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34525Re: Starting my Tours 2013

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  • Ron
    Jul 23, 2013
      Joe, you make me think of a similar experience, finding a young man in robes high in the Tatras as well. Shortly after the communist era that was quite a shock.

      Yes, there were a good number of religious to be seen in Poland, in full habit. Both of us noted that Polish auto traffic was significantly higher than was traffic in Slovakia, this in the Wisowa-Zdroj area (opposite Cigelka) to Krynica - Stara Lubovna. Driving from Krakow airport where I rented the car to Wisowa-Zdroj was no joy for traffic, and about half of that was on magnificently new freeway. My map from 20 years ago was fully obsolete. Happily the rental company gave me a good one, and the agent carefully explaines which signs to follow, I believe to Przmysal instead of Gorlice, as I would have guessed. It was a bit like driving to Toledo from Cleveland and having to choose between New York and Chicago as destination on the freeway. Most noticable on the freeways are the extremely long on and off ramps. I would guess they are about 1 km (half mile) long!

      I hardly saw any horse drawn wagons at all. Poland seemed prosperous, though much of that could be the EU money invested. Looking at the spa of Wisowa-Zdrj, I hope their business proves sufficient to support all of the new, beautiful infrastructure.

      --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Armata, Joseph R" <armata@...> wrote:
      > Hi Ron! Great post!
      > Over 20 years ago I noticed a difference between Slovakia and Poland. As soon as I crossed the border into Poland in the mountain towns, I saw fewer cars and a lot more horse-drawn wagons. I also saw many priests and nuns in religious garb, something I rarely saw on the Slovak side. Are those still true today in the EU era?
      > One of my memories is gingerly climbing up a public trail in the Tatra mountains in a steep and tricky spot, with the assistance of spikes hammered into the rocks around. I looked up and saw coming down the trail towards me a nun in full habit with her arm in a sling! I figured if she can do it in her habit with only one good arm, I should be able to do it too.
      > Joe
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ron
      > Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 10:52 AM
      > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [Slovak-World] Starting my Tours 2013
      > I was walking the roads and trails where my aunt and cousins live in the Czech Republic and I thought one or two of you might be interested in some vicarious experiences. A strong tendency among children of immigrant is to think of the Old Country as it was when grandma and grandpa emigrated, that the culture and land hasn't changed. Of course that is much the same as making the same assumption on life in America over the same period of time.
      > I was walking along one trail that was a road in 1948. Today it peters out and ends at a solar farm. On my first visit in 1970 it led past a completed cow barn and one under construction. Today these are used for the core of a turkey farm. There is hardly a cow to be seen.
      > This is the former Sudetenen Land, which has been a topic now and then on S-W. The last topic I remember is when someone mentioned Slovaks were forced to come here under the communists, and I
      > replied that the immigration started in 1946 and was a free choice. It was an attractive offer for the same reason others emigrated to America from Slovakia - lack of jobs and potential facing everyone back where they grew up. My aunt did clarify one thing, however. The land was not given freely, but was more of what I see from the American experience as a homesteading opportunity. Land and house had to be bought for cash or paid in sweat equity repairs and monthly cash payments over time. That does not address how the program may have changed over time or when the communists took over and changed
      > programs nationwide, but this was the case when my aunt and my uncle both brought their families over in 1946.
      > I headed to Krakow on the night train and spent a few days in Krakow for the first time. I joined an American Rusyn who's family comes from the north slope of the Carpathians while mine comes from the
      > south bank of the Poprad River. We spent a few days together exploring the mountain areas, villages old wooden churches, WW I cemeteries, and it was a rich time for both of us. We share an interest in history, life, connections in the mountains and the way of life and the cottage industry and small industry that existed in these rural areas. Our families were 30 or 40 miles apart and under two different governments within A-H.
      > We both have long term experiences on multiple trips and the exchange of ideas and experiences was rich for both of us. We got into Slovakia twice in about 5 days, once hiking over the mountain ridge to Cigelka, where we had a fine time refreshing ourselves with a good Sharish beer while chatting with a Gypsy woman who was relaxing over ice cream with a bunch of kids she was caring for. I was amazed
      > at how gentle the mountain slopes were, and how short the hike between the Polish and Slovak villages.
      > This trip to Poland was a new experience and on the way out of the mountains extended my stay in Krakow a few nights, it is such an interesting and beautiful city. It has replaced Vienna on my 'golden
      > triangle' with Budapest and Prague.
      > I am finishing up Slovak Language school now and expect I will consolidate some notes and write about other experiences as well. I am in Europe for the summer, with Slovakia as my main interest.
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