Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bloody Hell

Day 505
I was up early, but lounged around in bed a bit before getting my act together. Sam joined me for breakfast but then headed back to the hostel while I headed to the train station.

Soon I was on my way to a small town called Trencin. It was really adorable. There was a big castle over looking it and a really cute town square that reminded me of all the cute little towns that I went to in the Czech Republic. There was also a small renaissance fair going on. After some lunch I found the tourist office and asked for directions to the castle I wanted to see. It turned out that both my guidebook and the internet were wrong, I was in the the wrong town. Surprise, surprise.

I had to get back on the train and got 30 minutes closer to Bratislava to a small place called Nove Meto. My goal was to see the ruins of Cachtice Castle. In the late 16th century Countess Elizabeth Bathory killed and tortures as many as 650 women here. She felt that bathing in their blood would keep her young. Bathory got away with murder until she started to kidnap girls of the lower gentry. As the investigators explored her castle they found evidence of her brutality everywhere. Women were found dead or close to it, drained of their blood and covered in wounds. Bathory's noble rank prevented her from the death sentence, but she was held under castle arrest for the rest of her life here. She is the most prolific female serial killer of all time.

You might wonder why in the world I would want to seek out such an obscure and gruesome ruin. The castle's obscurity is definitely part of the appeal. However, I also learned about Bathory in a class at college called Human Cruelty about serial killers and psychopaths. It's always interesting to see something that you learned about in school.

Nove Mesto didn't have a tourist office so I went to the only museum for directions. The nice woman there drew me a map and I was off. After about 10 minutes of walking I was out of town. Soon I was in the woods and I had three paths to choose from. I went with the wider and less dark path. I walked and walked and walked. No one was around and I began to question how smart it was for me to be there at all. I mean, what if Bathory's ghost was around? After over 90 minutes of walking I hadn't found anything and just headed back. I definitely didn't want to get caught there after dark.

Once back in town I caught the next train back to Bratislava and was there in no time. At the Bratislava train station I bought my exit ticket for the next evening. On the way back to the hostel I grabbed dinner.

I had wanted to take advantage of the large number of movies to choose from at the hostel, but everyone was so loud that I couldn't hear it so I just went to my room to watch stuff on my ipod. I also charged my ipod and got upset when my wall plug thing sent out sparks and stopped working. It was definitely time for bed.

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