The Pearl of Orava, By Michaela Melounová and Zuzana Habšudová, July 7-13, Vol 9, No 26
It was in the autumn of 1995 when I travelled from Canada to visit my bride-to-be in Dolný Kubín, my first trip to Slovakia. Tonka was anxious to create a good impression of her town and environs, so only a day after meeting the prospective in-laws she took me to see Oravský hrad - the castle. Eventually the bus pulled into Oravský Podzámok and stopped in front of a restaurant.
I looked up - and fell speechless. It was not the first castle I had ever seen in my life, nor the prettiest, but it was, and is, the most impressive. Its towers brushing the low-hanging clouds, its might swelling from the cliff, it engendered true awe. The building was closed for the season, but that mattered little.
We've toured the castle several times since, sometimes with other Canadian friends and relatives, and I still delight in recognising the odd movie scene that has been set in the courtyard. The castle will always be on my list of things to do whenever we travel to the area to renew old acquaintances.
May I suggest one more site in that region?
Between Choč and Dolný Kubín is the village of Vyšný Kubín, and the Vyšnokubínske skaly - two huge outcroppings of rocks with their own legend. The climb is gentle, and the view across the valley toward Choč inspires reverence. It's so beautiful that, had we been able to swing it, we would have built our home there instead of here in Ontario, Canada (nice enough, but no mountains).
21. Jul 2003 at 0:00