After a few days in Zakopane we headed back to Slovakia to see one last city on our way to Budapest. Košice is the largest city in eastern Slovakia and is famous for its well preserved historic center and underground old city ruins re-discovered during street construction in 1996.
To get from Zakopane in southern Poland to Slovakia we took a bus to the Polish border and walked across the border to another bus stop about 100 meters away, in Slovakia. This is the only place in the Tatras that it is legal to cross the border by foot. From there we took a bus and then a train to reach Košice. During our bus ride through the Tatras we had nice sunny weather which afforded us beautiful views of the mountains. We wish the weather had been nicer so we could have spent more time exploring the Tatras.
The center of Košice is dominated by a large plaza that is surrounded by well preserved historic buildings. In the middle of the plaza is the 14th-century Gothic St. Elisabeth Cathedral which dominates the downtown. Near the cathedral is the access to the underground ruins. We went here as soon as we arrived and walked around in an extensive network of water canals and building foundations.
The following day we went to St. Elisabeth Cathedral to see the inside and climb the bell tower. Most of the bell towers we have climbed only go part of the way up, but here we were able to go all the way to the top for some great views of the city. We also explored an alley off the main plaza that sells goods from local artisans, including a blacksmith, a leather maker and a potter, some of who we were able to see working.
From here we headed south and into eastern Hungary.
***click to enlarge photos***