We have arrived in Bratislava, Slovakia. This landlocked country of 5 million people is bordered by Poland, Ukraine, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Bratislava is its largest city and is about an hours drive from Vienna Austria, 2 hours from Budapest Hungary and 3 from Prague in the Czech Republic. It sits on the shores of the Danube River and is at the crossroads of Eastern Europe commerce and culture.
Slovakia had been a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the 10th to the early 20th Century and then joined with its neighbor to form the country of Czechoslovakia in 1918. It was a beneficiary the “Velvet Revolution” of 1989 that saw the fall of communism, and became the independent nation of the Slovak Republic as the result of a peaceful separation from the Czech Republic in 1993. Slovakia enjoys a very high standard of living and a very technicality advanced culture and economy.
We are guests for three days with Svetlana Rosinova, her husband Milan Rosina, and their 2 darling children. Svetlana is one of a number of people who still refer to us as “Mom and Dad” having been a part of our family as exchange students in the 1990’s. She spent the entire 1995-96 school year with us.
Milan is a communications and IT expert and Svetlana is a child psychologist. Their 11 year old daughter and 13 year old son are incredibly personable and polite, and speak fluent English, as do the parents. We last saw Svetlana 20 years ago in Prague and it is wonderful to see how she has succeeded in life. She and Milan are wonderful parents and partners. Their home is beautiful and charming by every standard imaginable. This has been a sweet and emotional reunion for us.
We look forward to seeing the countryside tomorrow and I am sure my camera will then get an appropriate workout!
Peace Everyone. Pete