Behind Smolenice runs a part of the Carpathian Mountains, the Small Carpathians. As seen in this picture from the town, I’m often surprised at how much difference a little elevation can make to the appearance of winter. Behind those hills is Zaruby, the highest point of the Small Carpathians at 768 m (2519 feet) elevation. Click to continue reading
Despite living in this town for six years, it still never gets old – my town has a castle. I find all the castles in Europe terribly romantic, though living in them in the winter might not have been quite as pleasant. The Smolenice Castle is particularly romantic – the first time I walked up to the grounds I thought, “Where is the princess sitting under the tree with a unicorn laying on her lap, while the dragon flies overhead and the knight trots up the road?” It sits atop a hill overlooking the town, with extensive meadows below, a little pond, and the Little Carpathian Mountains rising behind. Click to continue reading
To the north of our village are the Carpathian
mountains hills. I find it fascinating that a few metres higher in elevation can make such a difference in the winter. Even though we live in an apartment, in five minutes we can be out in the oak and beech forest. Not that I get there on my own with the kids during the week, but it’s comforting to know that it’s possible. On the hill to the right there are remnants from a village from the Bronze Age, I kid you not. And on the hill after that, a castle. Click to continue reading
While this winter has been unusually cold in North America, over here in Slovakia it has been particularly mild. To some people, a mild winter might be a relief. To me, it means grey skies, grey trees, grey mud. Grey. Winters like these are the reason I painted my living room yellow. Winters like these make me miss Canadian Rocky Mountain winters of crisp temperatures, dazzling snow, and bluebird skies. When I tell people I enjoy -10C (14F) they look at me like I am crazy. I also cement ideas people have of Canada being the land of snow and ice. I protest, however, that it is completely different when the air is dry. When it is humid, as it is here, barely freezing temperatures seep into the bone and make it feel much colder than it is.