Slovakia 2020: A guide to the political landscape

Find your way in the little big country with our itinerary.

HarabiňákHarabiňák (Source: Sme)

These days, it takes neither a lot of money nor an abundance of wit to implant a glossy, positive image of a destination in potential visitors’ minds. So an honest and well-researched travel guide can come in handy for anyone who wants to make sure that they don’t find, the day after they make their pick, that their choice has locked them into a four-year, nausea-inducing white-knuckle ride. Please be aware that a return ticket might not necessarily be available, and that cancellations and refunds are all but impossible to obtain.

This itinerary for a week of fun and adventures should help you to avoid getting lost as you navigate the travelled and less travelled paths of the Slovak political landscape.

Day 1: Spectacular views and a downhill ride

Start your tour with a hike that will give you a taste of everything there is to see on the Slovak political landscape nowadays. When hiking in Smer, be prepared for some steep hills followed by a gentle descent. Your way down will be hindered by ever deeper and more frequent mud pits. You might want to follow the example of some locals and don a thick Teflon coat.

You are sure to see some of Slovakia’s thicker-skinned beasts in these parts, living free in the sometimes dangerous wilderness that surrounds them. This is a terrain that they have shaped over time to best suit their own needs.

Recent downpours have flushed some of these creatures out of their lairs and into the light. Their flight-and-fright reactions can provide for spectacular viewing, if you’re lucky enough to see some on your way.

After the great outdoors, end the day with a cultural experience in the Museum of Commerce so that you too can learn how to turn everything into a business and estimate anyone’s price.

Alternatively, you can head further north to get to know the SNS. Contrary to what you may have heard, we’re not going to Moscow or Kaliningrad yet. The SNS believes the local hospitality industry to be its forte and is likely to try and sell you a week-long stay in one of Slovakia’s spas. But one afternoon will be more than enough and, to be quite frank, what you’ll get is, in fact, a tour of some castle ruins or a downhill ride instead of some well-deserved pampering after a tough day’s hiking. It might not look like it in most of Slovakia, but we are now in the middle of the ski season, after all.

A bryndza-based dinner is a must, but you should be ready for some borscht as a starter too.

Day 2: Crooked mirrors and sightseeing by bus

Can’t face another mouthful of bryndza? Worry not! Despite the xenophobic sentiments amplified by the party among its supporters, the Kotlebovci prefer kebab to halušky any day.

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