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Around Slovakia

Slovak bread goes through to Paris finals
Bird tragedy
The light stuff
Beer can crash
Running around the clock
Medieval cemetery unearthed


SLOVAK bakers stand proudly behind Slovakia.
photo: SME


Slovakia
Slovak bread goes through to Paris finals

BAKERS from Slovakia will take part in the finals of an international baking competition in Paris in April 2005, wrote the daily SME.
The Slovak bakers won their place in the last round of the Louis Lesaffre Cup by beating opponents in the semi-finals in Poznan, Poland.
"The Poles consider bread holy. We felt a huge respect for our profession which made us appreciate the victory even more," Vojtech Gottschall, captain of the Slovak team told the daily SME. The proud Slovaks beat off the challenge of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia, as well as Poland.
The semi-finals comprised several tasks. Each team had to bake its national bread, pastries, and French baguettes. And in a special task that gave free rein to their imaginations, the bakers were asked to create a bread product that characterised their countries.
The most admired was the Slovak entry - a "bread sculpture", depicting Slovakia - its mountains, rivers and winemaking regions as well as grain fields, a water mill, raftsmen and sacks of flour.
"The sculpture is made completely of dough. The head of the jury Christian Vabret could not believe that we did not use any artificial support. The sculpture is now at the Bread Museum in the Polish town of Katowice," said Gottschall.


Tekovské Lužany
Bird tragedy

NINE OWLS drowned in molasses stored in an open container near the town of Levice.
"The first owl flew to the concrete container, probably looking for a mouse. However, it got stuck and fell in and then slowly drowned. Eight more owls followed as well as a sparrow and a turtle-dove," said ornithologist Gabriel Demeter from Tekovské Lužany.
He added that no one could be held responsible for the birds' deaths.


Gočovo
The light stuff

THE LIGHTER kingdom of collector Ondrej Greško from Gočovo, a village near Rožňava in south-eastern Slovakia, has grown from 1,500 to 2,700 in six months.
Since the daily Nový Čas published a story about him people have been sending him lighters from all over Slovakia.
"In the most recent package there were around 600 lighters. If things continue like this, I will have to build another room," he said.
Greško has been collecting lighters for thirteen years now and the collection includes some curious devices indeed.
"I particularly like those that include various light or sound effects. Most recently I even received a lighter that is a replica of New York's Twin Towers, and a lighter in the shape of an eagle," he told Nový Čas.



BEER-induced torpor?
photo: TASR


Banská Bystrica
Beer can crash

A TRUCK loaded with beer cans crashed near the central Slovak city of Banská Bystrica October 26, the daily Nový Čas wrote.
The driver, a 52 year-old Pole, said that he was driving along when he suddenly swerved into the ditch and hit a slope. His truck then ricocheted back, blocking the whole road.
Police are not discounting the theory that the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
It took three hours to clear the road of beer cans and oil that leaked out of the truck.


Banská Bystrica
Running around the clock

FORTY-THREE year-old Ľu-bomír Hrmo from the central Slovak town of Banská Bystrica has become number two in the world for non-stop running. He ran more than 260 kilometres in a day and a night at a competition in the Czech city of Brno, wrote the daily Nový Čas.
In the 33 years since he took up the sport, Hrmo estimates he has covered a total of 200,000 kilometres, an average of 6,060 kilometres each year, or 17 kilometres every day. He has also taken part in nine non-stop runs, the daily wrote.
"The ultra-runs are 12, 24, as well as 48 hours long. There are even six-day runs," he said.
"The run really does take the whole 24 hours. Each of the runners has a chip in their shoes which measures how far they run to the nearest centimetre," said Hrmo.
"I am not sure a 24 year-old youth could do it. I have been running thirty-three years now and it is always incredibly demanding," he said.
Hrmo says that in the day and night events he loses around four kilogrammes in weight and feels exhausted for the next three or four days. Sometimes he cannot even fall asleep.
"With the years my tendons are starting to hurt, the spine too, but so far I can still handle it," he said.


Zvolen
Medieval cemetery unearthed

SKELETONS hundreds of years old have been discovered in Zvolen city centre, close to a Catholic church.
Workers came across the medieval cemetery where burials are thought to have taken place between the 13th and 18th centuries, the daily Pravda wrote.
"According to historical documents, and an archaeological survey, we expected that the medieval burial site would be close to the church building. That was confirmed. We uncovered 26 graves in several layers. Experts will study the remains to determine the age, sex, and time of death of the deceased," Pavel Fógl from Zvolen's municipal office told the daily.
Various interesting objects, including a medieval coin believed to date back to the 14th or 15th centuries, chains and chaplets, were also found in the graves.

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