Last weekend I headed to the town of Banská Bystrica in Central Slovakia, in the Hron River Valley which is high in the mountains , according to the city website. Here is a picture of mountains to emphasize this point:
I made this grueling three and a half hour journey to attend the birthday gathering of a member of the program, Michael S. Here's him:
The party was superb. Little toasts were served:
There was also an incredible spread of crackers, cheese, olives, some vegetables and a mangled pineapple. I ate about 14 deviled eggs, because I assumed it would be quite some time until my next helping:
The whole gang was there, and now they are here:
Also in attendance was this young lady, an incredible opera singer and in my opinion the future queen of the United States:
To culturally enhance the gathering my closest friends from Gaul attended, and were nice enough to either enjoy or pretend to enjoy the hor's douvres, thereby granting them the coveted French seal of cuisine approval:
I would be lying if I said I didn't have fun, and exaggerating if I said it was the greatest party I've ever been to. Some of us chipped in and got Michael this gift, which according to the lady at the shop bestows good fortune upon its owner:
It was a hoot and a half, but soon we were all off to bed to prepare for a big day of sightseeing in Banska B.
Now in the light of day we were able to get a good look at Michael's surroundings, thanks to the light. We immediately noticed the ski jump in his backyard:
Not only that, but this house down the street clearly qualifies for most funky in the E.U. Did this person paint a large, 3-D cigarette on the front of their house? Yes they did:
A bit down the road we came to the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising:
If you are too busy to read the above link, I will summarize. The Nazis (from Germany) took over Czechoslovakia, and some people in Banska B thought they were jerks. Some of them got guns and were like "get out of my face", and then many of them were shot by Nazis, thereby proving that the Nazis were jerks. For more information please click on the above link.
Enough history! Do you like Massive Attack? Enough to go see them in Bratislava?
Finally we entered the beautiful square of Banska B, which I have to admit is perhaps even more beautiful than my beloved P-town.
One of the first things we saw in the square was this, which sparked a furious debate on the following topic: Do birds have penises?
After typing the query "Do birds have penises" into Google, I had my answer.
Banska B was one of the most fiercely pro-communist cities in Slovakia, so I was told, and this monument might be evidence of that. Fill in your own splenetic remark, and win a prize!:
Next it was off to the really nice cemetery behind the church, which was being visited by a steady stream of locals. Here's some pics:
I was delighted to see that the local Banska B'ites liked N.W.A. so much that they felt the need to declare it on the wall of their cemetery. I personally prefer Eazy-E, but don't tell Ice Cube I said that. He'd be pissed:
Side note: In Europe they have lots of Capri Sun, such as this German version I found in the snow:
Do we still have Capri Sun in the U.S.? Do you remember Shasta? This person does.
After walking around for almost twenty minutes, not including about ten minutes of just kinda standing there, I was famished. So we headed off to eat at the local Red Lobster:
Much to my chagrin, this was not the Red Lobster we know, love and have occasionally received trichinosis at, but a local version. This meant that I would not be receiving any of the world-famous and insanely delicious Red Lobster Cheese Garlic Biscuits, although I guess I could make them myself. Instead I ordered the giant halusky with pork, which went down like a dream, to mix metaphors:
After all this walking and eating, we were bushed and eventually hit the hay.
The next morning we were treated to an extremely excellent and American breakfast of chocolate chip covered pancakes, courtesy of two very kind folks, Michael D.R. and Susan D.R. (AKA Suzy Q). Wait, I forgot to tell you about the 4 hour game of Uno I was involved in. I don't want to get off track, here are the pancakes:
The D.R.'s home, which they are renting for the year, is very nice, and furnished with great stuff like these Russian nesting dolls and an antique reel-to-reel which must be worth a fortune:
A great weekend was had by all, and I am still full.
It looks like this coming weekend will be the date of the much anticipated "Hamburger Party" which I have been promising the locals for months. I know where to get the meat, the buns, the grill and the charcoal, and I have been hoarding BBQ sauce under my bed. Will it all come together in the end? Tune in next week and see! If you care!