*EDIT* for all of those concerned, yes, I do know how to count. apparently this is day 3, not 4.
Today has been a fricken blast. I am currently writing this mid-day, because I am slightly worried that I will not have enough time to write about everything! Now just a bit of a fore-warning, this post is going to have A TON of pictures, because I don’t want to try and limit myself. If you are alright with being able to see what living the life in Slovakia is like, then I dare you to read on.
Today I could have slept in till 10 or 11, but I had thought to myself, “No, I don’t want to give the impression of a lazy bum and be sleeping in all day.” So I woke up today at 9:45. I got up, went to our balcony and looked outside and was absolutely stunned. I still cannot get over the fantastic view we have from our little flat. I had breakfast, and then the family went out to what I think was a job interview? Google translate only goes so far. Once they had gone, Sophi asked if I wanted to go to the SNP, which stands for Slovenske Narodne Povstanie (with more accent marks of course but I don’t know how to write those on an American keyboard). The SNP is a building/monument dedicated to the Slovakian National Uprising, which I think Slovenske Narodne Povstanie translates into. I said yes and off we went.
When we got roughly to the SNP, when we saw a large line. And at the front of this line was a whole police squad and a metal detector. Normally, I wouldn’t have had a second thought, but I have made it a habit recently to carry my knife with me, especially in a foreign country. I thought that the Slovak police would not take very kindly to a person from a foreign country carrying a sharp object into a crowded place. So I hid the knife behind a rock and hoped that it wouldn’t get stolen. But it apparently didn’t matter anyway because we were not going in at the time anyway.
We walked down to this plaza area, where we walked around for a bit and went to a park and played for a bit. It was very relaxing, and the weather could not have been more perfect. We did get yelled at by some skater because we were apparently in his way, but doesn’t really matter to me because I had no idea what he was saying.
Once we had gotten back, we had lunch, which was the first time I tried halushka, a very popular traditional Slovak dish. It used potatoes and sheep’s milk, and other ingredients that my family told me that I don’t quite remember (sorry). It was very very good, it was like a better creamier macaroni and cheese. Except no noodles. Either way, it was very good.
I had started writing this right before dinner, and it is now 9:30. And I am not even half way done with what I did today. Never the less, I will push through! After lunch, we walked down to the SNP, where they were having quite the ceremony in celebration of the Slovak National Uprising (apparently today was the holiday). When we got there, I was so excited it took me a good half hour to stop smiling. I knew there were tanks, but I just hadn’t quite understood. There were tanks, and model tanks, and so many other military demonstrations that I almost passed out from excitement.
The first tank that I saw, was the Soviet T-34-85. This tank boasts the infamous 85mm gun, the ZIS S-53. The T-34 saw mass production during WWII, and is the largest produced tank in all of history. I have never seen one in person, so I was very excited. I hope you can tell.
This next tank is a Czechoslovakian tank, the LT vz. 35/8. I know there is a difference between the two, I just couldn’t tell the difference. I could look it up, but I have to try to get all of this written down before I have to go to bed! Anyway, the 38′ was produced by the Czechoslovakians until the Germans overtook their factories. Production ended in 1942, but the chassis was still used for other iconic tanks.
Next is probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. This tank is the Pz. IV Ausf. J, the spearhead of the German Blitzkrieg in mid WWII. This was the successor to the Pz. III and Pz. II, which many people would know for their roles in Poland. This tank was highly successful in dealing with Russian opponents in Operation Barbarossa. Ok, enough with the historical stuff. This tank is so cute, the spaced armor on the turret is just so pretty I can’t stand it.
Finally, not a tank. That’s what you’re saying right? This is the ML-20, a 152mm Russian cannon. This thing is a monster, produced from 1937-194 was pulled in tandem by other veihicles, or it was mounted on tracked carriers, such as the SU-152. In other words, this gun was put on a tank. Haha! You thought I would leave tanks out in this? Nice try!
Well those are the big four that I saw at the SNP, I am using this little jot to kind of space out the rest of the images I am going to dump. Sue me.
Today was the first time I went to the actual monument, and I am fairly sure I would have enjoyed it more if I could have read what the signs and the posters said. Either way, I really liked the monument, and it was really cool to see all of that old memorabilia inside of the museum. If anyone is in the area, the SNP is definitely something that you cannot pass up!
I really did enjoy my time here today, and I know I am missing some things that happened today, but it has been a really long day, and tomorrow I have to get up early to go and get my temporary permanent residence card, or TPRC. Kind of ironic, temporary permanent. Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed this, and if I have time tomorrow I will try and do a kind of half way update! Dobrú noc!