James Thomson

List of authors articles

Nice driveway! An occasional column on life in Slovakia

Strange parallels as Britain and Slovakia go to the polls

‘Who should I vote for?’ Slovak friends sometimes ask. I am in no position to offer advice any more.2. Dec 2019, at 10:42

The idea of demonstrators waving EU flags in Westminster would have seemed faintly ridiculous before 2016; now it is a common sight at moments of parliamentary drama.
Nice driveway! An occasional column on life in Slovakia

October is the cruellest month

Trying to get Slovaks to look on the bright side can be tough at the best of times. In October, their tempers shorten with the days.30. Oct 2019, at 16:46

The long-term unemployed find it harder to return to work.
Nice driveway! An occasional column on life in Slovakia

By their parking policy shall ye know them

With the city preparing to impose city-wide car parking restrictions, the character of Bratislava is about to change.24. Sep 2019, at 15:05

Current parking in Bratislava
Nice driveway! An occasional column on life in Slovakia

Doing the right thing

This week, Slovakia marks 75 years since the Slovak National Uprising. But what was the SNP, and what is its significance?28. Aug 2019, at 9:35

Nice driveway! An occasional column on life in Slovakia

The door with no handle

Getting treated in the Slovak public health care system is never less than an adventure. Some of the surprises are tiresome; many are just odd.25. Jul 2019, at 16:05

Waiting rooms are full of patients, illustrative stock photo
Nice driveway! An occasional column on life in Slovakia

In praise of the jedáleň

Some level of disbelief greets my reports that Slovaks typically dine out on a hearty two-course meal every weekday lunchtime.25. Jun 2019, at 14:54

Fried cheese has outlived socialism. Some restaurants serve it as the only vegetari-an meal.
Nice driveway! An occasional column on life in Slovakia

Send in the clowns

The poorly attended circus that is the European elections is about to come to town. Enjoy the show – but don’t expect too much of the performers.12. May 2019, at 18:43

Spectacular Slovakia #34: Bratislava on two wheels

Anna and James have tried Bratislava’s yellow bikes. How do they work for tourists?9. May 2019, at 11:47

Bike-sharing stands in Bratislava
Nice driveway! An occasional column on life in Slovakia

Reinventing the wheel

Bratislava’s current bike sharing scheme is something of a curate’s egg: good in parts.24. Apr 2019, at 14:06

Yellow bikes are popular in Bratislava

Spectacular Slovakia #29: Stay cool and visit a cave

The southeast of Slovakia is the heaven of caves - and some piquant 19th-century gossip.5. Apr 2019, at 7:20

Visitors to Krásnohorská Cave get spelunking outfits for the full experience.

What Slovakia could teach Britain

As the Brexit process lumbers on, the British seem disinclined to take heed of anyone’s views. But Slovakia could offer some advice – and even solace.23. Mar 2019, at 17:10

British PM Theresa May greets her Slovak counterpart Peter Pellegrini.

Spectacular Slovakia #27: Time gets telescoped in eastern Slovakia

Šariš: There’s a lot of Slovakia east of Prešov and Košice.21. Mar 2019, at 12:41

Wooden church in Ruská Bystrá.
Nice driveway!

Looking presidential

The imminence of a presidential election can mean only one thing: the season of cliché and dog-whistles is upon us.25. Feb 2019, at 18:02


Spectacular Slovakia #17: A hidden landmark in the far west of Bratislava

Everyone has been to Devín at one time or another.9. Jan 2019, at 17:12

Devin Castle

Spectacular Slovakia #14: It’s time to head east

Košice and Prešov make for a very different tourist experience than western Slovakia.6. Dec 2018, at 13:53

St. Elisabeth Dome in Košice

Spectacular Slovakia #13: At Christmas markets, you can drink bacon

Even though Christmas seems to come earlier every year, the markets in Bratislava are something to look forward to.28. Nov 2018, at 21:38


Spectacular Slovakia #4: In the footsteps of Štefánik

Where is Brezová pod Bradlom and why should you visit it in 2018? Listen to our travel podcast to find out.27. Sep 2018, at 6:30


Spectacular Slovakia #1: Bratislava vs. Vienna

Listen to the first episode of our travel podcast, with tips on how to make the best of your trip to Bratislava.6. Sep 2018, at 8:48

Nice Driveway!

The idea of Slovakia

What does this country stand for? Slovaks could – and should – shout a little louder about what they have achieved, and where they want to go.22. May 2017, at 8:05

D1 highway, illutsrative stock photo