Around Slovakia

Healthcare centre opened

THE BRITISH Ambassador to Slovakia, Judith Macgregor, opened a new training centre for emergency healthcare in the Central Military Hospital (ÚVN) in Ružomberok on April 21.
"One of the tasks of the facility is to assign the basic training and periodical re-training in emergency healthcare for all members of the military healthcare team," ÚVN head Igor Čombor told the TASR news agency.
The centre, which will conform to NATO standards, will also train medical staff to handle possible injuries caused during a natural catastrophe or terrorist attack, Čombor said.
Macgregor expressed an interest in seeing NATO have the world's best-trained doctors. She confirmed that the hospital in Ružomberok has all the equipment and professional staff to establish this kind of centre.
The instructors for the courses were trained in the military training facility in Gosport, Great Britain.

DURING the mating season, frogs have to watch out for cars on the road.
photo: File photo

Frogs get free taxi ride

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group called Pre Prírodu (For Nature) managed to pick up some 11,000 frogs from roads in the Trenčin region in four weeks over April and May.
The event, dubbed the "Frog Taxi" has been held every year since 2001 and has saved thousands of frogs from being killed.
"This year around 1,100 frogs died on the roads," Drahoš Stano, head of the Biele Karpaty protected area told the SITA news agency.
During the spring mating season frogs migrate to mating areas, which means crossing busy roads. Many are run over.
In 2001 just 800 frogs hitched a ride with Pre Prírodu but last year they broke the 10,000 mark.

photo: File photo

Spot the ladybird

THE TINIEST ladybird in Slovakia, which was discovered 25 years ago by amateur entomologist Emil Piovarči, is being exhibited in a series of photographs in the Budatínsky castle museum near Žilina, the Nový Čas daily wrote.
The tiny insect is just four millimetres long. Piovarči's find is a slightly different shape than other ladybirds and has more spots on its carapace.
"This ladybird came to us from Hungary. It usually lives in Mediterranean states, and in the countries of Central and South-eastern Europe. It is one of the tiniest ladybird types," zoologist Ladislav Hlôška told the Nový Čas daily.
Because the ladybird is so tiny, people can only see it on enlarged photos.

Červený Kláštor - Pieniny
Rafting season opens with a splash

THE RAFTING season was officially opened on the Dunajec River over the weekend of April 23-24, the SITA news agency wrote.
The season started with the ceremonial unlocking of the Dunajec waters, blessing of rafts, and the launch of the first raft in the new season.
"As of May 1 we want to be in daily operation," said Ján Hubcej from the local rafting club Pltníctvo Dunajec Červený Kláštor.
The rafts in Červený Kláštor are traditional Slovak rafts that were used in past centuries by the locals. They consist of several trees, trimmed of their branches, and tied together.
Pltníctvo Dunajec Červený Kláštor operates as a tourist service agency. The company, however, is entering the new season divided. After years of working under the same roof, a group of raftsmen has left. Hubcej is not concerned about this having an impact on the quality of service provided.
A 10-kilometre-long raft ride starts in Červený Kláštor and lasts around 1.5 hours.

Červený Kláštor - Pieniny
Pretty postal stamps issued

RAFTERS on the Dunajec opened the season in idyllic surroundings.
photo: Anton Frič

THE PRETTIEST postal stamp of 2004 is an issue called Rafters on the Dunajec River showing traditional Slovak rafters in a picturesque environment on the Slovak-Polish border.
The national mail company, Slovenská pošta (SP), issued the stamp on September 3, 2004 together with the Polish postal company, SP wrote in an April 27 press release.
The designer of the stamp is Polish artist Jacek Brodowski.
Second place went to a postal stamp entitled The Fight of the Cocks that comes from artist Jakub Bogdan's issue of stamps.
Third place went to a two-piece series of stamps called Wedding Costumes, which shows traditional female folk wedding costume from Pata village.

Anti-cancer league collects Sk15 million

THE ANTI-CANCER league (LPR) collected Sk15 million (€377,000) in the ninth annual Daffodil Day held on April 8, SITA news agency wrote.
Traditionally, volunteers go around Slovak towns and cities collecting contributions from people to the fight against cancer.
Head of the LPR Eva Siracká said that the number of people with cancer was on the rise in Slovakia. She said that every year 23,000 new cases are discovered.
The money collected in the one-day campaign will enable the LPR to support several clinical and research projects, buy machines for specialized medical facilities and hospitals and secure prevention and advisory services.
The most money, Sk4.5 million (€113,000), was collected in Slovakia's capital city Bratislava and the Bratislava region.

High Tatras
Canadian woman injured in mountains

A MOUNTAIN rescue team in the High Tatras came to the aid of a 26-year-old Canadian woman studying in Poland who had fallen while descending Gerlach Peak late at night on April 24, the TASR news agency wrote.
Due to bad weather conditions, the rescue operation had to be carried out on foot, using a helicopter only after 22:00 when the weather improved slightly.
The Canadian hiker, who has not been named, was subsequently transferred to a Poprad hospital. She suffered several injuries that are not life threatening.

Don't park on the wrong side

BRATISLAVA drivers got a surprise on April 26 as people dressed in British bobby uniforms handed out tickets for parking offences, the SITA news agency reported.
The drivers' worry turned to relief when the "police officers" admitted that they were not real, but part of a humorous British Airways promotion.
The UK policemen joke is a part of a larger regional campaign entitled London is Closer Than You Think which also ran in the Czech capital Prague.
To promote London as a destination, the fake policemen put parking tickets on cars inscribed with the words: "According to British traffic rules you are parked on the wrong side of the street".
The campaign was greeted warmly in Prague and in cities in Sweden. In Latvia, however, two of the bobbies were arrested and held for two hours when a local politician failed to see why it was funny to be given a fake parking ticket.

Sátoraljaúlyhely - Slovenské Nové Mesto
Stallion looks for love in Slovakia

A TWO-year old stallion from Hungary came looking for love in Slovakia by galloping across the Sátoraljaúlyhely - Slovenské Nové Mesto border crossing. Customs officers had no way of stopping the tempestuous animal.
The stallion's owner said that the young horse "got a craving for love" and wandered around the border area before crossing over to Slovakia, according to the SME daily.
"The tempestuous horse flailed among the cars in the road and scared tourists and even the police but in the end it managed to cross to Slovakia without injury," said Frigyes Juhász, spokesman for the Hungarian border patrol.
"There he continued running well along the road, causing major chaos with motorists, even stopping traffic. " he said.
Later the horse calmed down and started grazing. The police then called the owner and he took the stallion home.

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