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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Travelogue Slovakia (5) Saris Castle

Written on August 23, 2006

Hello everyone!!

Apologies from the beginning . . .I know I promised not to send out another report for at least a few weeks. However, I'm going to Prague this weekend and I couldn't figure out a way to squeeze these pictures in prior to sending those. So, here you go. Hit 'delete' if you don't want to see them.

http://picasaweb.google.com/mccoy4984/TravelogueSlovakia5SarisCastle

Last Saturday, my friends and I visited a castle called Saris Castle. It is near Presov but a bit of a climb up a hill. We started walking to the hill (from one of the suburbs) around 1030am. We got to the top at about noon. On the way up, there was some beautiful scenery (see picture #1). I held my own with the younger climbers and was quite proud as they commented on the physical ability of such an old person. At the top, I was able to take some pictures of the ruins below (#2). In the next picture (#3), you can see the gate (without the drawbridge) that was the entry to the castle area. Also, on MY right is the supervisor where I work.

After taking in the surroundings, we had a barbecue on the castle grounds. It was quite simple really, some sausages cooked over a hole in the ground with a grill on top, but it was a lot of fun. However, later in the afternoon, my friends started getting edgy and suggested that we head back down the hill. I thought that they were afraid of getting back too late, but then they told me a story. Apparently, about 500 years ago, a young noblewoman had committed suicide by jumping off the castle walls. She did this because she had been promised to a prince but had already fallen in love with a peasant (the story of my life). Anyway, people say that she wanders the ruins at night looking for her lost love. They call her "The White Lady." To tell you the truth, I was more concerned about vampires considering how close we are to the Carpathian mountain range!

So, we headed back down to the suburb (Velky Saris) that we started from. On the way to the bus stop, we ran into some people my friends knew who happened to be making plum jam at the time. They do this by putting the plums in a hot cauldron and stirring for 20 hours. I was told that if you stop for one minute, it will ruin them so everyone stirs in shifts to prevent this (#4). And, of course, I had to do my part (#5)!

It was a great day as you can see. On Sunday evening, I went bowling. This sport is relatively new to Slovakia. Yesterday, I had a tour of the city with one of my friends. I had made the mistake of telling the story of how I got lost on the wrong bus. This friend insisted on buying a bunch of bus tickets and taking me through the routes of each important bus. Oh well, I guess it could be worse.

I hope you enjoyed this tour. Please let me know what you think. Pictures from Prague are coming next week.

All the best, Russ

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