Slovak Studios, Singing, and Stephanie

We are in the South of Austria in a castle that was built in the 17th century (1640).


The castle has been managed and maintained by the same family for more than 200 years. We managed to score the suite, and we also got very lucky as the doors will close to guests after tomorrow night. We snuck in just under the wire. I found the property online, I simply Googled “castle accommodation Southern Austria” and about 28 hours later, here we are at Burg Bernstein.


I’ve gotten my little speaker working and we’re listening to Adelle and Ed Sheeran, Steph is singing along after she had a long and luxurious bath with one of the bath bombs from LUSH we purchased in Victoria.


I’ve lost my voice, after singing to ballads such as Bette Midler’s “the Rose” at the top of my lungs while my baby Jane (this is what I call Stephanie-Jane and she’s never much liked it) slept in the back seat of the tiny little rental car.


I am missing the boys terribly, but we video message every day, and I know they are in excellent hands between Phteven, my parents, his mum and of course the irreplaceable and irrepressible Lou (Lolo).


I think I meant to write a review of the castle when I began this blog, yet when I began writing, I realized there’s so much more to share.


Yesterday we caught up briefly with Veronika and Gavin Shoebridge. They are a tall, thin, incredibly good looking couple who live just outside of Bratislava in Slovakia. He is originally a Kiwi, and they met while flatting and lived in New Plymouth for a long while together before moving to Slovakia about five years ago. This was the second time I have stayed with them, and whenever we return to a home and stay with friends (which to be honest, we don’t often do, as we opt for hotels so we can slob around and visit and take our leave) it feels familiar and nice. This couple is incredibly tidy and they’ve built their amazing home from the ground up. Each detail has been meticulously thought out, and every aspect of the home is minimalist to the point of simple perfection.


We had dinner in a cave in the old town in Bratislava the evening we arrived from Canada. Everyone was absolutely shattered, so we were all well and truly asleep by around 8:45pm that evening after a beautiful meal and a very brisk walk through the city.




In the morning we did a few wee video’s that I will upload to dropbox to be edited into something short and snappy. Gavin works at a radio station and is the head of the English speaking department at his station. Rarely have I met a man who loves their job and their life quite so much. His amazing, confident, Slovak wife is a joy to spend time with, and they are both die-hard EV fans.


After getting a short drive and completely unprepared interview under our belt, we went into the city in bumper to bumper traffic.


Upon arriving, we met Gavin’s workmates, all of whom spoke perfect English, and the only thing I can say with any accuracy in Slovak is Ahoy (Hello). I am ashamed of this fact, and will make an effort to learn more before our next visit in the years ahead (probably 2017/18).


So, we got a tour of the upside down pyramid, and Steph and I were invited into the studio and did another off-the-cuff interview with our friend Gavin. We will be huge stars on Slovak English radio, so watch this space!


Then we folded ourselves back into our little clown car, and headed to the castle. I’ll continue my story there, as I always try and keep these to under 750 words so you don’t fall asleep while chewing through my ramblings.


Thank you for reading!