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Slovakia

Slovakia

Curious what backpackers do in Slovakia? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Day222

    Surprise last minute tickets to Mozart's Don Giovanni Opera, sung only in Italian. This was my first ever opera and it was magnificent. How the Slovak singers sang this in Italian was more than amazing to me. I was lucky to have seats in the fourth row so the view was amazing and the orchestra was right there. The opera was written by Mozart in 1776 and was written as a seductive comedy. Don Giovanni being a libertine and seducer of all women. It is the most performed opera in the world. The costumes and stage setting were also incredible with 3D sets and gorgeous gowns. Can't say enough about this great performance and experience.Read more

  • Day287

    It's been great hanging with my cousin again. We've been going to the gym everyday and taking long bike rides. The weather has been hot. My funds have pretty well dried up and so I spent a couple hours the other day finding flights back home. I'll be flying to London Stanstead on the 29th and then from there transferring to Hearthrow with a Finnair flight to Vancouver. It will be exactly nine months of travelling. It's been a great ride and I have the jitters about returning home already. I'm sure I'll have some sort of sadness but an incredible amount of memories too. I finally found a beautiful green linen dress for my second cousins wedding on the 24th and my sandals are coming in from Dubai through Natalka's friend. I still have to buy a gift and I've decided on a Himalayan Salt lamp. It's big to give money here but I want to leave a memory of me behind.Read more

  • Day94

    Didn't really know what to expect and hadn't found much was going on but what a great city! Smaller scale than Prague etc and although touristy in the Old Town, it didn't feel cramped. Lots of great cafes/bars/restaurants and lots of sights to see.

    Even though we arrived from Brno on Saturday at 3pm we headed straight for another free walking tour at 4pm. The first thing we learnt was that people often mistake Slovakia for Slovenia. A mistake apparently made by George W. Bush when talking to a Slovak reporter in 1999. Now I have a little sympathy as Slovakia is "Slovensko" in Slovak and therefore a similar spelling to Slovenia ... but as we had recently been to Slovenia we could happily say we could tell the two apart.

    We learned that Slovaks love Statues. There are countless statues in Bratislava and some really quite random, including a man called "Cumil" popping out of a manhole. Is he taking a break from working in the sewers or looking up women's skirts..? Who knows! Apparently if you are female and sit on his head you will fall pregnant within a year. Needless to say I ran away from that one :)

    There are also statues of Hans Christian Anderson and Napoleon amongst famous Slovak personalities whose names I wouldn't dare try to pronounce. But I have included a picture of a Slovak poet's statue found in the square named after him in the Old Town. Our Slovakian is about as bad as our Czech and so I am just generally smiling a lot. I stupidly told the guide that I would really like to learn some basic words - as I hadn't had a chance to consult the vocab section in the guidebook before coming out - and she later had Stuart and I up in front of the group to practice. Namely "stick your finger through your throat" .. "Strč prst skrz krk". Not that sticking your finger through your throat is a 'thing' in Slovakia but just a saying without a single vowel. Needless to say we sucked at that.

    According to our tour guide, local wine is only available in Slovakia as although they produce around 300,000 gallons per year, they consume about 900,000 so there is none left to export. My recollection of the exact volumes and figures may be tainted by the subsequent trying of said wine along with a chap called Henry from the walk. But I do remember that the wine did not disappoint! Our guide had also recommended a restaurant so we headed there to try a local dish called Bryndzové halušky. It is potato dumplings with sheep's-milk cheese and bacon. Sounded so wrong and tasted so right! Bit like Slovak Mac n' Cheese.. mmmm

    Today we wandered up to the castle which was reconstructed in 1953 based on a former incarnation that burnt down in 1811. They've done a really top job and although there was a storm looming overhead today, the gardens and the view were beautiful.

    If I can say this from the (what seems like) hundreds that I have seen this trip so far.. I think I have found my favourite Church! It is nicknamed the "Blue Church" but its real name is the Church of St Elizabeth. Once you see the photo you will understand the name and it is blue in and out. In the middle of the suburbs, it is a real change from any other church we have seen and a really stunning sight!

    One sombre lesson in the history of Bratislava (and Slovakia) was the treatment of the Jewish community internally and externally. Of approximately 15,000 jews who lived in Bratislava only just over 1,000 returned after WWII and even before that they were persecuted on countless occasions throughout history. The main holocaust memorial stands in the place of a former synagogue remembering the Slovak jews who were killed. Walking along one of the streets earlier I had noticed three brass plates amongst the cobblestones which had names and dates written on them. I took a photo, having an idea of what they could refer to, and my guess was confirmed by a google search this evening. They are called Stolperstein and they are "inscribed with the name and life dates of victims of Nazi extermination or persecution" (thank you wikipedia). Quite harrowing but a reminder of what horrors people faced during the Nazi regime. Apparently they are part of a project in Europe and I am sure it may be something we find more of as we continue on our trip. There was also plenty of information about Jewish history in Bratislava within the old city walls but we didn't have enough time to study it in more detail.

    Another reason to add to the list of why we would most definitely come here again.

    Dovidenia!
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  • Day94

    What an absolute blinder of a view.. again!

    We randomly booked to stay at a campsite here as it was a cheap option (even tho we didn't pitch our own tent!).

    Storms rolled in again so we were very pleased we hadn't decided to use our own tent, which could quite possibly have slid down the hill the campsite is set on in the downpours!

    We were here for three days and didn't really do very much at all except play games at the campsite bar and admire the view. Turns out there isn't too much close to here but we had a relaxing few days. I went for a dip in the lake as it was still super hot, though you wouldn't know it from my lack of suntan!!

    Whilst the facilities weren't the best - for example only one toilet unlocked at night with no key so I had to be chaperoned by Stuart - the people were friendly. Only Slovakian campers however and as we are finding with campsites, people are happy to enjoy their holidays without interference from us!

    Onwards to Poland...
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  • Day226

    Easter holidays are big in Slovakia. Actually bigger than Christmas. Days are celebrated by fasting, then vegetarian day, then a big dinner and finally on Easter Monday the males (especially in the mountain and villages) braid whips out of willow trees and visit local girls and whip them, douse them with water (usually in creeks) and then pour perfume on them. Whipping for good health, watering for longevity, perfume for love and vitality. Lucky girls. Then the men are given hard boiled or blown painted eggs and fed. This tradition I got to experience with my male cousins. I just got dressed and was instantly whipped, watered and doused with perfume. This happened five times.Read more

  • Day240

    What started as a day trip to Pezinok ended as a road trip to a near by village wine festival. Headed for a folk festival to Pezinok early in search of folk dancing. The dancing was to be in the local park but didn't start until 5pm. We walked around the beautiful park and enjoyed the artisans. Beautiful hand made necklaces, drums and woodwork. We headed to the train after we ate and found a wine festival in the next village called Senkvice. What a great feel in this beautiful little village. The locals were grilling a bull on a spit, local traditional musicians playing folk songs and a traditional wedding was taking place. At the traditional wedding the bridesmaid was giving out baked cakes and everyone was drinking shots of Slivovica and toasting the married couple. I grabbed a cake out of the basket and it was Incredible. Never had anything like it(made by the village women). Tasted a new grape varietal I have never had before and is only grown in the Modra region.Read more

  • Day2553

    Vlkolínec, situated in the centre of Slovakia, is a remarkably intact settlement of 45 buildings with the traditional features of a central European village. It is the region’s most complete group of these kinds of traditional log houses, often found in mountainous areas.
    Info: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/622
    Video: https://youtu.be/ddZHnLMnIHw

You might also know this place by the following names:

Slovak Republic, Slowakei (Slowakische Republik), Slovakia, Slowakye, Slowakei, ስሎቫኪያ, Eslovaquia, سلوفاكيا, ܣܠܘܒܩܝܐ, Slovakiya, Славакія, Словакия, Slowaki, স্লোভাকিয়া, ས་ལཽ་ཝཀྱ།, Slovačka, Eslovàquia, Slovensko, Słowackô, Slofacia, Slovakiet, Slovakia nutome, Σλοβακία, Slovakujo, Slovakkia, Eslobakia, اسلوواکی, Slowakii, Slovaquie, Slovachie, Slowakije, An tSlóvaic, સ્લોવેકિયા, Sulobakiya, סלובקיה, स्लोवाकिया, Słowakska, Szlovákia, Սլովակիա, Slovachia, Slóvakía, Slovacchia, スロバキア (スロバキア共和国), სლოვაკეთი, ស្លូវ៉ាគី, ಸ್ಲೋವಾಕಿಯಾ, 슬로바키아, سلۆڤاکیا, Slovaki, Slovacia, Sirovakya, Silovaki, ສະໂລວາເກຍ, Slovakija, Slovākija, Словачка, സ്ലോവാക്യ, स्लोव्हाकिया, Slovakkja, စလိုဗေးကီးယား, Slowakia, Slovakia (Den slovakiske republikk), स्लोभाकिया, Slowaakse Republiek, ସ୍ଲୋଭାକିଆ, Словаки, Eslobakya, Słowacja, Eslováquia, Isluwakya, Silovakiya, Словачия, Slovákia, Solovakïi, ස්ලෝවැකියාව, Slovenská republika, Slovaška, Sllovaki, Slovakien, ஸ்லோவாகியா, స్లోవేకియా, สโลวะเกีย, Silōvakia, Slovakya, سلوۋاكىيە, Словакія, سلوواکیہ, Xlô-va-ki-a (Slovakia), Slovakiyän, Eslovakya, Orílẹ́ède Silofakia, 斯洛伐克共和国, i-Slovakia

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