Daphne Bergsma, 17 FEBRUARY 2011
In some ways an ambassador is quite like a medieval knight; he or she goes where his King or Queen considers him/her to be of the greatest value. In this respect I consider myself particularly lucky, I must say. Why? Because my latest diplomatic quest brought me to Slovakia, the green and lively heart of Europe, where East meets West and both blend into a remarkable and revitilazing culture.
I invite my countrymen to explore and experience the ancient Slavic soul of this beautiful country and its energetic people, but also to benefit from it and tap into it as a source of joy. I know they will relish all the cultural, culinary and natural gems Slovakia has to offer. Of course there are scores of tourist agencies who are most willing to assist them on their journey, but there is one in particular I wish to point out. Anyone who’s ever been to Slovakia will admit the company couldn’t have a more perfect name.
Amazing-Slovakia is run by a Dutchman, Abram Muller. He’s been living here for more than twenty years now and he knows the country inside out. Anyone looking for a knowledgeable guide with a keen eye for the best places to discover, the best food to taste, the best beers and wines to savour and the most exciting festivals to attend will be safe in his hands. He’s always ready to cook you up a custom-made itinerary, based on your personal preferences, likes and interests.
With so many beautiful places to discover, first-time visitors can indeed be a bit torn as to where to go first. To make things easier I asked Abram to list the absolutely essential towns, buildings, events, museums and festivals to visit and attend. He came up with the following ‘essential’ tour of Slovakia:
- Bratislava, spend at least one day there, it’s the gateway to the country, the old city center is dotted with lots of beautiful buildings, you can do some great walking along the Danube and there are lots of bars and restaurants, that serve good, wholesome food to take care of your appetite afterwards
- Continue to the east of Slovakia: Bardejov, go and see the wooden churches, visit the Andy Warhol museum in Medzilaborce, the Natural Reserve Poloniny and its very ancient forests and don’t forget Kosice, this town is the high-water mark of the gothic style in Europe. Altogether spend maybe 3 days there and visit these towns, churches, museums and do some hiking.
- As for museums: the Museum SNP in Banska Bystrica, museum of the resistance during the Second World War is certainly worth your time, and so is the Danubia Meulensteen Art Museum. Interestingly, this museum was realized bij a Dutch businessman.
If you have the chance, you shouldn’t miss out on these festivals:
- Festival Kremnicke Gagy, end of August, the best humour and satire festival of the country: See website
- Festival Pohoda, beginning of July, for younger people, festival with theatre, music, (political) discussions, presentations of NGO’s etc.: See website
- International Puppet festival in Banska Bystrica, end of September:
For more information I warmly recommend you pay his wonderful website a visit. If your mind is already set on discovering the vast richness of one of Europe’s best kept secrets, you can always give him a call. Abram Muller will do all in his power to make your visit here truly unforgettable and amazing in every respect. I can also mention that Abram is preparing a guidebook on Slovakia in Dutch intended for the Dutch and Belgian market. The book will not only contain information on places to be seen by visitors, but also a thorough analysis of Slovakia’s history, culture and its citizens. It’s the first elaborate guidebook on Slovakia originally written in Dutch. The guidebook is to appear at the end of 2011.
Wish to find out more or discover Slovakia for yourself?
Visit http://www.amazing-slovakia.com , the virtual gateway to unlocking the heart of Europe or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for deeper insight in the country and its citizens, for guided tours and advice on where to stay and what to do.