Meet the parents (again)
Trip Start Jun 20, 2005
10Trip End Jul 07, 2005
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I slept like a boulder. Jane says she didn't do anything to wake me except look at me but I can't believe I would voluntarily awake after a slumber like that. After a shower and a shave I felt vaguely normal again. Breakfast was the full-table, three-course, fill-you-till-you-pop extravaganza that I was used to from last year. Maria is still feeling under the weather but we all jumped in the car anyway and Janko drove us into Zvolen.
Zvolen is a mid-sized town, dominated by the large castle perched on a small hill at one end. Stretching out from the base of said hill is the 'Namastie SNP', a large and attractive pedestrian thoroughfare, lined with shops, cafés, bars and trees, book-ended by a good-sized church. The town itself kind of spreads out in concentric circles from the square.
First stop was the wedding dress shop to get Jane kitted out. She settled on a nice dress but we had trouble finding any suits for me. Each place we went to only had about two men's jackets, one of which was designed for a 7-foot basketballer and the other for a portly midget. Unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) I didn't fit into either of these two categories. As we left the third such store and headed for the fourth, we realised that all the shops were closing, as it was noon on Saturday.
We popped into the Penzion Quattro, where all of our out-of-town guests will be staying. It looks quite nice and I think it will be a good base for people to crash at, given its central location. It is at the opposite end of the Namastie SNP from the castle, so the guests will have easy access to the outdoor bars that are dotted across the square.
On the way home, we stopped in to meet our videographer, a big, jolly, bearded chap who we immediately nicknamed 'Santa'. Back at home, Maria went straight to bed in an effort to get over her mystery illness. Jane and I handed out the piles of gifts that we had brought over for the family and then we laid around in the sun for a bit. Maria woke up feeling much better, so we decided to go for a walk. Somewhat inevitably we ended up at a bar, at the Duvoks motel and mechanic complex, where my parents and sister will be staying for a couple of nights later in the week.
June 26 (Sunday), Krivan
With the excess energy that a home-made Slovak breakfast provides, I decided to go for a jog around the village. Krivan is not exactly like the European villages of storybook fame, nestled in a valley with cobblestone streets, thatched-roof cottages and jolly shopkeepers peddling their wares. It is nice though. It is divided fairly evenly in two by the intercity highway and railway tracks, with the 'old' part of town creeping up the side of a hill, and the 'new' part - where Jane's house is - occupying the flat part, with countryside starting where the development stops. The whole village runs about 1500 metres, end to end. The shops - a variety store, a cake shop, a bar, an ice cream stand and the Duvoks - all sit right next to the highway.
The new side is basically one long street that runs parallel to the highway. Jane's house is towards the far end of the village, with neighbours on three sides and an unfarmed field over the back fence. The house was built around 20 years ago and is somewhat quaint inside, yet not without the communist-style functionality and boxiness that all of these houses have.
Any calories I burned during my run were quickly compensated for, with interest, by a lunch of 'segidinsky', meat with creamy sauce served with 'knedlik', bready dumpling-type things.
The afternoon was spent with wedding-related working bee activities and, in the evening, we wandered out to meet Alenka, our old roommate from Toronto, who lives in Krivan. We met at the Duvoks Motel/Mechanic for dinner and drinks. Exciting news awaited us upon our return to the house - Maria's bag had been located in Prague and would be delivered tomorrow. This was a great relief to Maria and to those of us who would be the beneficiaries of her improved mood.