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Monday, December 31, 2007

Travelogue Slovakia (1)

Here is the initial 'travelogue' I wrote when I went on my first overseas assignment for my current job. I wrote this on July 29, 2006 so it's a little out of date. Keep that in mind when reading it.

Also, here is the link with the accompanying pictures to the descriptions in the body of the letter. Let me know if you're not able to view them.

http://picasaweb.google.com/mccoy4984/TravelogueSlovakia1

Hi, all!


Well, this is the first official edition of my 'Travelogue.' If you don't like my writing style, just remember two things. It's free and no one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to read it!! Ha, ha, ha!

I think I'll start with the trip down to my city. As most of you know, I came to Slovakia with Judith and Brian (last names omitted). We spent the first three days in Bratislava (where Judith will remain permanently) and traveled to our respective cities on Friday. The MOD picked us up in a van on Friday morning at 0730. At first, I thought Brian was lucky because he only had to ride for one hour to get to his city, Trencin. After a few more hours, I realized that I was the lucky one. The scenery on the way down was just amazing. Fields and fields of sunflowers were moving to and fro in the breeze. It was as if the ground were shifting continuously. Then, we began to pass the Vysoke Tatry (High Tatra mountains). What a sight! It felt like we were driving through Alpine villages. You could actually see the snow on the peaks. Anyway, the six hours it took to get to my city passed very quickly.

Just when I thought it couldn't get better, we arrived in Presov. Presov is approximately six hours to the east of Bratislava and one hour from the Ukraine. I had prepared myself for a letdown because I knew it couldn't compare. However, I was wrong. It was every bit as nice as Bratislava only on a smaller scale. The joy began after seeing my hotel room. I won't go into detail about it's quality for fear of having my future political career ruined. Let's just say it was more than adequate. After getting checked in and settled, I decided to explore the immediate area. Next to the hotel is a theatre for opera, plays, etc. Across the street, is a TESCO (a British hypermarket). On down the street is the University of Presov. But, I was most impressed with the architecture in the main square. I won't attempt to describe what only a picture can convey. I'll just say that it looked like something out of a painting.

How about the people? Well, I met my supervisor as soon as I arrived. Her English was excellent and she seemed very understanding and considerate. I'm sure it will be easy to work with her. Also, she invited me to a birthday party tonight. Should be fun. As I was exploring the downtown area, all the people I encountered seemed so healthy and vibrant. Although the temperature was a little high, it seemed cool because of the breeze. It reminded me of the three years that I lived in Bavaria. Very European!

Well, I think I'll stop for this week. There is so much more to tell but I have a lot of time to do so. Below, I've enclosed a link about my city and some pictures. Let me know if you have trouble viewing anything.

Picture #1

This is a picture of the High Tatra mountains. Forgive the quality, but I had to take this through the window of a moving van. The driver seemed to be on a mission and I was too scared to ask him to stop!

Picture #2

A Roma settlement. I think it looks quite nice even though it's public housing.

Picture #3

A castle about 20km from Presov. This castle was built to defend against invading armies from the Ottoman Empire.

And, here is the link about Presov. The picture was taken about 100 meters from where I live.

http://www.spectacularslovakia.sk/ss2003/12_northeast.html

I hope you enjoyed this. Feedback is truly appreciated!

All the best to you. Russ

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