Wild swimming spots in Slovakia

Explore the wild swimming spots of Slovakia and the Liptov region.

This week we report almost forgotten Ukrainian songs, how a swimmer helps save Slovak rivers. Our podcast highlights the Liptov region.

Khroniki: Ukrainian songs almost forgotten but powerful

The year 2014 was not only marked by the emergence of a war conflict in Ukraine. Slovak filmmaker Lucia Nimcová and experimental musician Sholto Dobie traveled to the Rusyn villages of the Carpathians to rediscover and make a documentary on khroniky – Ukrainian folk songs.

Seven years later, the two released a four-field record LP titled DILO, which was a major independent Ukrainian daily newspaper which was closed in 1939.

Folk songs describe hardships, murder, torture, death in gulags, heavy drinking, foiled men, and love stories. But a lot of songs also make fun of marriage. There is even a subcategory of khroniky songs called potka (vagina) songs.

“The khroniky were never properly documented because they were seen as too rude or contained politically problematic lyrics, ”Edinburgh-based freelance journalist Claire Sawers wrote in her review of the LP.

Nimcová, who grew up in eastern Slovakia where the Rusynes also live, remembers the khroniky of his childhood. Although she is from the Rusynes area, she said it was difficult to gain people’s trust and hear them sing.

“The Rusyn community is very closed,” said Nimcová, who now lives in Ethiopia. “We would stay awake until five in the morning at a wedding, then go straight to a morning baptism or pick up haystacks with the villagers, hoping they would sing while they worked. “

Dobie added that the songs have their own atmosphere and intimacy from the spaces in which they were recorded. Sawers agrees, noting that the feel of the album oscillates between laughter and raw, painful truth.

In one song, a woman sings about selling herself to buy a cow, while another song tells the story of an adult son asking his mother why his father, who went to war, is not coming back. no dinner.

Other cultural news of this week

  • Movie: The French animated short Polka Dot Boy by Sarina Nihei won the main prize at the international animation festival Fest Anča. Eva Matejovičová’s film Sanctuary won the Anča award for best Slovak animated film.
  • Restaurant: Popular Bratislava restaurant Kubista has announced that it is closing its doors.
  • Music: One of Slovakia’s biggest music festivals, Pohoda, takes place this week at Trenčín Airport, but only in its smaller version.
  • Oscars : Slovakian cinematographer Martin Štrba has joined the Academy of Oscars.
  • Festival: The international Košice Music Spring (KHJ) festival starts on Friday July 9. For three weeks, visitors can look forward to symphonic and chamber concerts.
  • To visit: The “Začnite s vysťahovaním” walking tour will take place in the town of Kremnica at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on July 10. It will retrace the history of places linked to the Slovak national uprising of 1944.

Swimmer helps save Slovak rivers

Last year she achieved great personal success when she swam the English Channel with other long distance swimmers from Slovakia. This time, Soňa Rebrová decided to take on another swimming challenge to save Slovak rivers.

By mid-August, she aims to swim six large water dams in the country, with a total length of 60 kilometers. She previously swam in Sĺňava and Kráľová, both located in the Trnava region.

“In Sĺňava, just before entering the water, I saw two plastic bottles and a plastic bag on the shore,” Rebrová told the daily Sme.

In mid-July she will travel to the Žilina region where she will swim in the Oravská priehrada and Liptovská Mara dams. As she said on a daily basis, she looks forward to Liptovská Mara since she has swam there once before. At the same time, she is afraid to swim in Oravská priehrada.

Through its ongoing initiative, Rebrová hopes to draw attention to polluted Slovak rivers, which are teeming with plastics and other waste. Others can help her cause by donating money to the environmental organization Slatinka. They can also collect litter near Slovak rivers, which Rebrová does in his free time.

In early August, Rebrová is expected to swim in two more dams, Domaša and Zemplínska Šírava. The latter has long been nicknamed the Slovak Sea.

Where to swim: During scorching days, nothing better than swimming in lakes and water dams, of which Slovakia has a lot.


Tatralandia, Vlkolínec and Jasná? Liptov is more than that

It is surrounded by mountains on either side and Slovakia’s longest river runs through it, but its “sea”, which was created by the inundation of several villages, is what dominated the Liptov region for decades.

Swimming near the almost unspoiled shores and in the bays of the dam or taking a boat trip while enjoying splendid views of the hills are memorable experiences. Water and mountains are important for tourism in Lipov, but the villages in the region also have their own unique spirit.

“Sometimes there are little pearls, and one of them is Partizánska Ľupča,” Vanfleteren said of this ancient town with a rich mining history and extraordinary architecture in the podcast.

The region also contains the mythical peak of Kriváň, a Celtic site above Liptovská Mara, a number of wooden restaurants called koliba and salaš, tasty cheeses and the longest cave system in Slovakia. Visitors should start their journey through this diverse region in one of two main cities: Ružomberok or Liptovský Mikuláš.

Travel news in brief


He went from Airbnb property manager to beekeeper: “The pandemic was redemption”

For Sefo Raclavský, renting apartments through Airbnb was initially just a side activity, a way to earn money. The earnings helped him pay off his mortgage. And he was also animated by the idea that foreign tourists bring back beautiful memories from Slovakia thanks to him.

“It was a great time that I love to come back to. But it didn’t last long. When my friend and I started renting more apartments, the charm disappeared. It became a job that I did. couldn’t catch up, ”Raclavský said in an interview.

Before the pandemic, Raclavský rented 80 apartments through Airbnb, which is the capacity of a medium-sized hotel. Its mission has become a business. He had to set up processes and clean up, which led to mental exhaustion.

However, the pandemic buried Raclavský’s business on Airbnb. He withdrew from the industry altogether, settled in a rural area near Stará Turá in the Trenčín region, and is now trying his hand at beekeeping.

It’s all for now. Thanks for joining me. Have a good week-end. – Pierre

Do you have any advice? You can reach Peter at [email protected]

9. Jul 2021 at 8:56 am | Pierre Dlhopolec

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