Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Slovakia's Most Unique and Unusual Experiences

Following the list of the top 100 places to visit in Slovakia, I thought it would be useful to add a list of some of the most unique and strange experiences it's possible to have in the country. These are in no particular order, this is just a set of some of the most unusual or typically Slovak activities.

- See a Kamzik (Chamois) among the peaks of the Tatra Mountains

- See the quirkiest examples of communist-era architecture, such as the Slovak Radio building, the Hotel Kiev basement lounge, the Mladá Garda student housing complex, and the Štefánik airport private diplomatic arrivals area (all in Bratislava)

- Visit the supposed "Centre of Europe" site in Kremnické Bane

- Sit on a WW2 Russian tank in the "Valley of Death" north of Svidník

- Go mushroom picking with a group of locals in the Low Tatras, Malá Fatra, or the Malé Karpaty mountain ranges

- See the annual folk festival in Východná

- Go to an ice hockey game in Trenčín, the country's hockey hotbed

- Jump over a campfire holding an axe

- Learn how to cook Bryndzové Halušky

- Drive or have a ride in a 1980's-era Škoda car

- Learn about the Slovak Robin Hood, the outlaw Juraj Jánošík, and stand next to his metal statue on the hill in Terchova

- Put a carp in your bathtub at Christmas time

- Carry one of the scales from a Christmas carp in your wallet to bring good fortune throughout the year

- Follow the former line of the Iron Curtain along the Morava river north of Devín, plenty of old fence posts, wire and bunker emplacements can be seen

- Visit Príkra, the smallest village in Slovakia, population 7. It's north of Svidník near the Polish border, and has an impressive wooden church.

- See and photograph the best communist-era murals found in the country's train stations

- Visit the terrific guitar museum in the far-eastern town of Sobrance

- Watch someone play a Fujara, or better yet, have a lesson and give it a try for yourself

- Attend the Festival of Ghosts and Monsters held at Bojnice Castle

- Watch or take part in the traditional custom of pig killing on a farm in Orava or Kysuce region

- Watch or take part in the high-speed hay-cutting championships (done in the traditional manner with a scythe) held in Terchová

- Learn to appreciate the fine taste of a glass of Kofola

- Hike along the Cesta Hrdinov SNP trail (National Uprising Trail of Heroes) to reach the Dukla Pass

- See an opera in the old opera house in Bratislava, or in the Košice opera house

- See a concert by local Slovak bands, I'd suggest Longital or Žive Kvety

- Hear a concert by the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava, world-class performances for a great price

- Hike to the peak on the border where Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine meet, north of Nová Sedlica in the far north-east corner of the country

- visit the Chatam Sofer Jewish memorial in Bratislava

- Sample some of the country's lesser-known beers, such as Martiner or Tatran

- Visit Luník IX, the Roma ghetto in a Košice suburb, to get a first-hand impression of the difficulties these people face in Slovak society

- Learn how to operate a communist-era Tatramat washing machine

- Watch a shepherd tending a flock of sheep or goats in the mountain pastures of Orava region

- See the Good Soldier Švejk statue at the train station in Humenné

- Visit the village and train station in Čierna nad Tisou, the end of the main train line on the Ukrainian border

- Wait for the bus at the Campbell's soup tin-shaped bus stop outside the Andy Warhol museum in Medzilaborce

- Visit the museum house in the village of Uhrovec where two major Slovak figures were born, L'udovit Štúr and Alexander Dubček

- See some of the collection of communist-era cars displayed by the Košice Trabant club

- Visit the Romanesque chapel in the village of Kopčany, the oldest church in the country, dating from the 9th century during the Great Moravian Empire

- Ride one of the old red-and-cream coloured Czechoslovak trams in Bratislava or Košice

No comments:

Post a Comment