Dead Bat

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 has covered up the roosts and it’s common to see bats trying to return to their former sleeping areas and not being able to, then they circle until eventually collapsing.

House Martens also use the flat blocks for summer nesting and both they and the bats keep down the mosquito population. As the region modernizes I see some Eco-system upheavals on the cards….

Cicva castle – Elizabeth Bathory

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 fact from the territory now known as Slovakia.

Given that she believed the blood of virgins would help to keep her young and beautiful, she qualifies as the only real vampire of the Middle Ages – Vlad Tepes,  Dracula,  was just a sadist in comparison.