alan skeoch
may 2, 2021

Find Gorbachov and Yeltsin…wooden dolls writing dolls in a market.

Kevin rented a Skoda for our tour of the Slovakian Hinterland. A local car would
keep us anonymous he felt.   So we would not be seen as tourists.

 I really wanted
to see a collective farms.   We failed to do that.

There is nothing worse than a tourist who thinks he or she
understands a foreign country after a visit that lasted only a few days.  That was us.
We made generalizations faster than a cat could catch a mouse.   The  pictures in
this Episode are just the result of a fast visit to the Slovak Republic in March 1993 
when there was still snow on the ground.   Pictures a little too much
on the sensational scale.  Just enjoy them.  Do not think they express the 
reality of life in Slovakia.  They are the result of a week end drive to the
High Tatra mountains,

Not everyone loved us…read  the Graffiti…”English Rounders” is not a compliment

Here is Slovak dog we met.  Not too friendly with a muzzle made of steel.

A rural farm…family owned I assume…not a collective farm in other words.  I believed
incorrectly that we would see many large collective farms.  We did not.  The whole
issue of land ownership has no simple answer.   I loved these old rural buildings
but they were not the norm.

Charming rural scene…but not usual.   Must avoid generalizing.  Busy streets with
cars, trucks, busses were the norm just like any other country.

As we began to enter the mountain country…heading for the High Tatras Mountains

Yes, that is a New Hampshire hen I think

“Kevin, stop the car…that looks like a collective farm barn..huge…must be
used by many families.”
“Dad, look at the roof…the barn is a wreck just like some in Ontario. This is not
a farm.”

“Kevin, pull over here. This looks like it might be a collective farm”
“We are not stopping…there are people watching us from the far wall…must
be a little careful.”
(Sure enough there were people…men…maybe a problem, maybe not…we continued)

the house is newish…but the storage buildings are ancient…potatoes, apples, whatever.

Pictures often distorted reality.

Charming village street.  But not the norm.  Most Slovaks live in tall Soviet built
apartment buildings.   I should have taken a picture of them but did not

March 1993 was not the tourist season…apparent here

The sale of Soviet era officers hats at a market.

Dolls made from fine woodwork and corn husks…very fine work.

There seemed to be lots of castles…some in ruins, others seemed inhabited

Here we are on top of the Tatra mountains.  Many Slovaks go up here just to go
hiking along the peaks.   

Kevin and Marjorie going up or down.  I was going the opposite way.  We took a bottle
of wine with us for our top of the mountain lunch.  We were not supposed to do that
we discovered.

Second last picture…end of our Slovak adventure.   Too bad Kevin’s eyes are closed but
I was not looking at him. My eyes  were on the woman in pink

I think this is the best picture to use as a conclusion.  Generalization from this boys’
face would be accurate.  We had a good time.

alan skeoch

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