Sunday, April 24, 2011

Slovakia, Days #4, #5, #6

Day #4 - Our first day in Poprad.  We (yes, both Kelly and Ezra) worked long hours revising the Talking Word Processor.  After seeing Terezia use it in a classroom, we could see several improvements that needed to be made.  Among the changes: graphical buttons for everything (having English labels for Slovakian children is non-intuitive), greatly simplified configuration, the addition of Russian as a language option, and the enunciation of which language is in use.
Afterwards we toured Spiš Castle with Martina, her father-in-law, and baby Zoika.   While in ruins, the castle is still an impressive structure.  I found it interesting that the doorways and even the suits of armor were so short (I know that we are taller now, but it does destroy some of the illusion - the gallant knight in a suit of armor is still a full head shorter than me).  The approach to the castle was very steep on all sides (it was built on a mountain) and the walls were very high.  This helps support the illusion - someone would have to be very, very buff to charge the castle hill while wearing plate mail, breach the outer wall, and then climb yet another hill to the castle and still have strength to wield a sword instead of passing out.






Look!  A device for stretching the truth!

The tower stairs were very narrow and slick.



After dinner we walked around town a bit with Martina's family.  We went to "Bon Bon's Chocolateria", a store that specialized in drinkable chocolate.  It was delicious!


Day #5 - Poprad -

Since today was a holiday, we went to visit the High Tatras (as opposed to the Low Tatras, which are across the valley).  These mountains were beautiful!  It was my first ride on a ski lift.  It was so tranquil and quiet to ride up the mountain suspended in the air.   We have had stunningly perfect weather the last two days.

After lunch, we said goodbye to Martina and family and boarded the train back to Trnava.  This train was much faster and quieter than the other trains we have ridden.  We especially liked that the doors were all automatic.  Press the button, the doors slide open with a nice whooshing sound.











Oh yes... a video.
video



Day #6 - We toured the Redstone Castle with Maria and Natalia.  They had a live "Birds of Prey" show. One large hawk flew over the audience a few inches above the crowd.  Kelly freaked and dove for cover (sorry, no video).

The last part of the day was spent in a six-hour training of toy adapting and switch making.  We had a good attendance and many of the people in training picked up the skills very quickly.

Afterwards there was a cookout with lots of yummy food.

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