I knew this Fulbright adventure would have really great and really hard times but that we would have lasting memories of the 5 of us together, the “Cordova McCarthys”. (There are a lot of Pittsburgh McCarthys so our street Cordova is our identifier).

This weekend has been filed under really great times. Last night, after so much thoroughly happy time together, I asked everyone for a picture and they agreed.

Sporting our new Slovakia shirts while playing more card games. The kids ended the night by excitedly announcing that we have a 5 hour train ride tomorrow for more cards and fun.

Since we had two hotel rooms, John and I said our “goodnights“ over text and marveled at how much we all have enjoyed each other *and* how much we will miss this when we blink our eyes and they are adults living their own adventures.

But back to our adventure to Košice….

These are our “we are in rural Slovakia and not worried about Coronavirus” faces! But of course we are appropriately worried.
He’s becoming the only one who is willing to pose for pictures ❤️

Košice’s train station was beautiful.

(Bratislava could improve their train station game)

Each of our kids have taken on expert roles for these trips. Veronica is the best at figuring out the best deals for local transit (Košice was $1 euro for a whole family for an hour). Ryan knows how to find outlets wherever we go- trains, hotels, etc. Joe is the source of humor for us all. John sent a family text about how someone was likely unhappy to have a reservation in a car on the train with us and Joe read the text aloud for all to hear.

I didn’t translate this comic but laughed as I’m sure it says something to the effect that you should keep your kids quiet on trams. We keep failing at that.

John is really an expert at finding great hotels close to old towns. Our hotel in Košice was beautiful. It was small and likely family-run. Every time we left the hotel, we turned our keys in so that they could keep track of their guests. Some might think that’s intrusive but I felt good knowing that someone is keeping an eye out for us.

Old Town was so much more beautiful than I imagined. I didn’t know much about Košice but I was quickly completely enamored by the city.

We stopped into a tourist center to get a idea of what to visit while in Košice. The following ensued…

We walked out with Slovakia t-shirts.

Ryan’s first favorite thing to do in each European city is to climb a church or clock tower. Košice was no exception and so the boys and I took to it.

Another beautiful Cathedral roof
The way down is almost always scarier than the way up.
There were some beautiful spots to stop in on the way down.
We are waving to John and V on the way down. They have hit their capacity for towers.
It still amazes me that I am climbing 15th century towers….

We went into the Cathedral which was captivating.

We walked around old town and found some really fun stores and an American Diner to eat at.

His jacket reads “Tough choices make good stories.” That made me laugh as we are faced with tough choices here all the time and are writing about the stories!
Ryan described the burgers as “a pizza meatball hoagie” but he still enjoyed it. The milkshakes were delicious according to the kids.

We realized that we had enough time to see the medieval prison history museum. The place was fascinating….and disturbing.

The first building was put up in the 1200s! It was originally a residence before it turned into one of the entrances to the city and then eventually a torture chamber and prison.

13th century sword.
All the mayors of Košice

The boys lightened the mood by coming up with an imaginative game of prison warden and prisoner.

It was a little intense and scary!
Veronica was on the first floor and decided not to come down- which was a good choice. She was standing above me.
A typical 18th century dining room- we laughed about the primitive hand washing.
The lists of criminals and their crimes.
The original wall to the city- again 13th century.

After the museum, we decided to walk to a park right next to old town. Each street was so quaint!

It had this little trampoline that entertained them for quite a while.

Our walk back produced more beautiful night views of the city.

Kinder (surprise) eggs are a thing here- the kids can’t get over the fact that they actually exist.

There was also a shopping mall close to our hotel. There are so many shopping malls in cities we have visited. It was chilly and the kids weren’t ready to go to the hotel for the night so we walked some more in the mall.

It was time to retreat to the hotel and play cards. I loved this time so much that I am putting this picture in twice.

We all slept well and got up to enjoy our hotel breakfast before walking around just a little bit more.

Joe in his imaginary world all by himself.
This was my favorite coffee shop!!
I miss my bike
Hot chocolate

We were sad to say goodbye to Košice and this wonderful weekend together. But we once again enjoyed a train ride across nearly the whole country.

Ok so now we do officially match the trains

I continue to be grateful for the great times. And during the hard times, because they pop up often too, I try to remind myself about blinking. I am watching them grow up before my eyes. And I know I will miss all of it.

One thought on “Košice

  1. Glad to hear you are staying alert & taking care. It’s really wonderful your family can be together like this, enjoying all the “sites”, and spending quality time together. Can tell you are cherishing it. It’s a good respite from your normal, busy lives. Glad you can do it!

    Liked by 1 person

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