The valley of the Vah

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Hotel Majovey, our place of residence last night, used to be the place where ‘unpleasant people’ were taken during bad times in Slovakia, not so long ago either. Fortunately the ghosts of this sad history have been banished by Veronika, the proprietor who has created a fine establishment.

Today we followed the Vah which flows south through a wide valley to meet the Danube at Komarno. Wide valleys are good places for freeways, railways, lots of towns and traffic, so bucolic charms were a little diminished.

We passed a village this morning in which loud speakers throughout were broadcasting traditional music and spoken messages, presumably by the mayor or other pillar of society, exhorting the residents to higher levels of citizenship. Actually Google research has just revealed that they are mainly community announcements and local news.

We took a small road out of the valley and, leaving Ian in a quiet spot to entertain some sheep with his trumpet warm ups and scales, I continued a few km into the next village, called Udiča, to look around. I was discovered map-reading in front of the Udiča church by a local man on bike who asked if I needed help. I indicated ‘no’ so he went off, only to return a bit later in his car, laden with gifts for me – large blue Udiča t-shirt, 2 Udiča postcards and blue Udiča whistle on keyring. He also had his mobile phone with an English speaking friend on the other end. It turned out that he was Jozef, mayor or at least Main Man of Udiča. He spoke English about as well as I speak Slovakian. I conveyed my story to the friend on the phone. Jozef then went off but returned to me twice to give me another t-shirt and then a bag of apricots from his tree. What a man! And now I find that the fine village of Udiča doesn’t even rate a Wikipedia entry. So I am making up for that by giving it a big promotion here!

Other notable events of the day: 3 punctures (Ian – 9; me – 0); hot morning with massive thunder and rain storms in the afternoon – we sheltered and stayed dry.

We are now in Trencin, small city with impressive hrad (castle).

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