Dead Bat

I see a lot of bats flying around in the day time. Until fairly recently, in the towns they roosted in the gaps in the side walls of the ubiquitous socialist apartment blocks. However, there has been a flurry of energy-saving reconstruction, mostly polystyrene blocks placed over the walls and then plastered over. This hasContinue reading “Dead Bat”

All Saints’ Day (Dušičky)

While we in the West celebrate Hallowe’en, the Slavs celebrate All Saints’ Day on the 1st of November. this is a particularly somber affair which involves visiting all the graves of departed family members and loved ones, cleaning their plots, lighting candles and laying flowers. It is a day of remembrance which can require drivingContinue reading “All Saints’ Day (Dušičky)”

Halloween 2014

Last night we celebrated Hallowe’en at the house. Ye gods it was cold but it wouldn’t be the same doing it at the flat. The house has an atmosphere and ambient very conducive for candlelight and creepiness. We had both fires going but the temperature just wouldn’t climb. The kids wrapped themselves in wool blanketsContinue reading “Halloween 2014”

Forest cabin

This is a cabin we stayed at last weekend in the forest above Svidnik, East Slovakia. It’s owned by the regional forest office and is situated on Black Mountain. The hill is renowned for the bandits who used to inhabit it centuries ago, and also for the number of German soldiers who died there duringContinue reading “Forest cabin”

Cicva castle – Elizabeth Bathory

Most people associate Cachtice castle with the Blood Countess, Alzbeta Bathory,  but in her youth she used to live closer to me. Cicva castle, between Lake Domasa and the town of Vranov, was where she was married. Because she was a Hungarian noble, most foreigners believe she was Hungarian by birth. She was in factContinue reading “Cicva castle – Elizabeth Bathory”