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055: to Levoca. 2012/6/25

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[Levoca in the rain = photos.]


I called a number of places in Levoča when I was at the pension in Smokovec.  The recommended budget place is unfortunately full, otherwise a dorm bed with breakfast sounds really great.  The tourist information lady was very kind to help me, and after some futile phone calls she suggested me to give it a shot at the tourist info in Levoča.  The one place the Levoča tourist info told her is a certain private accommodation “Gina,” whose owner is not of the same name, by the way.  I called that one by myself, and the ower could speak definitely no English at all and very few German words – she couldn’t even understand “Monday” and “Tuesday”! and when after 10 minutes she started to ask for my phone number, I told her (in German, very slowly) that I will go to Levoča’s tourist info and ask them to call her.  And then she insisted on spelling her name to me, saying that she will be in her own house, which is right next to the place she offers, so I have to call her first…


Ok.  So today I woke up early for the transportation.  Since I woke up early enough, I called Mom yet again.  Then I went for the train (couldn’t find the station for Novy Smokovec and had to go for the one in Stary Smokovec), and changed for the bus.  I couldn’t find the bus, which was parked on the “wrong” platform; luckily two locals (who spoke close to no English) helped.


I arrived in Levoča in small rain.  The way to the center is all up hills, and the woman in the tourist info isn’t exactly enthusiastic to help.  I asked her for accommodation choices, and while she took out a whole folder of listing, she only marked on the free map two choices and told me to go for them.  Well, this isn’t a big town, but I don’t intend to walk around with my suitcase, especially not in the rain, to “try my luck.” I asked whether she could call for me, but she just made a few quick calls and said “yeah, they have free rooms.” I noticed the one she called was actually the LP-recommended one, which is full, so I told her that one is full.  She didn’t believe me, so I had to use my Polish phone to call.  Of course they are full!


She kept stressing “We, don’t, offer, accommodation.” Yeah, the hell I know that.  So how about promoting tourism?


I called the other one she offered.  Also full.  She finally started calling a third place unwillingly.


Luckily there is one nearby that has wi-fi.  She turned to ask me whether I speak German – obviously that’s what the “privat”’s owner asked.  Luckily I do.


Since I can’t count on the tourist information to be helpful, I decided to ask about all the things I need at once.  Wi-fi area? Around the square and in some cafes.  Any recommended diner? Well, see the city [yourself].  How to go to Slovenský raj? She took out a map to point out certain places for changing buses.  To double check with her, I circled a couple of places as I repeated what she said.  Ok, done then.  “Two Euros,” she said, meaning that is the price of the map.  “You didn’t say it isn’t free in advance,” I told her.  She was upset, but in the end she shut up and put the map away.


Viva tourism.


The old lady that runs the pension probably speaks very little German.  Her son speaks more, but even his German is more limited than mine.  Anyway, I got a really big two-room complex with four or five beds, while there are also three couches that can be folded out to become single beds. (Exactly how many beds does a room need?) The price is 10 Euros, but since I am one single person, they charge me 12.  Fine.  There is also a small fridge, a microwave, and even a stove that needs matches.  Two toilets.  This is a room that I have to run from one end to the end to get things.


The wi-fi turned out to be erratic, so the old lady’s middle-aged son took the modem from upstairs (where they live) to plug in my complex.


The town is very small, of course.  Lovely, but small.  I took photos dutifully, although I rather enjoy it, I have to say.  The square and the several buildings are interesting, distinctly different from the Polish ones that I have seen aplenty.  There is a certain significant church, and visitors are admitted every hour.  I checked the photos in the “kassa” (box office), decided I don’t need to see those wooden sculptures with golden paint.


I went to Hotel Arkada (recommended in LP; turned out to be a two-star establishment) to reach its wi-fi equipped restaurant.  I had the Slovakian garlic soup and a certain main.  A Japanese drank his soup VERY loudly and tried to talk to me, asking whether I come from the States or the Britains, but I really didn’t feel like talking.  What I did do was talking to Mom yet again when she got online.


After the lunch-slash-dinner (I have quite some of these these days), I walked to the brink of the town center to reach Lidl supermarket.  The cashier was very nice.  As I got out of the place, a dirty, dark-complexion young lad smiled at me and rubbed his fingers single-handedly, asking me for money.  I ignored him, but he started to follow me.  I turned to stare at him threatening, while thinking in my mind how to intimidate him if he tried to do anything awful – should I smash a bottle and jump forward at him? Or just wave the bottle at him threateningly?


Luckily he went away.


Stary Smokovec – Poprad電氣火車:1.5EUR
Poprad – Levoca公車:1.7+0.3 = 2
明信片:0.3*2 = 0.6
郵票:1.2?*2 = 2.4?


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