The Slovakia to-do-list

In order to fully commit myself to this blog, I decided to start to compile a list of all the things I would like to do, to see, to eat, to hear in Slovakia. Below you find a start, but I will update this list whenever I learn about something new that I just have to try. I do have to admit, though, that some of the things below I have already done or experienced, but for the sake of this blog I would gladly experience them again ­čśë

Any suggestions on must-do’s are highly appreciated! Leave a comment!

  1. Find the best “Bryndzov├ę halu┼íky” in the country – “Halu┼íky” is one of the most traditional dishes you can find in Slovakia. Honestly, it is one of these typical ┬┤you love it or you hate it┬┤ dishes, most likely due to how it looks and the sour sheep cheese (Bryndza) that goes in it. Nevertheless,┬áI can proudly say that I belong to the ┬┤I love it┬┤ group.
  2. Make my own “Bryndzov├ę halu┼íky” (and organize a party with it) – It is very likely that the answer to the first to-do point will be: grandmother┬┤s home-made halu┼íky is the best. However, as this will require some practice, I tend to give it a shot myself (and see how my Slovak friends like it).
  3. Reach the highest point of Vysok├ę Tatry – The highest point being “Gerlachovsk├Ż ┼ít├şt”, 2,655 meters above sea level – lucky for me, there are lifts going up.
  4. Hike through Slovensk├Ż Raj – arguably the most beautiful areas in Slovakia
  5. Take┬áa castle tour around the country – including at least:
    • Spi┼ísk├Ż Hrad – one of the largest castles in Europe, covering an area of ca. 4.1 hectares – yes…it is impressive
    • ─îachtick├Ż Hrad – as a ruin itself it may not be very attractive or even interesting. It┬┤s legend, on the other hand! Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory herself presumably bathed here in liters of virgin blood to stay young forever.
    • Oravsk├Ż Hrad – my personal favourite. It is not only one of the most beautiful castles in the country, it also was the location for many scenes of the 1922 Nosferatu movie.
    • Bojnick├Ż z├ímok – considered to be Slovakia┬┤s own Disney castle
    • Bratislavsk├Ż Hrad – honestly, not a particularly impressive castle (compared to others in this list), but it┬┤s history is an important one for Slovakia (plus, there are amazing escavations going on right now)
    • Devinsk├Ż Hrad – a gorgeous ruin close to Bratislava, with an important part to play in Slovakia┬┤s history of defence
    • Tren─Źiansk├Ż Hrad – simply beautiful
    • Strecniansky Hrad – an impressive ruin with an amazing view
  6. Visit the geographical middle point of Europe – There are various locations in Europe that claim to be the geographical middle point of Europe. Slovakia has one of their own in the village of Kremnick├ę Bane
  7. Visit all caves in Slovakia listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List┬á– for example, one of the three only Aragonite caves in the world
  8. Visit the Gothic cathedral in Ko┼íice – The cathedral of Ko┼íice is the farthest, most Eastern┬ápoint the Gothic architectural movement got in Europe
  9. Travel the “Goticka Cesta” – a historical route through the Spi┼í and Gemer region (south-south-east of Slovakia), along various castles, squares, churches, bridges, etc. showing the Gothic architectural influences.
  10. Take the Small Carpathian Wine Route – Slovaks are proud of their wine heritage. Taking this Wine Route will take you along some of the most important wine regions in the country
  11. Visit traditional villages (Vlkolinec, ─îi─Źmany, Pribylina) – specifically famous for their traditional designs of the houses
  12. Visit Bansk├í ┼átiavnica – an absolutely beautiful (UNESCO) old mining village with a great taste for beer!
  13. Learn how to play the ┬┤Fujara┬┤ – for someone who has a passion for playing music, learning how to play this traditional Slovak flute doesn┬┤t need much reconsideration
  14. Visit the largest wooden church altar in the world in Levo─Źa – another UNESCO heritage site, showing off a massive ca. 18 meters high wooden altar
  15. Visit the Bridge of Fame in Tren─Źianske Teplice – forget Cannes! Forget the Walk of Fame in Hollywood! Slovakia has its own film festival with its own Bridge of Fame, boasting visits from some of the greatest actors and actresses in the world. Charlie Chaplin…anyone?click here┬áto read the article
  16. Go mushroom picking – a favourite pastime of many a Slovak
  17. Find the best coffee in Bratislava – as a coffee lover, I love living in Bratislava. It is honestly difficult to find a horrible cup of coffee! Even though that is a good thing, where then can I find the best cup of coffee?
  18. Explore the growing food culture in Bratislava – as part of the rise of the hipster culture in Bratislava, many amazing small food places sprang up and are still offering a great range of food to the Bratislava public. Time to visit them all!
  19. Attend a “zabija─Źka” event –┬á perhaps a bit controversial among the vegetarians among us, but every winter many Slovak villages will host their own “pig-killing” event, with the purpose of stocking up on meat, meat products and fat supplies for the rest of the year, usually shared with the rest of the village.
  20. Collect traditional Slovak recipes and cook them – I love cooking and I love the Slovak kitchen. I need to try it all!
  21. Celebrate Easter the Slovak way (and learn the rhyme) – Given that this article is written one week before Easter, this would be the first point to cross probably. It is a fascinating tradition, including rhymes, water, perfume, money, alcohol and…a whip.
  22. Take a “Plt'” raft along the Dunajec river in Pieniny – the Dunajec is one of the natural borders between Slovakia and Poland. Also, it is a beautiful area, best explored on a traditional wooden log raft, called “Plt┬┤”
  23. Go to the opera in Bratislava – Bratislava, being influenced by Vienna, has a great Opera scene of the highest quality. The National Opera House in the centre of Bratislava may not have been made for a guy with legs like I have, but it is all worth it once the curtains go up.
  24. Go to a New Year’s ball – Each year in January, the ball season is kicked off in the National Opera House in Bratislava, after which every self-respecting city and village organizes there own. Suit up!
  25. Go hunting – Ok, not typical Slovak, but, bound by strict laws,┬áhunting remains an important sport in Slovakia.
  26. Visit a wooden church – mostly found in the north-eastern area of the country, these beautiful traditional wooden churches are worth┬áthe detour into a tiny village, down that small forest road
  27. Walk the Coronation Road through Bratislava – for centuries, Bratislava has played an important part in the history of the eastern part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. In fact, from the late 16-th century until 1830, the Hungarian kings were crowned in this very city. It is still possible to follow the ceremonial route taken by the kings-to-be towards their coronation site in the Saint Martin┬┤s Cathedral.
  28. Visit the Nestville Whiskey distillery – not many Slovaks actually know this, but Slovakia is home to┬áa true┬áwhiskey distillery. Ok, it may not stand up against the big Scottish single malts, but it is worth investigating how the Nestville Whiskey distillery in Hniezdne holds its own.
  29. Attend the annual duck festival – September and October are traditionally the months where every self-respecting restaurant (at least those with a Slovak cuisine) will serve duck (or goose), with red cabbage and “lok┼íe”. Specifically, towns like Chorvatsk├Ż Chrob, outside Bratislava, are famous for their ducks.
  30. Visit the Tokaj wine region – if you want to try Slovak wines, you have to try Tokaj wine.┬áAlthough its region is largely located in Hungary (only ca. 175 hectares out of 900 is Slovak territory), the tradition of making Tokaj wine is just as much a Slovak heritage
  31. Go to a traditional folklore festival – it seems that folklore has become more and more important in the past years, as many traditional folklore festivals have sprung up all over the country. Usually showcasing the traditional hand-crafting professions and selling their end-products,┬áthese festivals are┬áalways┬ávery lively and homely events, with food, music and dance.
  32. Hand-make something traditional – as a result going of going to a traditional folklore festival, why not try to make something myself? A decorated egg, perhaps?

 

 

 

The image in this post is used by courtesy of Mapsof.net.

 

 

2 thoughts on “The Slovakia to-do-list

  1. Try Hontianska Par├ída (Hru┼íov) for a traditional folklore festival:) Also there are competitions in cooking bryndzov├ę halu┼íky in many villages (Terchov├í, Tureck├í etc) that are quite fun. One of the things on my to do list is silvestrovky v├Żstup na Ve─żk├Ż Cho─Ź, they do it in the daytime on 31st of December, the hardcore version is doing at night:))))

    Liked by 1 person

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