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Around Slovakia

Bratislava
The narrowest house in Europe

SLOVAKIA'S capital city boasts a unique feature - the narrowest house in all of Europe.
The house's facade is only 130 centimetres wide and is located at 15 Michalská Street in Bratislava's Old Town.
It was built in the 18th century after the city walls were demolished.
The house now serves as a fast food establishment selling kebabs, the Nový Čas daily reported on October 11.


Bratislava
German journalists learn about Slovakia

ELEVEN journalists from various branches of the German media recently visited Bratislava in order to learn more about the country and its current issues.
During their working visit, the journalists met with representatives of the Slovak media, churches, politics, and culture.
"The purpose of the trip is to give us an overview of what is going on in Slovakia. We want to have a personal experience and a deeper knowledge of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe", said Bernhard Rude of the Munich Institute for Young Journalists (IFP), who organized the trip.
IFP is a Catholic journalism school, founded by the German Bishops' Conference in 1968. Since 1993, it has been organizing three-week courses for young journalists from the former eastern bloc, in which Slovak journalists regularly participate.


Bratislava
World bird festival comes to Slovakia

THE WORLD Bird Festival, organized by BirdLife International and the world's largest single event for bird lovers, was held last weekend in many countries around the world, including in Slovakia.
The festival celebrated the incredible variety and beauty of birds by highlighting their great importance to both individuals and cultures, TASR wrote.
The event was organized in Slovakia by the ornithological society, BirdLife Slovakia.
Bird-watching events were held at 16 locations around Slovakia. One such site, Čunovo, is the main site for water birds in the winter and is situated around 8 kilometres south of Bratislava near a dam across the Danube River.
According to Marek Brindzík, the eco-tourism development manager of the Society for the Protection of Birds in Slovakia, 25 people came to the Čunovo event, which is the highest attendance they have had for several years.
"The beginning of October is a time of mass migration. Since 1993, we have observed a total of 5,935 different species," Brindzík told TASR.
The main objective of the yearly event is to put together observational data not only from Slovakia and the rest of Europe, but from all over the world. "This is how we can learn which bird populations are stable, and which are in decline or even under serious threat," said Brindzík.
Through their annual festival, BirdLife tries to raise public awareness of the importance of birds and their habitats, and, at the same time, promote the conservation of the thousands of sites on which many of the world's bird species depend.


Svidník
Valley of Death witnesses WWII battle

A BATTLE from the WWII Carpathian Dukla Pass Operation was re-enacted on October 7 by members of the Club of Military History.
The re-enactment took place near the village of Kružlová in the 'Valley of Death' in eastern Slovakia's Svidník district.
As many as 250 military devotees, aged 18 to 60, took part in the mock battle, playing the roles of German, Red Army and 1st Czechoslovak Army troops.
The reconstruction included troop carriers, mortars, machine guns, motorbikes with sidecars, and pyrotechnic effects.
There was also an exhibition of modern weapons and equipment used by the Slovak military. The main organizers of the exhibition were the Košice branch of the Club of Military History and the Defence Ministry.
The historical Dukla Pass Operation took place between September and November 1944, when the Soviet Red Army and the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps fought their way through the Dukla Pass from Poland into Slovakia.
Around 14,000 Red Army troops were killed during the operation, while the Czechoslovak Army reported 1,600 troops killed and 4,400 injured.


Holíč
Customs Officers find half-kilo of cocaine during raid in Holíč

SLOVAK customs officers found nearly half a kilogram of cocaine during a raid on a flat in Holíč (Trnava region) on the morning of October 7.
Police arrested the 28-year-old owner of the flat, her mother, and the owner's husband, who is originally from Nigeria and who was prosecuted in the past for a drug-related crime in Austria. The trio could face 20-25 years in prison.
The drugs were hidden in the cardboard sides of a package from French Guyana that was addressed to a person in Slovakia who is known to have died, the TASR news agency wrote.
According to police experts, the cocaine seized in the raid is of very good quality and would be worth Sk5 million (€135,000) on the black market. "The social danger presented by the drug is higher than its value. Imagine how many people could have become addicts," said Customs Criminal Bureau Director Viktor Lehotzký at a press conference on October 8.
The successful operation was the result of three weeks of cooperation between French and Slovak customs officers.


High Tatras
Skiing to become more expensive

SKIING will be more expensive this winter - at least if you use cable cars or chair lifts owned by Tatranské lanové dráhy (TLD - Tatra cables), the Nový Čas daily reported on October 6.
TLD plans to increase the prices of tickets for cable cars, chair lifts and funicular railways at the High Tatra skiing resorts of Tatranská Lomnica, Skalnaté Pleso, Hrebienok, and others by 15 percent for adults and by as much as 18-45 percent for children.
A family with two children, therefore, will pay Sk2,340 (€62) for a day's skiing at Skalnaté Pleso - Sk300 more than last season. According to TLD's marketing director, Danka Velecká, the main reason for the price hikes is higher energy prices.
Bibiána Dzurillová from the High Tatras Association is afraid that the increases might have a negative impact on the tourist trade in the High Tatras, with the higher prices putting people off.
"The price of accommodation in the Tatras has been the same for several years, but the price of cable-lift tickets increases regularly. We need a high-quality service to attract foreign tourists, but we can hardly provide a better service in such a way," she added.
Local businessman Tomáš Žampa agreed that TLD shouldn't increase its prices if it won't invest in providing better services for tourists.

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