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Around Slovakia

Car enthusiasts go crazy
World's smallest Chihuahua
Second Slovak swims across the English Channel
New cave discovered
Cowbell rings up record

Dolný Hričov
Car enthusiasts go crazy


"THEY are madmen," said a 50-year-old lady at the 5th annual car-tuning event.
photo: Žilinské noviny - Monika Klincová

THE FIFTH annual car-tuning event took place recently in the northern Slovak town of Dolný Hričov.
According to the Žilinské noviny newspaper, 1,300 souped-up cars and another 1,200 visitors' vehicles descended on the sports airport in Dolný Hričov.
The main organiser of the happening, Marián Čabák, explained that "enthusiasts tune their cars to achieve maximum performance and handling, before competing in speed races, such as the slalom and 400-metre sprint," watched by a crowd of 6,000 people.
Making an appearance for the first time was the so-called "dancing car" Lowrider, from Austria. This unusual machine has an adjusted chassis, with oil-filled dampers instead of springs, which makes the vehicle appear to "swing to the rhythm of music," said the organiser.
More risky performances were executed by three veteran Czech stuntmen, who raced old BMWs, go-karts and motorbikes to the delight and consternation of the crowd.
"They are madmen," one 50-year-old lady in the audience told the newspaper.
According to Žilinské noviny, Čabák will soon begin organising next year's event, but because of its growing popularity the show may have to be taken to a larger area.
"Every year it grows in popularity and I fear that the airport area will not be big enough for us in future," Čabák said.


Revúca
World's smallest Chihuahua


POCKET pooch Danka enters record books.
photo: TASR

THE SMALLEST recorded dog in the world is Danka the Chihuahua who waddles around the town of Revúca.
Danka is 18.8 centimetres long, 13 centimetres tall, and weighs a mere 780 grams, the state-run news agency TASR reported. Its owner, Igor Kvetko, recently received the certificate confirming that Danka has been entered in the Guinness Book of Records with the classification of being the smallest dog in the world.
"In December Danka will be two years old, and she will not grow anymore. We sent her application to the Guinness Book of Records this May and it has since been confirmed," Kvetko told TASR.
The information has also been published on the Guinness Book of Records website.
The creamy white Chihuahua was bred in Kvetko's kennels, where he has dedicated 14 years to breeding Chihuahuas.


Prešov
Second Slovak swims across the English Channel

THE SECOND Slovak to swim the English Channel is Prešov native Jozef Lendacký, 40, who made the 33 kilometre-long swim in 14 hours and 28 minutes.
The first Slovak to make the journey was Zoltán Makai, whose time was 11 hours and 21 minutes.
Because of the strong Atlantic currents, Lendacký swam around 45 instead of 33 kilometres, and although Lendacký did not beat his Slovak predecessor's time, he was happy with his performance, which ended successfully on the beach at Callais on August 7.
He also said that as preparation for the swim he imagined he was a dolphin.
"I love outmatching myself [rather than beating someone]. I did this mainly for myself, although I would be happy if it served as an inspiration to others.
"When a man does not give up, he can find the inner strength to get over the most demanding barriers," Lendacký told the SME daily.
Apart from the English Channel, Lendacký also swam across Zurich Lake, which is 26.7 kilometres long.
When asked why he chose swimming rather than other sports, he said "because it brings me joy and fills me with energy and inner peace."


Belianske Tatry
New cave discovered


CATCHING your breath 600 metres underground.
photo: TASR

SPELUNKERS from the Comenius University caving club recently discovered a new cave in the Belianske Tatry. The cave, which discoverers Igor Pap and Branislav Šmida have named Mesačný tieň (Moon shadow), may be the deepest of its kind in Slovakia according to some estimates.
Before this discovery the deepest known cave in Slovakia was Starý hrad (Old Castle) situated in Nízke Tatry (the Low Tatras), which is 497 metres deep. The recent find is estimated by Pap and Šmida to be around 600 metres, according to Národná Obroda.
Mesačný tieň is situated on a limestone massif some 650 metres above underground springs.
"The cave is of ice origin and was formed by water to such a depth that it reached impervious layers where the springs emerged," said Pap.
The entrance to the cave was hidden in a small niche and was discovered by the cavers at the end of June this year.
So far they have mapped some 1,700 metres of the cave system and informally outlined another 1,500 metres.
"Currently we map around 200 metres per day on average," said Pap. The Moon Shadow cave is situated in the Javorinská široká range between the Javorová and Bielovodská valleys, and its discovery marks 40 years of cave exploration in the area.


Zuberec
Cowbell rings up record

IT TOOK roughly six hours of hammering by two blacksmiths from the open air folk museum in Zuberec to forge the largest cowbell so far registered in Slovakia.
The bell has a volume of around 55 litres and its creators hope to have the finished article listed in the Guinness Book of Records, the Nový Čas daily wrote.
The bell is made of steel plate, is 58 centimetres tall and two millimetres thick, and weighs 20 kilos.
Blacksmiths Juraj Bolček and Patrik Kováč, who produced the bell, have christened it Lada.
"That was the name of the goddess of spring, fertility, and harvest after which the village of Lietava was named," the designer of the project, Rastislav Tajn, told Nový Čas.
Because no cow could possibly go out to jingle in the pasture with the biggest and heaviest bell in Slovakia around its neck, the object will instead become a museum piece, and will hang in the open air folk museum in Lietavská Svinná village near the northwestern Slovak city of Žilina.

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