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"Happy to see the real Slovakia"

The Slovak Spectator fell into my hands while travelling in Slovakia and stopping at the Hotel Grand in Banská Štiavnica. I spent a week in the Partizánské/Žarnovica area and wanted to relay my impressions of the trip.
Like many Viennese, I have been to Bratislava, but I have always been interested in getting to know Slovaks, getting to know their country and exploring. Despite the short geographical distance, it's rather unknown here.
About the trip: I was welcomed by the family of my friend with so much warmth and hospitality. Everybody cared for me. We visited Bojnice and other places of interest. On All Saints Day, I was in a church in a small village called Radobica and even though I didn't understand a word, I was positively surprised by the people's religiousness. As a 32-year-old, I was also interested in the nightlife and again positive experiences in two pubs in Žarnovica and two discos in Banská Štiavnica greeted me.

The Slovak Spectator fell into my hands while travelling in Slovakia and stopping at the Hotel Grand in Banská Štiavnica. I spent a week in the Partizánské/Žarnovica area and wanted to relay my impressions of the trip.

Like many Viennese, I have been to Bratislava, but I have always been interested in getting to know Slovaks, getting to know their country and exploring. Despite the short geographical distance, it's rather unknown here.

About the trip: I was welcomed by the family of my friend with so much warmth and hospitality. Everybody cared for me. We visited Bojnice and other places of interest. On All Saints Day, I was in a church in a small village called Radobica and even though I didn't understand a word, I was positively surprised by the people's religiousness. As a 32-year-old, I was also interested in the nightlife and again positive experiences in two pubs in Žarnovica and two discos in Banská Štiavnica greeted me.

One day, however, I was quite desperate. The weather was gray, rainy and ugly and I was amidst what I call "socialist houses," those huge concrete living blocks, and I felt a certain sadness. But that was a one-time experience.

In general, I was so positively surprised that I returned right away the next weekend with an Austrian friend who was as glad and happy about what he saw and the people he encountered.

Briefly, I am happy I had a chance to see the real Slovakia, and as someone who travels a lot to far-away countries, what a nice feeling to discover beautiful places, unknown areas right in Austria's backyard. I wish that more Austrians will discover more in our neighboring country than some shopping malls in Bratislava and vice-versa Slovaks should try to discover my native land, which also offers more than the shopping centers in Hainburg and Vienna.

Thomas J. Resch, Vienna

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