Well for the past two weeks I've been with my three host brothers living with their grandma in Slovakia.
Day 1: So I thought I would set my alarm an hour early so I had plenty of time to wake up but I sort of went back to sleep so by the time I woke I had 10 minuets before I had to leave. Before long I was at Copenhagen's airport leaving for Prague. I completely understand why they say it is the most beautiful city now. Without a lie- it is. All the buildings are still very traditional, there is street entertainment everywhere and above all there is this glorious food that is like cooked bread and sugar- IT tastes amazing!!!Within my time there, I pretty much just walked around the old town and went to the famous bridge and saw a bit of the jewish town. It was a really nice experience though. I than caught a train where in like five hours time I was reunited with my host brothers. I think on the train I intimidated the drinks lady though because I spoke English- she got really nervous. Something that did frighten me immensely was how grandma drives. If someone had filmed me I sware my eyes would have been popped out my head. Where we were in Slovakia it was made up of a lot of mountains and the roads here aren't the best. But it was a terrifying experience. Before long though we were at the house and I had a bit to eat and a grand tour before hitting the sack.
Day 2: This morning my little bro Nils gave me a tour of grandmas gardens. They are very beautiful- she grows quite a lot of fruit and vegetables. With the fruit she further makes jam or saft (cordial). We than went into the small town of Dolny' Kubin with a population of 20, 000. One there we went for a walk down the main road and we went to an art gallery but that was weird. It was quite nice to go. However I doubt they have many people go in there and it was a little off. But in one of the rooms we had to wear special shoes and they made you slide everywhere and that was fun. In this town and most of Slovakia the icecream costs around 20-30 euro cents so around 40c AUD or 3 SEK. So within this trip we went mental with the icecream. We than visited an old church which was ahh nice. The traffic in the country is fully hectic though. Like serious unless you are on a crossing- don't go, never jay walk. Even if you are on a crossing still look to make sure they will stop- because most won't. IT's an incredibly beautiful area though. I absolutely love it. Next we went to grandmas sisters house where we had fika. There was a little boy here who attempted to say something in English for me which was just beautiful. That is something else if you are over the age of around 50 you don't speak any English. Like the grandma couldn't say a word which was extremely hard for me because Slovakian is extremely difficult language to learn for English speakers. The word thankyou- Dakojem- When I said it they couldn't even sort of hear I was saying the word. Also the way you say yes is no which also became a confusing thing. Anyway we along with their cousin Adam went to the a village in the middle of the mountains. It was really awesome everything about it was still very traditional and it was just absolutely stunning. When we got back to the great aunts house we played this game that Niki (the middle child) found online where you look for a piece of paper and write your name on it. Well we played it and found it and that was really good. The building are very colourful here too- in my opinion more colourful and bright than Swedish ones. We finished the afternoon off by playing basketball.
Day 3: Today we went for a miniature walk in a mountain which was really nice. I think I surprised the cousin Adam because some of the stuff I did in Slovakia would be considered 'manly' which I thought was funny. In the mountains there are heaps of water way which make it just even more amazing aye. That night we went to the swimming pool which had like slides and a whorl pool. It was incredibly fun actually. There was one time though I went down and a kid hadn't moved yet and I think I winded the hell out of him. That night we had an amazing desert! It was bluebarries and sugar which may not sound that amazing but it really was!
Day 4: so I was pretty tired and I thought I had slept in heaps today because it was 10 but when I wake majority of the fam bam were still out to it. I spent a bit of time packing and just chilling before having lunch. This is very different here everyday it is a huge deal. Like we have a soup than after a warm meal- today we had fish. Than after lunch we went to Bratislava. It is nothing like its sterotype in Australia. The north and south here do change drastically though. In the south it is very flat whereas the north where I am staying is mountainous and forestry. After around 3 hours of driving- petty much driving across the whole country we arrived at Monika's brothers house. He is a really nice bloke. The houses do go from extremes though. Like grey unpainted if they were in Australia they may be bulldozed to colourful huge gated mansions. I was lucky enough to be staying in the second type. We than went into the city of course on the way in getting icecream. We walked around the old town which I love because this country has not really been discovered by tourists so it feels homely. Like Prague is amazing but I barely needed a map it was more just follow the people. We than got more icecream and listened to some gypsy street performances. WE than chilled at the bridge before driving back to the uncles place of course getting icecream first. Once at the house I met the whole family which was really nice. There were three little girls and two of them were very fluent in English. This afternoon was very nice actually we swam in the pool and a BBQ. The chef did an amazing job if I can say so myself. Something I love about this trip is that I get to live like a local which is good with experiencing food. That night we watched Harry Potter before bed.
Day 5: The next day I went to church because that is what they do in this country. Like serious everyone goes. I've never seen such a big turn out before it even over took some weddings in Aust. That's how packed out it was. IT was ridiculously hot though and as soon as it finished we went home and jumped in the pool. After lunch today we had an amazing desert aye I can't explain it even but it like was heaven! We than had to leave and return back to grandma's house. We spent the afternoon playing basketball before passing out.
Day 6: Today I went to a castle! It was really awesome and it gave me heaps of information on the country. My favourite bit was there was a pain room- little Slovak people were fully brutal! Something I quite like about the castles in Europe are the roofs- I mean like how often do you tilt your head up to look at a roof yet they still spend so much time on it. The view from the castle was pretty darn good aye. I got to see all of Slovakians houses and it was really something! In one of the rooms in the castle there were two girls in traditional wear who played some folk music which sounded lovely. There was one story that I thought was pretty cool. A king was going to kill a drink boy because he spilt a little wine but his wife put her hand there to stop it inevitably she died and the boy got to live.
Day 7: Today we went to a beautiful cave. Like dead set it was amazing. There were these pointy things that are made from water and limestone and it takes 200 years for it to grow a cm. Some of them were a good 2meters long as well which was very impressive. There was money everywhere too. Everywhere there was water there were people tossing in money- a good few thousand would be down there. After the few kilometres walk in the cave we went to a lake which was again just stunning. Most of this afternoon I spend playing lego with Nils which became very intense with its wars.
Day 8: Today I got to visit the place where grandma works. It was a pretty big culture shock to be honest. It was at a hospital however the building and everything in the building was like it was from the 60's and to a foreigner a little intimating and I sort of prayed I wouldn't need to go. I also visited a chapel where it had two doors to go in- one for men and one for woman which I thought was a very different thing. In the afternoon we went to a park to play football. At the park there were lots of animals also to pat which was nice. The thing with the football though is that if the ball went past you- it just kept going because it was all hills here, which became quite annoying. We than had a Kofola- I completely forgot to mention this. It is like god! Na but dead set its like coke but when you buy it at a pub it comes out like a beer and it sort of tastes like lollies 'candy' but its amazing and I'm sad Sweden or Australia doesn't have it.
Day 9: It was Nils birthday today! It is traditional in Sweden to wake them up from bed singing and in Slovakia it is tradition to shake hands so we did both. It's been awhile since my little brother at home Benno was receiving those really annoying gifts with the small presents so I had forgotten about them. But within minutes I was reminded… so many little hard pieces and everything connects in a 'easy'! way. He loved it though. Than the cousins rom Prague came over for a few nights. I helped make dumplings- almost gave Niki a heart attack though because in his judgement I don't think I was doing it right. However they tasted amazing. Today we also visited the granddad gave which was a little emotional. We than went to the great grandmas house. She is such a lovely lady. The place where she lives is very very traditional so that was really nice. Niki showed me around the town and I just love every bit of it!
Day 10: Today we went for a huge hike! It was so beautiful. I went with Niki, Nils and their three little cousins and aunt and uncle. The view was indescribable though. It looked picture perfect! And the air was so clean feeling. I also got to see a waterfall which wasn't that big but still beautiful. However it was freezing! I had never felt water so cold. Everywhere we walked we could eat the berries which was really nice- not legally like in Sweden but it was still there and wasn't poisons. We also went to a bear festival! Happy bear day everyone. We went out for lunch today- it was really nice. I got to have a very popular Slovakian meal of fried cheese! Yummmmm What was funny is since becoming an exchange kid I've learnt to sleep everywhere. So the whole way there and back- actually any time I was in the car I slept. But what was funny with these two trip is that it was me and the baby sleeping and we missed out on heaps- like Anna's tooth fell out and apparently everyone was screaming and I was passed out for it all.
Day 11: the next day we went to church which to be honest was incredibly boring. For starters I'm not religious and second it was in another language so I just sat there.. we had an amazing lunch after it though. Like a good 15 people were there and we ate duck which apparently is a very common meal here. After lunch we went to the great grandmas house again. This time Niki and I went for a Kofola than just walked around chilling. On this trip Niki and I became extremely close because every day from start to finish we would hang out because we didn't really know anyone else. But it is super good cause without a lie he is like my brother him and Nils.
Day 12: Today was awesome! I got to go to my favourite country in the whole world! POLAND!!!! I can't explain why it is my favourite- its just every time I go there it's the best experience. It only takes a small trip till we are there too maybe 30 minutes. When we got there it was so cool- we went to these really huge markets. For all you could see was the tops of the market tops. It is extremely cheep here as well which was a plus like you could get roxy bags for $20 AUD. I also love the clothing that is in fashion at the moment it is just amazing. The whole atmosphere was really something to remember aye. What was good was that I had Niki with me- Slovakian is his second language so he is fully fluent in it which is good because they like to rip off tourists especially English speaking ones.
Day 13: in the morning today I made a Pavlova for grandma to say thankyou for having me… It failed and sort of went softish but it is the thought that couldn't aye. At lunch today everyone came over so the house was like packed out! All us kids played basketball which was really fun till Niki kicked it out. Adam, Niki and I went to go get it. But something that is here that we don't have where I live in Australia is these prickle plants. They are barbaric! They sting like crazy and I got them in my leg and it burned and continues to burn for around 5-6 hours! Till I went to sleep anyway. It was the longest amount of pain I've ever been in! That night we went to the water park which was really good! This water park is actually a lot of fun. Heaps of memories were made here aye.
Day 14: so today was my final day in Slovakia. Which is extremely sad because these past two weeks were some of the best in my life; I absolutely love this country. North Slovakia/ South Poland without a doubt is just incredible. People underestimate these East Europe countries but serious they are the best. Well for what I want out of a country they are the best. For my final day Niki, Adam and I walked into town and got some icecream, I bought a flower for grandma to sort of make up for the horrible pav. We also went to a sop and bought fire crackers! These things are very cheap here and are legal which is great! WE had loads of fun with them actually. After lunch we went back into town and got a pizza before saying goodbye to Adam at the train station. The rest of the afternoon was pretty chill- I got pretty sad actually and yeah. The next day we had to wake up at 4am and pretty much the same thing that happened on the way there happened on the way back.