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12287RE: [S-R] Travel In Slovakia

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  • Bill Tarkulich
    Jun 6, 2005
      Hello John,

      I usually don't like to make comparison between the states and Slovakia, but
      it's necessary to do so here.
      For the most part, the rules of the road are the same as they are here.
      They do one better than America, which is using international traffic signs
      everywhere. It makes driving rules obvious and intuitive. Of course this
      is true for most all European nations. Yes, they drive on the right hand
      The number of limited access highways in Slovakia is extremely limited. You
      will spend most of your time on improved primary roads, 2-lane, (one in each
      direction), with a line down the middle.

      No, there isn't a lot of traffic, especially compared to the Northeast US,
      Chicago or LA. Remember that Slovakia is about the size of West Virginia,
      with the population of Massachusetts (5 million). The two largest cities,
      Bratislava and Kosice are, from a density point of view, not much larger
      than Cleveland. All the other cities are much, much smaller. Think about
      it, there are over 2,500 villages, most with populations under 1,200 souls.
      Most of the land is countryside.
      I was never in bumper-to-bumper traffic a-la-America. The worst it ever got
      was a couple light cycle delays in the city. Even in the city the traffic
      is not that dense. On the open road you may pass one car per minute or
      longer. The work ethic is strong and they start their days early - busy
      roads by 4 to 5am, especially in the city. Remember, lots of people do not
      have cars, far fewer percentage than in America.

      I found getting in the car and driving to be quite ordinary and uneventful.
      You just have to figure out the gas prices - converting Liters to Gallons
      and Crowns to Dollars. You do however, share the road with all the diesel
      trucks, a rather unpleasantly aromatic journey when they can't be passed for
      dozens of winding miles.

      I only have one beef, and it's about a few "rotten apple" drivers. These
      idiot guys (yes, guys) find it necessary to make three lanes of two in order
      to pass someone. They do this by straddling the middle of the road (yes,
      driving center on the median stripe) and essentially forcing cars on both
      sides off to the side of the road while they pass. I have NEVER heard a
      rational, reasonable explanation for such behavior from otherwise
      intelligent, sober, lack-of-road-rage people. Fortunately, it only happened
      to me a couple of times. I did ride with an unnamed individual who insisted
      on doing this frequently. I finally insisted on driving. Do not let these
      fools deter you from driving.

      Driving in SR was one of the memorable parts of the journey. Especially as
      Americans, being able to come and go as you please, stop on a whim, was
      quite worthwhile. Driving around looking for that long-lost and abandoned
      cemetery in the rain made having the car quite worthwhile, to say nothing of
      making good use of your time.

      Don't forget to stop by a gas station and purchase an "SK" sticker to put on
      your car when you get back to the states!

      Shop around for price. The only other thing about auto rentals is that some
      rental companies either restrict which country travel is permitted to or
      charge a surcharge. May be worthwhile depending on your itinerary.

      Enjoy your trip.

      Bill Tarkulich

      -----Original Message-----
      From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of D. Radmacher
      Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 10:55 AM
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [S-R] Travel In Slovakia

      Noreen: I hadn't thought of renting a car. They do drive on the right hand
      side of the road don't they? Is there a lot of traffic? I would be nervous
      driving in big cities but think I might be okay in the rural areas.

      Since you have done this, do you have any suggestions on places to see that
      shouldn't be missed? We plan to go to the Tatra Mtns for a few days and
      have a place to stay there. Our main point of interest is Trstena where my
      grandparents originated from. I have very little information on them other
      than their names and a general time when they left there.

      We also plan to go to Kracow while there. Other than that our plans are

      Thanks for your advice.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: nhasior@...
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, June 03, 2005 3:14 AM
      Subject: Re: [S-R] Travel In Slovakia

      In a message dated 6/2/05 2:28:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
      dradmacher@... writes:

      > We are landing in Prague and traveling from there and plan to go to
      > Poland

      have you considered renting a car for part of your visit? With the
      convenience of a car, i was able to travel to family cemeteries and small

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