Slovakia Journals

Bike Riding in Rural Slovakia.

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A September 2001 trip to Slovakia by Wildcat Dianne

Crashing after a long bike ride. Photo, More Photos
Quote: Owning a car is a rarity in Slovakia, where the monthly salary is about $200 for skilled workers. So taking the bike or train is a popular mode of transportation for many Slovaks. It is the best way to see many of the tiny villages that dot the landscape.

Bike Riding in Rural Slovakia.

Best Of IgoUgo


Crashing after a long bike ride. Photo,
My friend Ivan took me on many exciting bike rides throughout rural Slovakia in 2001 and 2002. We would start our trips from his parents' home in the village of Borovce, which is about 5 miles south of the spa town of Piestany. Most of our adventures were on sugar beet lined dirt roads that lead to little village that were off the beaten path. Here is an excerpt of some of our adventures. 1. Ivan and I would go mushrooming in the woods near the village of Sterusy (shtair-oosee). These had to be the best mushrooms in the world, and Ivan and I would take the mushrooms home to his mother, where she would dry them for later use or cook them fresh with eggs for a quick meal for us. I...Read More

Palmyra Beach


Dianne at Palmyra Beach. Photo, Slovakia, Europe
Palmyra Beach sounds like an exotic beach in the Caribbean, but it is actually a little hole-in-the-wall beach north of the village of Vrbove, Slovakia, which is on the Vah River. When the name Palmyra Beach is mentioned among locals, one cannot help but bust up laughing. Ivan took me to Palmyra Beach on several bike rides in Western Slovakia during my visits to that country. Only in the last couple of weeks of my visit to Slovakia in the summer of 2002 did we actually go swimming at Palmyra Beach. There are no changing rooms or rest rooms at Palmyra Beach. So go to the beach with your bathing suit on and make sure you go to the bathroom before leaving home. There are n...Read More

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Slovak Cuisine

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When I was in Slovakia in September 2001, I stayed at with my now fiance's family and friends. I only dined out one or two times during my 10-day stay in Slovakia. So, I got to enjoy my future mother-in-law's and friends' home cooking. Slovak cuisine is not well-known around the world. Slovak cuisine is influenced by several other national cuisines such as Austrian, Hungarian, French, and Czech due to its many centuries of invasion and occupation by these other groups. It is not what you would call health food, and I recommend that you take a long hearty walk or bike ride after experiencing a Slovakian home-cooked meal. Slovakian cuisine is heavy in pork, fat, and carbohydrates, but it is...Read More
Making wine Photo,
In rural Slovakia, it is very common for the people who live in the villages to make their own wines and brandies. This is how to make cherry wine or brandy. I spent an entire day pitting and squeezing cherries into juice at my friend's house. I swore that if I saw another cherry, I would scream!

You make a sugar water with hard sugar and water. It takes time, but it has to be done right. Let it stand until desired sweetness. Then add sugar water to cherries that have been put into a 5 or 10 gallon jug. Add yeast and let ferment for 6 weeks for wine and 8 weeks for brandy. NOSDRAVNE (CHEERS!)!!

Just be careful when drinking the brandy, it burns and packs a whallop!

M.R. Stefanik's Birthplace at Kosariska, Slovakia Photo,
As I mentioned before, my friend Ivan took me on many bike rides around his home of Borovce, Slovakia. The most grueling ride was in May 2002 with him and his brother Bohus (bo-hoosh) from Borovce to Kosarice and its surroundings. This was a bike ride from hell that would have reduced Lance Armstrong to tears of pain because it almost killed me, and I was shooting daggers at Ivan for most of the uphill climb and trying to figure out a way to lose his body in the woods without leaving any evidence.Kosariska (ko-shar-eeska) is a little town outside of Piestany, Slovakia whose claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of one of the country's military and diplomatic hero...Read More