After crossing the Polish Beskids we had a brief respite before we tackled the Low Tatra’s, a relative term as they have peaks of 2000 metres. We were really lucky with the weather, we had sunshine most days, the autumnal leaf colours and Slovakia were beautiful. We stayed in small pensions and sampled the local cuisine which was very tasty, filling and excellent value.
The towns were incredibly quiet and the pensions we stayed in almost empty. The scenery was amazing with long climbs over the foothills of the mountains then dropping down through deciduous forest ablaze with colours into the next valley.
We had a couple of big days to get us through the Low Tatras climbing more than a kilometre a day, through small villages smelling of wood smoke, fueled by amazing hot chocolate so thick you could stand your spoon in it.
Banska Bystrica is a pretty city with a museum to the Slovak resistance in the war. It has a large section on the Czech and Slovak fighters who joined the RAF and fought against Germany during the second world war, but very little on the Soviet occupation.
From there it was downhill to the Hungarian plain. We were sorry to leave the mountains. We’d had a fantastic time cycling through them, but winter was on its way with both temperatures and leaves falling .