In brackets, as this is a side-trip to Slovakia’s lovely second city. I’ll sit out Easter in a place big enough for some restaurants and bars to be open, and I’ll resume the main ride from Prešov on Monday. It would be a terrible waste to come to Slovakia, one of the world’s great places to drink beer, and have only closed pubs within cycling radius. It’d be like going to Lord’s at Christmas.
Anyway, the cycling wasn’t challenging: only three hours or so of leisurely, wind-assisted, largely flat riding on main and back roads almost totally devoid of traffic. As with yesterday, nobody was around. Perhaps they were all at church, painting eggshells, or watching Shrek on telly.
I started south out of town along the Eurovelo 11, which is very consistently signed as it cuts through Slovakia. Because it isn’t signed at all. It’s a work in progress, as anyone taking it out of Prešov soon finds, when it abruptly turns into a building site.
Once out of Prešov, it was a succession of typically Slovakian sights: village churches, hills, roadside shrines to Jesus, small towns with grocery stores and bars, er, electricity works, and, um, quarries.
I got to Košice about lunchtime, finding its delightful historic centre similar to Prešov: very, very quiet, but with just enough places open this Easter Saturday to have a choice of snacks and drinks.
The next two days, based in an inexpensive guesthouse on the edge of town, will be spent sightseeing – not only the wonderful range of architectural styles in the main ‘square’, but also the inside of a period cafe or pub or two…
(Miles today: 26)