My Slovakia Trip in Photos
Just thought of narrating this trip I just made via photos. The explanations will come before the photos.
Sunday night, a week ago, I flew in from Germany and my first contact with the Slovak language was the arrival sign at the Bratislava airport. Feels already like a long time ago. I was young then.
From Bratislava, the capital, we flew in to Kosice, the country's second largest city, and from there Jozef picked us in the middle of the night to drive to Levoča (English speakers should pronounce it like 'levocha'). The next morning, on Monday, we went to town and had a look at the house that is to become the AYA ashram.
This beam on the 3rd floor dates back to 1747.
View from 3rd floor.
Then we went on a walk in town and here is a view of the town square. Generally speaking the architecture is gorgeous even though a good number of buildings in town need renovation.
On that first afternoon we went back to visit to the house to discuss what each room would be used for. The natural choice for the meditation room was on top of the house on the 4th floor. The spot for the altar jumped out at me and the next morning, in the presence of the electrician, I found myself planning where to put the outlet and dimmers for the lights in the meditation room. Everything went so fast.
As described in a previous post we connected with the local, very active, yoga group and on Tuesday afternoon Hanuman Puri, the leader of the group, showed us their local yoga center/ashram and also drove us to the near-by hill where they are building an ashram for advanced students wanting to do meditation retreats. The view from there is breathtaking. Below is a view of the high Tatras, the range of mountains located about 25 kms (16 miles) away. Highest peaks are around 2,600 meters (9,000 feet).
On Wednesday two major events took place. First was the hike in the high Tatra Mountains. I could describe how pretty and fun it was but I'll let the pics do the talking.
The destination of our little hike was this refuge high up in the mountains. We had a nice mountain meal before going back down.
Here is another view.
On our way down we saw another refuge where, for Christmas, they had made a nativity scene in the snow/ice. At mid-March, it had only just began melting.
It was a really a good and intense day since I gave a satsang to the local yoga group. There 40 attendees, some of them coming from as far an Kosice, about 1 1/2 hours away by car. It turns out they are the Slovak branch of the Yoga in daily life group.
Here we see the conclusion of the satsang. We sang their beautiful Arati.
And then of course came the distribution of prasadam.
Thursday was my last day there. We first took a 5-hour train ride to Bratislava, had a good lunch there and then proceeded to do some sight-seeing before I flew back to Luxembourg via Germany.
Below are a couple of pics from Bratislava so that you can realize what the world is missing by not knowing more about this special country and its capital.
No matter where I go I can't seem to get away from paparazzi.