Around Slovakia

Slovaks wait two years for ferraris

ITALIAN carmaker Ferrari, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, only produces some 5,000 cars per year, so its Slovak customers are willing to wait, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote.
According to Vladimír Kozár, the executive director of the Car Exclusive dealership, Slovak customers wait an average of two years for the Ferrari 599 Fiorano model. The waiting period for the F430, meanwhile, is up to seven months, and for a convertible, it's up to a year.
This period might grow even longer in the future due to the rising number of billionaires in China and Russia, and current interest in luxury cars.
Ferraris aren't even among the most expensive cars on the market. Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, Bentleys and Rolls-Royces all cost more.

Spišské Podhradie
Spiš Castle opens for tourist season

Spiš Castle is one of the most popular in Slovakia, with more than 170,000 visitors last year.
photo: SITA

THE TOURIST SEASON officially opened at one of the largest castles in Europe, Spiš Castle, on May 12. For the occasion, a new exhibition was opened: What the Castle Kitchen Used to Offer. The exhibit's artifacts range from a fireplace to various bowels to wooden spoons, all of which came from the collections of the Spiš Museum in Levoča, as well as museums in other towns, such as Stará Ľubovňa and Kežmarok.
The first visitors of the day had the chance to taste meals that the staff of the Spišský Salaš restaurant had prepared according to the medieval recipes. Performances by historical fencing groups and concerts of period music also provided entertainment. Some visitors attended a night tour of the castle.
Kamil Tomčofčík of the Spiš Museum told TASR that more than 170,000 tourists visited Spiš Castle during the tourist season in 2006 that lasted from May to October. Of them, one half were from abroad, which makes the castle the most visited in Slovakia.
Among the most popular attractions the castle, whose history dates back to as far as the 12th century, has to offer is a medieval torture chamber that details the methods of justice that existed during that period. Tourists enjoy trying the instruments themselves.

Banská Bystrica
Ambassadors to Slovakia visit the Banská Bystrica Region

A "family" photo of the ambassadors and their partners during a visit to Kremnica.
photo: TASR

AS MANY AS 56 foreign ambassadors to Slovakia and their partners attended a special spring tour of the Banská Bystrica Region on May 11 organized by Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ján Kubiš.
The group, which included ambassadors based in Bratislava, Vienna, Prague and Budapest, visited the natural attractions and sights of the region.
The tour began with a visit to a monastery in Hronský Beňadik, where Deputy Mayor Valéria Kabinová and the head of the monastery, Adam Walczuk, welcomed the guests to the second oldest monastery in Slovakia. As has been the custom for centuries, the father welcomed them by tapping their backs with a wooden spoon. Afterwards, they visited the local Gothic Church of Virgin Mary and St Benedict from the 14th century, in which a baptistery and a cross have been preserved from the original Romanesque church that existed there in the 11th century.
In the afternoon, they visited the historical mining town Špania Dolina, which is also known for making lace. On May 12, they went to Čierny Balog to take a trip on the Čiernohronská Forest railway.
The visit culminated with a meeting with the representatives of the Banská Bystrica town and region.

Doglovers and their dogs flood Incheba

A Hairless Chinese Crested Dog.
photo: Jana Liptáková

THE FIRST annual Springdanube dog show at the Incheba Expo Arena in Bratislava on May 12 and 13 was well received by breeders and the public alike. The event was a chance for breeders from 14 European countries to present over 2,000 dogs from 242 breeds, the TASR news wire wrote.
Of the foreign exhibitors, Czech breeders arrived with the highest number of dogs (873), followed by Austrian breeders (66), and Polish doglovers (48).
The chihuahua was the most represented breed, with 65 entrants, followed by the Rhodesian Ridgeback (58), and the Yorkshire Terrier (49).
The show's organizer, Slovenská Kynologická Jednota, decided to coordinate the spring dog show as a run-up to its successful summer dog show Duodanube, which will take place in the same premises on August 18 and 19.
Springdanube is also the first in a cycle of preparations for the World Dog
Chow Chows were another breed represented at the Springdanube dog show.
photo: Jana Liptáková

Show, which takes place in Slovakia for the first time on October 10-11, 2009 in Bratislava's Incheba.





Antiques and collectors fair still popular

A diving helmet out of a Jules Verne novel.
photo: SITA

MORE THAN 700 people visited the city's annual Collectors Fair in Košice on May 13. The fair offered such exotic finds as a copper diving helmet that looked like it was straight out of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, for Sk20,000.
"The Košice fair is very popular not only among Slovak collectors but foreigners as well," Ján Tóth, the head of the Košice branch of the Slovak Numismatic Society, told the SITA news wire. "Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, and Ukrainians come here to sell and exchange their collections."
Tóth added the majority of the fair dealt in currency and stamp collections, but that military items and weapons, postcards, badges and medals, car models and other items were also represented. He sees the fair in Trenčín to be the only real rival the Košice event has in Slovakia.
"We are looking forward to the international fair that takes place in Košice on August 19. We have already received the first applications and reservations for it. Last year, collectors from as many as 11 countries attended the international fair, and this year we expect there to be even more," Tóth said.
Some teenagers also attended the fair. Peter Párnica and Tomáš Kmeť are among the young collectors interested in military colectibles.
"We started collecting three years ago," Tomáš told SITA. "We specialize in the First and Second World Wars. We are studying various literature about this period of time in libraries and on the internet. We walk through forests and visit villages to look for old army artifacts."
Right next to them were the tables for coin collectors. "You can take a photo of the coins, but not me," an older man exhibiting coins from the Roman Empire declared. "I will not even give you my name. I don't want to get robbed."
The man's fear is understandable, as such coin collections can sometimes be worth as much as Sk500,000.

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