Europe Day Ten: Slovakia: A Long Walk And A Visit To The Botanical Gardens In Kosice Before The Storms.

Europe Day Ten: Slovakia: A Long Walk And A Visit To The Botanical Gardens In Kosice Before The Storms.

Europe Day Ten Slovakia Kosice morning botanical gardens (13 of 40)
Previous Post
Next Post

I awoke early again on Thursday morning. It  was my last full day in Kosice, Slovakia. I wanted to visit the botanical gardens in the city before I left.  . The botanical gardens in Kosice were located about 2 1/2 mile from  the Hilton Hotel where I was staying.  It rained during the night.  Rain was  forecast later in the afternoon, with the possibility of  severe thunderstorms. 

I wanted to walk to the botanical gardens before the rain  And I wanted to walk so I could explore some more of the city . So,  after having my coffee I was on my way. It was still mostly cloudy when I left the hotel.  I made my way  though the streets of the Old Town . I again saw, and admired,  it’s most famous landmark, St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral.  

After walking  through the quiet streets of the Old Town I entered the busy streets of  Kosice.  Here I found the motor vehicles, buses and trolley cars and the hustle and bustle of city life. But it wasn’t  a crazy traffic like New York or Los Angeles. It was a busy but orderly traffic. .

I turned onto  Komenskeho Street, the route I decided to take to the botanical gardens, 

The first thing I noticed as I walked along  this main  street was how well maintained and clean it was. 

There were also a lot of trees and flowers in the yards if front of the businesses and  large apartment buildings along the street. 

It seemed there was a small park  or  green space on every block.

It was a very “green” city. 

As  I walked, I was reflecting on my trip  to Slovakia and my search  for the villages were my great-grandparents were born. I reflected on my memories of my Slovakian maternal grandfather.  I never knew his wife, my  maternal grandmother.  As I was thinking of them I saw this jade plant on a widow ledge.  It immediately  reminded me of my paternal grandmother. She had one in her house that she told me I brought  for her when I came home from the hospital at my birth,  I think she wanted me to visit her hometown next. I may return soon and visit both. 

After my  reflections on my grandparents  I continued my walk . The street became more residential  as I approached the botanical gardens. 

The  the homes were well maintained and almost all of them had flower

and vegetable gardens. This front yard was planted with strawberries. 

I saw no  litter  or thrash here or anywhere  on my 8 mile hike that morning. 

Once again, however, my lack of planning came back to haunt me. When I arrived at the botanical gardens I discovered they didn’t open until 9 a.m. I tired, unsuccessfully to get the guard to let me in.  It was only 7:30 a.m.  The watchman at the gate spoke no English and kept pointing to the sign that said 9 a.m. I had time to kill and I was hungry so  I tired to ask him where I could get some  breakfast but I don’t think he understood. 

I walked in the direction he sent me and came to a grocery store.  I decided to explore the grocery and roamed the aisles,  

until I was approached by a manager and said no photos allowed. .

I left and roamed the store and continued  my search for a restaurant. The few I found were closed. 

The botanical   gardens and a small zoo in Kosice were part of a nearby university. I  found some students who spoke English  and told me that there was no restaurants  nearby that were open this early. 

So I roamed around for an hour, stopping to rest  on some of the many benches and parks in  the neighborhood. 

You can learn a lot about a city by observing  the apartment buildings, and homes of the local folks. And the ones I saw were so clean  and well maintained they said a lot about this beautiful and and quiet city.

I did finally found some graffiti on some of the building but at least it was artistic graffiti.  

Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with more photos from my walk to the botanical gardens. Europe Day Ten  Slovakia Kosice downtown walk June 9 2022. 

At 9 a.m. I returned to the botanical gardens, purchased my ticket and began my exploration of the gardens, As in most of  the botanical  gardens I have visited  there were  many flower beds and garden.

Many of the trees, flowers and plants were identified. The rose garden was beautiful, 

as  was a pond with water lilies. 

I walked through the flower gardens for a while and then followed a  wooded trail into the hills above the city.

I walked under the canopy of leaves formed by  large old  trees along the  trail. The woodlands echoed with the songs of the many birds fluttering in the branches.  I roamed these  beautiful wooded areas and was able to capture images of a few of the birds  including  an Eurasian nuthatch,

a song thrush, 

a European robin 

and a Eurasian blackbird. I saw a few other birds and here is a link to these photos in a gallery on my blog website. . Europe Day Ten Slovakia Kosice birds botanical gardens June 9 2022. 

Leaving the woodlands  I came to a building with a number of bee hives. 

The bees didn’t seem to mind me approaching to get this photo. 

I walked back to the lower gardens and found it crowded with school children visiting the gardens and the small zoo. I next visited the butterfly exhibit. It wasn’t as large as the one in Budapest,

but I still enjoyed seeing the many species of tropical butterflies.

I left  the butterfly house, and strolled around the flower gardens again 

 It was now late in the afternoon,  the sun was out and it was hot and I was hungry. I had walked over five  miles so I decided to  leave the botanical gardens and take a taxi back to my hotel. I started walking along the busy street. There were plenty of cars but no cabs.

I kept walking, in the heat, realizing I wasn’t going to get a taxi in this  city.

So I decided I had no choice but to walk the 2  1/2 miles back to the hotel. 

Well when I was still about a 1 1/2 from my hotel, storm clouds moved in again. I began walking faster when I heard thunder in the distance. A storm was approaching and the question would I at make it back to my hotel before the rain. Here is a link to some more photos from my visit to the botanical gardens and my walk back to my hotel.  Europe Day Ten: Slovakia Kosice Botanical Gardens June 9 2022.

I didn’t Just as I got to the cobblestone streets of Old Town the rains started.   And it was a torrential rain. I was near the Pho Viet restaurant  so I ran  inside for lunch and shelter from the storm. It  is where  I would spend the next hour while a torrential rain fell outside.  I had a nice bowl of seafood noodles soup while I waited for the rains to end.  They did, but , when I was  a few blocks from my hotel started again. I sought shelter under a tent but  I was still  soaked .  The rains finally ended and  I finished my 8 mile hike.  Despite the rain, it was another great morning in Kosice.

I spent the afternoon editing photos and packing . I was leaving Kosice the next day and spending my final night in Europe at a hotel near the Budapest airport. I was very concerned about getting my COVID test to allow me to return home. I planned to spend my last night in Kosice roaming the streets and having a last meal in Old Town. Well the weather had other plans. The storms continued all evening. And some were severe. I enjoyed the thunder and lighting but I had to stay in the hotel where I had a nice meal of salmon   and mixed vegetables. I fell asleep as the thunderstorms raged outside.

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

This is my first post