Visiting Orava region in Slovakia as an American tourist
So about a 3 hour drive from Bratislava is where we made our base camp in the mountains. It was a cabin in a sort of village. Containing a fire pit & grill, the guys were happy. The house had all of the basics, except wifi. There was GPRS for emergencies but virtually no other way to contact the outside world. And while we were told (as we set off on our walk) that the closest grocery store was 500 meters away. In reality it was 5 km. That's a big difference! Grr.
A Robin Hood themed restaurant. You trace the steps of his life story by walking around the restaurant and seeing all of the trials and tribulations that he went through.
Hiking. If I were to come back it would be for this. We only did a day hike but there are plenty of trails for those feeling active.
Rafting. We did an hour long rafting trip that told of the history of the area. Unfortunately for us, while they advertise in English, the guides didn't speak any. So we got bits and pieces through our friends translation.
History. Maybe the highlight of the region and trip was Orava Castle. Made famous for being featured in Nosferatu (1922) Orava Castle is a well preserved castle built in the place of a former fortified fortress high on the rocky cliffs overlooking the river. Thorough tour with a free app you can download in your own language for each room. We were highly suprised by the accent that came across the earphones in the English version. Maybe I'm just used to the person being British but this woman was unmistakenly a southerner.
The Orava region is not at all like Bratislava. Great if you want to get away from it all and experience history and nature. Expect lots of driving to get basics like food. And be prepared with a handy translation guide. Overall worth the trouble.
How we got there. We flew into Vienna, took public transport to Bratislava and from there rented a car and drove to Orava.