huta – Minčol Hike

rustysnowhill

Yesterday, my friend Rusty met me in Bardejov, East Slovakia to take me hill walking. I left my car and got into his Toyota Hilux Kingcab, then we headed off on the Stara Lubovna road until turning off onto progressively smaller and worse condition roads until ending up in the incredibly middle-of-nowhere, end-of-the-road village of Livovská […]

Červený Kláštor – The Red Monastery

cervenyklastor

Having finally bought a new car after our other two became unreliable, a Dacia Duster we’ve named Liška (Fox), we decided to take her out on her maiden voyage and do an old fashioned roadtrip as a family. Cerveny Klastor played a large part in my early years here as it is very close to […]

First Motorbike Ride of 2019

scarletbmw650snowslovakia

Last night was bitch cold. It was only about minus 5 but because it’s damp from all the snow melt it felt much colder. But daytime temperatures soared to about plus 7 and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I’d wanted to ride a month ago as traditionally I try to ride at least […]

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