Off the Radar Travel Interview – Slovakia!
This week, we have with us – Lucia and Lukas – teacher and lawyer, passionate about travelling and baking. Originally from Slovakia, Lucia has lived in Germany, Ireland and Czech republic and is currently living with her boyfriend Lukas in Sheffield, England since July 2014. They will be talking to us about highlights of travelling in their own country Slovakia!
Tell us a bit about yourselves and your travels
Hi, we are Lucia and Lukas and we have been together for over 5 years. We met when Lucia started her university studies in teaching English as a foreign language. When we met , Lukas was already studying law. In summer 2014, we decided to move to another country to earn some language skills, experiences and if possible money so we can have better life in Slovakia if we go back. We absolutely love travelling and have been to Italy, Norway and Slovenia together.
Tell us about life and people in Slovakia
Slovakia will always be our home. We often think of moving back to Slovakia, however life there is not easy. Ever since I (Lucia) started working in a primary school with Slovakian Roma community, British children keep asking me where I am from and they can´t believe when I tell them I am from Slovakia. They tell me I look different from other Slovakian kids. Many people think Slovakians are dark, loud and cause problems. The truth is that 90% of Slovakians look just like me. Another fact is that there is a really huge percentage of people with a university degree in Slovakia, and this causes many problems as there is a large percentage of unemployment as people are often overqualified and not many people are interested in doing vocational jobs. It is sad that qualified, young people can´t get a job and they have to move to another country to earn money to live there better.
Tell out travels in Slovakia
Slovakia is absolutely stunning! I really don´t understand why tourists don´t come to Slovakia more. I hope this article will influence you 🙂 The natural scenery in Slovakia is absolutely phenomenal. We have High Tatras with the highest peak of 2,655 metres (8,711 ft). We have amazing castles, natural spas and karsts.
Lucia is from Banska Bystrica, located in the middle of Slovakia which has an amazing leaning tower and beautiful mountains and ski resorts around it. Lukáš comes from the very south of Slovakia ,not far from Hungarian borders so it is pretty easy to get to Budapest in less than 2 hours by train. To be honest we haven´t seen much of eastern Slovakia but we are planning to.
Is it easy to get around the whole country travelling via public transport? Easy to find accommodation?
Travelling by public transport is very cheap, mainly for tourists. There are buses, trains which can take you wherever you need. It is pretty easy to travel around Slovakia, however I think the drivers and staff around buses and trains can´t speak much English and directions in English are very hard to find.
I think it is quite easy to find accommodation, there are hotels like Hilton or Holiday Inn or in some villages and smaller towns you can find family businesses which offer accommodation. I think the prices are quite low for foreigners.
What are your personal favourite activities to do in Slovakia?
Slovakia is a country of four seasons. In spring you can see flowers and grass growing, in summer it is often 30+ degrees Celsius, in autumn the trees and mountains turn red and yellow and in winter you can do skiing or ice-skating and often the temperature can be up to -10 or less. During summer we love swimming in local lakes or swimming pools. In winter I (Lucia) go skiing as there are many ski resorts around my home town or we just love falling into the meadow full of snow and throwing snowballs on each other 🙂 We love walking a lot. There are not many parks in Slovakia like here in England however the nature around the cities and villages is really impressive so we don´t need any artificial parks in the cities.
What were some of your favourite dishes/food there?
Oh we definitely miss Slovakian bread and Slovakian beer and kofola! Kofola is something like Coke but mixed with coffee flavour. We miss our mums´ cuisines of course and we love halušky, our national dish made of potatoes and sheep cheese sprinkled with bacon.
What’s next on the horizon for your travels?
When we were in Slovakia in November we managed to get our passports. Therefore we would like to see more places in Europe, maybe in the summer. In 2015 the plan is to go to Portugal, Ireland and hopefully Norway again as we are big fans of Norway!
To learn more about Lucia and Lukas’s travels on other countries and life in England visit their website: