Austria was closed from Friday evening until Monday morning (National holiday on Saturday and the usual Sunday Shutdown), so the impetus to keep from going insane with boredom was strong. Thankfully our neighbors to the north and east were open, and at the ready with entertainment.
Saturday’s outing took us to Breclav, just across the Czech border. I have mentioned on several occasions that Central Europe needs little reason to bring out the alcohol, and in Saturday’s case, the motivation was a celebration of the tomato. Tomato ketchups, tomato sauces, tomato chutneys, and tomato sandwiches tempted visitors to the small, but delicious festival.
What did I say about the alcohol? By noon the Bloody Mary table at the festival looked wasted, pun intended.
When combined with a quick visit to Tesco for a few provisions (the parking lot of which was amply filled with Austrian vehicles, I might add. Hypocrites, I might also add.), and lunch at my favorite border restaurant (the parking lot of which was also filled with Austrian vehicles), our outing was the perfect light escape from my shuttered adopted country.
On Sunday we set off for adventure, to find the geographic point where Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary meet with a side visit to one of our favorite museums, the Danubiana Meulensteen. The plan was to approach the Tri-Point from the Hungarian or Slovakian side beforehand, as both seemed closer on the map to our museum destination.
To be on the safe side I paused at the Hungarian border for a vignette should I happen to land on a toll road and was directed to what seemed like an abandoned building. Jack asked, “Do you want me to go in with you?”
Not a completely abandoned building, thankfully, but instead occupied by someone who clearly could have been former Stasi. I wrote my license tag on a scrap paper and handed over 3.000 Hungarian Forints. Vignette in hand, we headed off. Within moments, Hungary! That’s where the fun ended, alas, because all routes to the Tri-Point had us traversing either restricted roads or across seemingly impassable railroad tracks, and none of us knew how to shout, “Don’t shoot, we’re just crazy Americans” in Hungarian.
Down but not out, we decided to visit the museum and plan a new re-con afterwards. Back into Slovakia we went. The Danubiana never fails to disappoint, and the combination of modern art and the warm breezes from the Danube made our spirits happy.
Lunch in a small village near the museum that we discovered on our last visit also gave us time to plan our Tri-Point mission.
How many Zander and Forelle filets have I consumed since living here? I have run out of fingers to count, many times over. Nothing beats a perfectly grilled whole fish in these parts. (And yes, Jack took the bacon strip from atop my fish.)
In short order after lunch we crossed into Austria via back roads. Obviously this crossing did not exist during the Cold War; in fact, the crossing is so unremarkable that Slovakia didn’t even bother with a sign!
Through the fields we went. Slovakia on the left; Austria on the right. (Can’t tell the difference, can you?)
Soon we reached our destination.
Thankfully this informational placard could explain some of the Druid-like constructions along the boundaries.
We have little doubt that our lame attempts at Selfies will appear on the Facebook page of the guy in the background, who arrived shortly after we on his bicycle.
Selfies aside, the historical significance of being able to visit this little place was not lost on any of us.