Slovakia (1): Košice
When I dropped off my bag at Schiphol this morning, the check-in agent squinted at my confirmation, hmmed and aahhed a little and then pointed to where it said Košice and said “so, you’re travelling through to, uh, this place then, are you?” He then looked a little apologetic and said, “sorry, I don’t know how to say it”. The same issue has been troubling me every time people have asked at work where I’m going. Having listened carefully to the announcement on the aeroplane, the answer seems to be something along the lines of “Ko-shee-suh”.
My flight itinerary took me first to Prague, where we had a wonderful view of the city, the bridges over the River Charles and the castle on the hill as we came into land. After a short wait, I boarded a 50-seat turboprop (ATR-42), which had the distinction of being the first plane I’ve been on with business class seating at the rear. This makes some sense when you take into account that the door was also at the rear of the plane, with cargo loaded at the front.
Košice airport seems to be quite a quiet place – we were the only plane on the tarmac (there were a few light aircraft at a hangar), and I was in downtown Košice within 10 minutes of leaving the terminal. My acommodation for the next two nights came as a surprise – I booked the hotel on recommendation of the photo tour organizers a couple of months ago, and didn’t look too closely at the details. Instead of the hotel room I expected, I have a spacious, air-conditioned apartment.
After dropping off my bags, I headed off into town, only a five minute walk from the hotel, to find some dinner. The main street was lined with little terraces where you could eat or have a drink – most seemed to be linked to restaurants somewhere out of sight. After a stroll down to the church and back, I settled on one at random, and had a very good steak with goose liver and almonds (I was tempted by the “irreplaceable salad”, but the steak won out).