We weren't planning a trip to Slovakia this year, but when an opportunity cropped up to combine some Esperanto work with a bit of travel, we decided to take it. Tim booked some unbelievably cheap flights to Košice, the only catch being that the plane was departing at 06.10. So we had a rather early start to the morning, leaving home at 02.30 to drive towards Luton.
Luckily, everything worked like clockwork with the journey. We made good time on the motorway, found the airport parking and jumped on a bus to the terminal straightaway. The only slight hiccup was that my toiletries got selected for a random liquids check at security and - for reasons which absolutely baffle me - my conditioner got flagged up as being in some way unacceptable, with the result that it was confiscated
We just about had time to get some breakfast at Luton before boarding our Wizzair flight to Košice. Wizzair planes are slightly nicer than Ryanair, so we had a decent amount of leg-room and the flight passed quickly. Before we knew it, we were touching down in Košice and queuing up to get through passport control.
Collecting our baggage didn't take very long and we were in luck because an airport bus was scheduled to arrive soon. Arrive it did, but it turned out to be one of those airport buses which don't have any space for people to actually put luggage, so we ended up having quite a cramped journey into the centre of town.
We're staying one night in a hotel here and I'd booked a hotel which wasn't far from the main railway station, which is where the airport bus had deposited us. The hotel had said we could arrive early and leave our luggage at reception, so we set off to do that. Once we got there, we found that our room was actually already available, so we were able to check in unexpectedly early
It turned out to be a really nice hotel. As well as a bedroom...
...we've got a really nice separate living area with lots of comfy seating.
I didn't dare sit down for fear of falling asleep straightaway. Instead, we set out to make the most of the daylight hours in Košice.
We've actually been here once before, back when we spent a week in Slovakia in summer 2016.
Back then we were staying in Poprad and came to Košice on a day trip, trying to avoid rain in the mountains.
Rain definitely didn't look like it was going to be an issue today; there was a beautiful bright blue sky.
I didn't recognise everything from our previous visit, but I definitely remembered the cathedral.
It's absolutely huge and has a really pretty roof.
We probably managed to get some better photos of it today than when we were here in 2016 with grey skies.
The cathedral isn't the only attractive building in the centre of Košice.
Not far away we found this rather unusual turreted building.
And there were lots of colourful painted buildings all the way up and down the main street.
It was a really nice place to stroll around and enjoy.
And definitely not overrun with other tourists on a Friday in November!
Towards the end of the main street we found what looked like a plague column.
There were some other really pretty buildings around here too.
Once we'd finished exploring we set off in search of somewhere to get some food. We'd eaten somewhere good in Košice before, but didn't manage to track that down again. We did, however, find another nice restaurant where we were able to get chicken schnitzel and chips, plus some amazing nutella-filled pancakes for dessert
Then it was back to the hotel room to catch up on some sleep after the very early start!