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Levoca, Slovakia

Written on: Saturday July 19th, 2008

A journal entry from: Europe

We seem to be moving quickly again after all that downtime in Croatia. We stayed in Visebrad, Hungary an extra day to see the medieval fete happening that weekend. It was extraordinary! There were hundreds of people dressed up in very authentic costumes, great food from the region and a real tounament of knights featuring archery, battles, and a jousting match. We spent the day with a very interesting Englishman, Neil Logsdon. At the age of 69 he is riding his bike from England to Bulgaria along the Danube route where possible. He is doing this partly because he is crazy and partly to raise funds for the child victims of Chernobyl. If anyone would like to please pledge money to this cause at the following web address  focc/uk.neillogsdon  . Next to his our trip looks pretty easy.

We continued on in Hungary to its two greatest wine regions  Eger and Tokaj. In Eger they have a series of wine cellars built into the hills just out of town. There you can indulge in tasting many of the great wines from the area. Trouble was many have discovered that this is a cheap place for a drunk and as the campground was located just beyond the cellars we got little sleep that night. We found the town of Tokaj to be much more sedate and the white wines they produce there are marvelous. In between the two regions lies the birthplace of Bev's father. It s a tiny little village on the Hungarian plain (no wonder they left). The graveyard was full of all kinds of Papps maybe even some ancient relatives.

From Hungary we headed into eastern Slovakia as we wanted to do some hiking in the Slovensky Raj, one of their many national parks. On the way we discovered a country still vey much in the past with peasants, horse pulled wagons, very old villages and wooden churches. Hard to believe they are joining the Euro zone next year. The weather has not been good and accomadations cheap so we have managed to get out of our tent for a while. In spite of the rain we love this area. It resembles the Black Forest as if must have looked years ago and if you take away the buildings the Whistler area. Some of the hikes go through steep gorges where you are assisted by ropes, ladders and chains. The scenery is beautiful the water is clean. Just a litle more sun now and we would have it made.

 

From Linda and Ted on Jul 21st, 2008

Looks like you are in very beautiful countryside! Hate to complain but its too hot in the Okanagan right now! See you in a month!

From Lori on Jul 24th, 2008

Were you anywhere near Presov or Giraltovce in Slovakia. That is where my mother's family is from. We visited there in the late 60's and it was pretty primitive. The picture of the woman(14) looks a lot like some of the relatives we met there.

From Sharon B. on Jul 26th, 2008

Wow, that's neat, Bev, to see the place of your roots. The way of life looks like a wonderful adventure to drop in on. 'We'll have to get going again soon...