I didn't put any of my friend's names in it or their pictures (with some from-a-distance exeptions). All of the photos in this blog were taken by me.
Finally, excuse my grammar and typos. x
My holiday in Slovesky Raj, Slovakia (raj = paradise) started out kinda funny (well, with the group of friends I was it really was no wonder nothing went according to the plan... ;) )
For starters, we left an hour an a half later than we should have. I had only necessary things with me but my friend (the one who organized the whole thing) took also a projector, two laptops and a big bed sheet with him so we could watch movies in the evenings. I did see quite a few films there and I'm gonna „review“ them in a separate blog. :)
Our group consisted of 8 people, mostly former highschool mates. 2 couples, 3 singles – me included (hint hint, purr purr) and our German friend who is not single but his girlfriend didn't join him this time (we may have scared her off the last time... lol). There were only 3 girls (....counting myself....).
We spent 8 years together at a Catholic highschool (Arcibiskupske gymnazium in Prague) plus our German friend joined us for a year 5 years ago in an Erasmus project (I think). These days we're all studying college (2 med students, 1 biologist, 1 nuclear physicist, a pedagogy student – music-oriented, 1 political sciences student, mechanic ingeneer hopefull and me...info sciences student)...and indulge ourselves in endless discussions about various topics spanning from art&music, politics and social issues to religion. (Actually, I hate these discussions but sometimes they cAN be interesting.)
As far as religion goes, our group is pretty varied as well: deeply religious people (both Catholic and Protestant), lapsed Catholics, liberal Lutherans and not-really-anythings-who-do-believe-in-something (me included).
Why I write about religion...we had quite an eventful journey to Slovakia. Rain, storm, pooring rain, storm, dark and stuff...we were on the way for over 12 hours which is almost double the time it should have taken. My not-really-anything friend was making fun of my deeply religious Protestant friend by teasing God...and every time he said „That's all you can do?“ the rain became stronger, the lightning bigger and the thunder louder. Atheists, say whatever you want.... ;)
At one point, at about 9 PM, we had to stop somewhere in Raj. We were inside the car, outside there was this big storm, it was pitch black and we listened to the opera on the radio.
Meet The Bunch of Complete Cuckoos.
We eventually arrived safely in our destination, a village called Cingov
a very safe&expensive Audi and a white Fiat
The hut was kinda creepy sometimes. You could hear voices of people who were not longer there (I don't mean dead...just not present at the moment)...could have been just our imagination, tho. :)
We're all huge on music. Different kinds of it, some of us even play a song or two. We had three guitars with us...the tragedy is that all the guys can play is fuckin Nothing Else Matters and Tears in Heaven (and some depressing Karel Kryl songs). Thank God for my iPod and friend's big speakers! :) :)
I got some kudos and kinda puzzled looks for knowing bands and even titles of songs I don't listen to or even like. Well, the truth is that while they're all studying really hard all I do most of the time is listening to the radio and watching stuff (yeah, recently I spend most of the time I watch Midsomer Murders or any other British TV/film with my mother telling her where I know the actors from...)
I do know it's weird, don't worry. :)
We made a few trips during our time there...some to the valleys of Raj, one even to the High Tatras.
Cingov - view from a nearby rock:
Spis Castle (I made about 50 pictures of it...was hard to choose just one:
The walls (the brown thing inside is a stage):
The skies above Spis (one of the many photos of the sky I've taken there...skies are kinda my thing):
Trip to one of the valleys of Slovensky raj (this one's called Velky Sokol, I think). Was beautiful out there but I don't think I'm gonna repeat climbing above waterfalls any time soon. a) My balance = not good b) Not comfortable to move in hights (don't mind looking down when there's a solid railing, tho) c) can't fucking swim.
The only thing that could make me repeat this experience would be the promise of Johnny Depp waiting for me at the end of it.
Make it Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves and Dustin Hoffman.
Al Pacino wouldn't be bad either.
The threat of Pierce Brosnan following me while singing S.O.S. could make me climb it too.
I love this photo:
One evening we ate out in Spisska Nova Ves. If you find yourself in this town, do visit a restaurant called "Zbrojnos"...unlike most of the other restaurants there it closes at 11 pm ( or 10:30 at the soonest) and try "Tatransky ohen" (The Fire of Tatra is probably the English translation) - it is spicy but if beef is your thing (is mine!) it's really really reeeaaally good.
Approaching High Tatras on our final trip we were amazed by how close to them we could get by car and that we could see the the whole time. Then we noticed the reason we could see them even tho we were right below them. The vast fields of some violet flower filled with the remains of the trees that were destroyed by a windstorm a few years back. Brought tears to my eyes.
Tatras from the car park:
Strbske pleso - my favourite trip. :)
And...well...the sunset of our last day in Paradise:
Half of our group left a day earlier, my half (incl. our German friend) set out on the journey to Prague on Saturday morning. And again, it wasn't an ordinary journey. First of all some of us caught some misterious infection which resulted in people leaking from more than just one visceral holes. I didn't catch it, thank God...but one of our usual drivers did – and so for me the night before our departure became a blur of sighs and cries, the sound of rain and dreams.
Second of all, we got stuck in two motorcades.
We had great weather while in Raj but again, on our journey home it HAD to rain again. This time, tho, thank God, there was no storm. On the other hand, when my lapsed Catholic friend muttered something to God, our scraper fell off on the side of the driver. I am not kidding!
Fun story from our journey home: my poor friend who was tired from all the leaking of the previous night fell asleep in the passanger seat. With his mouth open and with his cowboy hat (which was actually some kind of traditional Slovakian hat) in his head...or rather forehead.
I had no idea why all the people in the other cars that got stuck in the motorcade stared at us so amused...and then I saw my friend in the side mirror...at I still have to laugh at the sight. Priceless.
As I tweeted when I came back, I had a great time in Slovensky Raj. The nature was beautiful, the films I saw were mostly good and the book I was reading ("Al Pacino" by Lawrence Grobel) was way better than I'd expected (recommended read if you're into Pacino, films, acting etc.) - and of course it was great for once in a year to be with people I don't get to see every day, have a laugh together and get into discussions with them. :)
We've already started planning for next year... :)
Next up: a blog about the films I saw while on the holiday. Can't resist. :)