Tom & Shirley's Page -- 2016 Vienna and Slovakia
  Shirl and I had set our sights on Slovakia for our 2016 trip to Europe.   Friends questioned “why Slovakia”?   Our response- because it is somewhat off the US tourist map and we really enjoy these up and coming places.   Additionally, Slovakia has some awesome scenery, great historical sites, a good tourist infrastructure, is safe and still reasonably priced.   However, it is not an easy place to fly into directly from the US, at least not from Chicago/O’Hare, our go-to airport.   Fortunately, there are non-stop flights to Vienna so we decided to go that route.   We would stay in Vienna for a week and then drive an easy 40 miles to enter Slovakia where we stayed for two additional weeks.
  On a previous trip we had spent a few days in Vienna but really didn’t immerse ourselves in the city so spending a whole week here this trip just felt right.   And right it was indeed.   We really enjoyed getting reacquainted with “The Imperial City” by visiting some of her great palaces, museums and attending church concerts.   We also had time to soak up some local culture by just people watching (accompanied by a good deal of beer for me, wine for Shirl and some great food for both).   We also visited a local out of the way winemaker’s Heuriger.   Our accommodations while in Vienna were thru VRBO - the Brigittenau Apartments, an apartment located out of the city “center”.   It was very clean, well appointed, quite comfortable with a little outdoor space.   The neighborhood had all the amenities we needed too. It took about 20 minutes to get downtown by tram (2) which was not a big deal to us.   The daily ride gave us a chance to check out other parts of this great city.  
  We rented our car in Vienna and drove across the border for our two week stay in Slovakia. Week one was in Bratislava, the capitol of Slovakia. We found this little gem of a city clean, easy to navigate, very safe and full of nice restaurants and interesting places to visit. Our apartment was booked through Ambiente Apartments that I found on TripAdvisor.   Although lacking character it had indoor parking and was pretty close to the city center.   The bus stop was practically right outside of our door and it was very easy to get around on public transportation.   Again, Bratislava is a delightful little town and we would be happy to recommend it anyone thinking about exploring Slovakia.  
  Our second week in Slovakia was spent out in the ‘hinterlands’; in central Slovakia near the village of Pliesovce, in a rural and sparsely populated area of rolling hills and dense woods.   Our accommodation was a small private house called the Swallow Holiday House that I found on TripAdvisor.   A comfortable place with a decent kitchen and bath and offers an outdoor patio area with grill.   The owner lives on the property and was very helpful in recommending places to visit on day trips out and about.   This place was very quiet and peacefully with the closest town of any size about 20 minutes away.   And there were some cows and goats roaming around to keep us company.   We loved it!  
  This is a quick overview of our trip to Vienna and Slovakia.   Below are a just a few of the photos from this trip.   If anyone wants more detail or info on anything just email us at luvtworoam@yahoo.com   We always like to help other trip planners as many have provided help and good advice to us.  
    ~Tom & Shirley
 Click On The Thumbnail To See The Full Size Picture
 (Use The Back Arrow To Return Here)
  Vienna, Austria
  First day in Vienna…a serious planning session is in session. Our Vienna 'home' for a week. Shirl talked me in to trying a man-bag.
  Central Vienna on Kärntner Strasse. Many of these pretty flower shops dot Vienna. Popular are horse-drawn carriage rides at the Hofburg Palace on Michaelerplatz.
  Not sure this little guy would have packed well. We are Tom & Shirley, on Albertinaplatz. Johann Strauss statue in Stadtpark.
  Shirl in a quiet quarter of the Stadtpark. Photo shoot taking place at Kunsthistorisches Museum. This street performer was quite talented.
  We caught a concert at the stunning Baroque St. Anne's Church. We love old medieval doors and passageways. Enjoying some downtime at Heuriger Kierlinger. Heurigers are wine taverns native to Eastern Austria where a local winemaker serves his new wine.
  Bratislava, Slovakia
  Hviezdoslavovo square is one of many nice pedestrian zones in Bratislava's Old Town. Hand Crafted fair where Shirl picked up a couple of nice table cloths made by this lady. Yes, love abounds in Bratislava.
  Slavin memorial and cemetery is dedicated to the Soviet soldiers that liberated Slovakia from the Nazis towards the end of the second world war. After much research Zlaty Bazant Lager was my personal favorite. What can I say? A picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
  This is Peter from the fun Authentic Slovakia Village pub crawl. Interesting 'Woman and Bird' statue in park around below Bratislava Castle. Passage way leading to the beautiful 14th century St. Catherine of Alexandria Church.
  This great old building hosted Bratislava's oldest pharmacy "Salvator" until 1996. This guy is called Cumil (the watcher), one of numerous whimsical statues spread around Bratislava. The Klastorny Pivovar (Monastic Brewery) was offering free samples of their new brew.
  Pedestrian only Michalska street with 17th century Michaels Gate Tower in background.
  Pliesovce, Central Slovakia
  Our little cottage for a week in Pliesovce, rural central Slovakia. Interior of our cottage. View from our cottage.
  These are the direction markers out here in rural Slovakia. The former mining town Banska Stiavnica is one of the most beautiful and in historical terms one of the most interesting towns in Slovakia. I like these old onion-domed roofs that were popular in Slovakia.
  Ready to tackle the educational trail of Milan Kapusta along Terézia Ore Vein near Banska Stiavnica. View along the trail. Slovakian country side.
  We visited the Vlkolinec Settlement. The 55 completely intact houses, school, structures show a traditional Eastern European community frozen in time. There are numerous cool wooden carved sculptures at the entrance to the Vlkolinec Settlement. This very special wooden Lutheran church in the village of Hronsek. Law required it must be built within a year and entirely from wood without even iron nails.
  Statue on the main square of the village Kremnica. We saw these memorials in almost every Slovakian town we visited. Taking the Slovak Mining Museum tour in Banska Stiavnica. Bad day for this 'booted' couple. It's not us.
  Is this guy Vito Corleone from 'The Godfather' or what?