Friday, August 29, 2014

Like a Virgin

I tend to share a bunch of links on Facebook and feel very happy when someone actually opens one and comments.  This type of back and forthing is what makes Facebook "social" for me, especially when one runs out of witty status updates.  When I linked a CNN story:  On the trail of the "Blood Countess" in Slovakia, one adventurous friend responded, "The castle is only 2 hours from here.  Road Trip!" Another adventurous friend added, "Sounds fun" and a plan came together.  Understand that this is all very lucky for me, since I am a "linker" and they are "doers".

The short story here:  The town of Cachtice, Slovakia is home to a serial murderess from the 1600s, Countess Elizabeth Bathory.  The Countess and some ne'er do well servants, murdered more than 100 and possibly up to 1000 local virgins.  Why? Apparently, bathing in their blood (and possibly some cannibalism) was the secret to the Countess' youthful looking appearance, as well as the fast track to lifelong imprisonment at Cachtice Castle (the Countess) and being burned at the stake (her servants).

August 21, 2014 marked the 400 year anniversary of the Countess' death.

The centerpiece of downtown Cachtice:  Countess Bathory and Victim (Wood on brick 2013)

Remarkably smooth skin represented in this Countess puzzle, which hangs in the local pizza parlor 

From Vienna, there are two ways to get to Cachtice, the highway and the byway.  Luckily, we travelled both to enjoy rural, scenic Slovakia with a view to more castles needing restoration.  After locating the right castle, we climbed the hill to take in the restored ruins and gorgeous scenery.  We also got our fill of the spooky vibe, purchased a bottle of the local vintage red in her name and appeared to be among the very few English writers signing the visitor log.

The "linker" lagging behind the "doers" recognizing that they are both fun and impressive travel companions

Obviously, the Countess was one brutal and disturbed criminal who deserved the same fate as her servants, in my opinion.  This macabre history only leads me to the conclusion that the key to a youthful appearance is (in fact) a bottle of red, followed by busting a move to some old school Madonna, topped off with an ample slathering of Oil of Olay.  Like a Virgin!

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