Last weekend our destination of choice for interesting sights (and great food, of course) was Trenčín, a moderate-sized town in the northwest of Slovakia and the northernmost Roman city in modern Slovakia.

Trenčín’s castle is visible upon approach, and from most points in the  town, as well.

The town also has a surprisingly intact (former) synagogue. In 1942 most of the 1.600+ Jewish residents in the town were deported to camps in Poland, never to return. The building is now the municipal arts center, with a small prayer room for the town’s dozen or so Jewish residents.

The castle complex is massive, parts of which date to 179 AD, and like the town itself has a dizzying history. Though the outer keeps are not well preserved, one can wander the grounds and enjoy the beautiful views overlooking the Carpathian Mountains. Tours of the more “modern” palace are offered, but our timing was a little off to take advantage of the opportunity.  Next time.

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And enjoy the views we did. Having worked up an appetite from all that castle climbing, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant near the base of the castle. Slovakian pirohy, soft pillows of sheep cheese topped with sautéed bacon and a large pitcher of fresh made lemonade.

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Walking back to the car we paused to look inside the  church, and were surprised with its ornate, but delicate beauty.

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By this point in our ex-pat life we really can not discern one Baroque church from another, or remember who reigned from all but the most notable castles and palaces. I won’t even guess at how many pirohy, pelmini, or pierogi we’ve eaten in the last four years alone, either. But none of that has even been a goal. These outings are about the journey, not the destinations, and ours is a journey filled with beautiful places, friendly people, and so very much to be inspired by and to appreciate.