Hello. This week, we are writing about a German adventurer travelling with his donkey to Iran, the first Slovak au pairs, and this year's Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava.
German and donkey travel to Iran
For years, former construction manager Michael Rinderle of Germany has dreamt of travelling from Europe to China on foot, and he has been on the road for several months now with his 12-year-old French donkey Vaillant.
“We should be on the road for three years,” the German, who has been walking for almost 200 days now, says in his blog.
Rinderle has passed through Germany and the Czech Republic and is now crossing Slovakia. On Instagram, he posted pictures from the spa town Piešťany and the farm park Madonan near Hlohovec.
“We initially wanted to go to China. We planned to cover 20,000 kilometres,” Rinderle writes in his blog, admitting his stubborn donkey refuses to walk 20 kilometres a day, making their initial goal impossible to achieve.
Rinderle and his donkey will have to walk through Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan to reach Iran, which will be their final stop.
Other travel news
Discover one of Slovakia’s best-preserved and most imposing castles, which is located in the Bratislava Region.
A forest sauna should be built next spring in the village of Harichovce.
- Two white chamois have been observed in the Low Tatras National Park. In eastern Slovakia, ornithologists have recently spotted one great white pelican.
- Nitra is the first Slovak city that has become home to the Berlin Wall fragments.
Spanish illustrator awarded in Bratislava
Six years after she received a Golden Apple at the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava, Spanish illustrator Elena Odriozola has been recently awarded the main prize at this year’s competition.
While back in 2015 she won an award for her illustrations in the book Frankenstein, it was her pictures in the book Mixed Feelings that impressed the international jury.
Odriozola, who was born in San Sebastian in 1967, first began to work in advertising before she embarked on her new career as an illustrator of children’s books.
The Spanish illustrator’s works and the illustrations of other awarded artists from all over the world, including Fabienne Delacroix of France, the winner of the Children’s Jury Award, are exhibited until early January at Bratislava Castle.
- The international weekend festival Bratislava Jazz Days starts on October 22 at the Refinery Gallery.
- Violonist André Rieu and Johann Strauss Orchestra will play a concert on November 18 in Bratislava.
- Slovak opera diva Edita Gruberová has passed away aged 74 in Switzerland.
Time capsule reveals its secrets
What did the people who lived in Bratislava almost two centuries ago leave in a time capsule stored in the statue of Archangel Michael, which has been recently taken down from Michael’s Tower for reconstruction purposes?
Documents from the 18th and 19th centuries, period coins, exchange cards after the devaluation of their currency following state bankruptcy, a box with relics of nine saints sealed in sacred wax, and copper plates are just some of the objects found in the cache.
“We did not know what condition they would be in, as the top of the tower and the statue are very exposed and lightning struck it more than once,” said Zuzana Palicová from the Bratislava City Museum, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Experts will now examine the artifacts and decide which of the objects will be returned to the time capsule, and more importantly, what things the city will place in it for future generations. The public will choose one item.
The renovation of Michael’s Tower should be completed by next year.
Quiz: How well do you know Central and South-eastern Europe? Test your knowledge in this quiz, held in seven languages, on October 29.
Feeling like a ‘live vacuum cleaner’ in the West
When Petra Braunová was working as an au pair, there were no agencies in Slovakia to help find stays abroad connected to childcare. As soon as the Iron Curtain fell and the borders from the communist bloc to the West opened, she set out for France at the prompting of her father.
“I went into the unknown solely with the address of my father’s best friend from the Buchenwald concentration camp. My father taught me French and as a little girl, I wrote his friends in France long letters full of mistakes,” Braunová recalled.
Although her father’s friend welcomed her in Paris like his own daughter, she did not want him to keep an eye on her all the time. “I soon met young French people and they offered me the au pair job. I accepted it without hesitation because I had no idea what it was all about.”
The housewife was not willing to talk to her about anything other than the children. Braunová felt like a maid. The experience of the first Slovak au pairs is wide-ranging. Some dealt with sexual harassment or no windows in their rooms, others had a wonderful time.
Thanks for joining me. Have a lovely weekend. - Peter
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