Weekend: Say hello to cute Muránska Planina groundhogs

Design without borders heads to Bratislava, enjoy concerts and a podcast about mental health in Slovakia.

National Park Muránska Planina is a great place to start with hiking.National Park Muránska Planina is a great place to start with hiking. (Source: Ján Krošlák - Petit Press)


Muránska Planina, the home of hikes, nature and friendly groundhogs

With spring just around the corner, nature is slowly but surely waking up. This season is a great opportunity for a peaceful hike without the risk of high temperatures. That is, for the price of rather unpredictable weather, though.

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Muránska Planina (plain)’s hiking trail Biele Vody (White Waters) is an easy start to build up your physique for more difficult trips. One of Slovakia’s youngest national parks welcomes all hikers to enjoy the fauna and flora of central Slovakia, Banská Bystrica Region. At the end of the trail, hikers have a chance to reach Sysľovisko, a meadow full of friendly groundhogs. The little cuties are starting to get active on sunny, warmer March days.

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The national park warns tourists not to touch or pick up the groundhogs as they might bite, not to leave food near their burrows to avoid food rot and to not give them unsuitable food. Home-grown apples, carrots or unroasted unsalted seeds can be acceptable treats, but not too much.

Sysľovisko is not far from the nearby municipality of Muráň or larger town of Revúca, in case you need to grab fresh vegetables for the groundhogs or a snack for yourself. The area is surrounded by interesting sights, such as a castle, meadow, caves, and waterfalls. For a more challenging trip, more experienced adventurers might appreciate the peak Poludnica, with breathtaking views. Be wary of the weather!



Design Without Borders

Bratislava’s Umelka, an art gallery, hosts the exhibition Design Without Borders, a project from the hands of 150 artist from fifteen countries. Originally an exhibition tied closely to Hungary’s capital Budapest, it is travelling outside the Hungarian borders for the first time, landing in Bratislava. Visitors can look forward to a compilation of art pieces from previous years.

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The project combines and celebrates different art forms, celebrating innovation and creativity. With an array of mediums, such as product design, jewelry, glass-work, textile and much more, every art lover will find something they like. To complete the collection, a set of short movies portraying cancelled exhibitions in covid-19 periods is playing during the exhibition. Bratislava’s Umelka Gallery is hosting the exhibition until April 9.



Sharpe Festival brings sharp music

The international music festival and conference Sharpe brings artists from all around Europe to Slovakia. Bratislava’s Nová Cvernovka will house musicians from Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Lithuana, Germany and more. Besides concerts, Sharpe organises discussions, workshops, and meetings with independent artists to learn more about music.


Give Slovakia's very own Vanessa Weisz a listen! Here's her short live show on Rádio_FM.


  • PODCAST: Káčko is a contact point for people who find themselves in crisis, and in need of psychological help. It is the bridge that connects the helplines IPčko.sk, Crisis Helpline, and Dobrá Linka. Visitors can come talk to trained psychologists, anonymously and free of charge.Two psychologist from Káčko talk about hardships that come with life and the state of mental health in young people in Slovakia. How does one cope?

That's it for this week. Take care, and have a restful weekend!

Do you have any tips? You can reach Mária at maria.jurikova@spectator.sk

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