SLOVAKIA – 4.-10. FEBRUARY
This was our arrival day. We started traveling early in the morning. Our first flight went from Molde to Oslo, and our second and last flight went from Oslo to Budapest. When we were going to start our trip to Levice in Slovakia, we was very lucky with the driver. He stopped in front of this beautiful building in Budapest. When we arrived in Levice at our hotel Laus, we were welcomed by Alena. In the evening we went out for dinner together with Alena and Vera, two teachers at the school in Levice.
Friday was the day we went to the town hall, the water dam and also got to see the nuclear power plants. We were very excited at that point because we wanted to see a little bit more of the country and the landscape. We woke up at sunrise and we were ready for the upcoming day.
The day started with a welcome meeting in the Town Hall, where we got to meet the deputy mayor of the town Levice. He talked about both tourism, environment protection and the water and waste management system in Levice. He also showed us a great video of the city.
After our stay in the Town Hall, we jumped into the car and drove out of the city. Slovakia itself is very flat so it was not that much to see from the car. The trip was really not that long, but it felt like it ages because the landscape was so flat and nothing to see. We were going for an excursion to a «small water dam» called Vel’ké Kozmálovce. We finally arrived at the dam where Vera met us. We also met a man who was a mechanic teacher at the school. He told us a lot about the water in Slovakia, and also about the rivers where the water was connected to. Afterwards we took a walk on top of the dam. It was a long way down from the second layer to the first. We got a lot of information about the dam itself and a bit about the rivers in the country. It was fun to see how much the dam helped the farmland and also the crops that they are planting at the farms around the dam.
When we were done, we took a road trip to the nuclear power plant. We drove closer so we did look at those big pipes, but we did not get into the nuclear power station. They are strict and have a high safety. We did get some pictures from a hill and made many nice pictures. We liked to get a closer view at this place and it was interesting to see, because in Norway we don’t have this power plant.
After the excursion we went to the school and had an intensive course about the managing system for automation of machine production. We also learned about the backup information technology equipment. After our intensive course we went to the ZF company, where we were shown around the fabric. We also saw all the different «stations» where the different parts were produced, and we saw the machine we had been learning about earlier that day.
We visited a huge village named Svätý Anton, and we all fancied the village a lot. The village had a big manor house, which has been a museum since 1962. We got a guide tour around the house, where we learned about the history. We learned that it was also used to store hunting trophies. The building had many different rooms, and each of them had their own «theme». We could also see some examples of the clothing that were used at that time, which actually was very pretty.
After our visit and guided tour in the beautiful hunting lodge, which I believe took the breath away from all of us, we went down to something that reminded us of a «market». There were the Slovak people playing music, singing, dancing and making sausages! We really got to see a different part of the Slovak culture, which was incredible exciting and remarkable.
After visiting the mansion of Svätý Anton, we went to the beautiful Town Banská Štiavnica. In Banská Štiavnica, we went to a store with many woodcarvings, and the largest piece of carved wood was made with the town, and Bethlehem. The carvings were magnificent, and I loved it there. After we went there, we got an hour of walking around doing whatever we wanted. We went separate ways in different groups. When we were on the trip home after being there, we went to the new castle, and enjoyed the view there.
On Sunday, we went to the beautiful city of Nitra, which seemed like a very big and exciting city. In Nitra, we went to the beautiful St. Emmeram’s Cathedral. We got to hear a lot about the way the cathedral was build, and how it was used. It was simply stunning. We didn’t really do much after we went to the cathedral, except for walking to a mall a few hundreds of meters away from it. We stayed at the mall, where we shopped and looked around for a few hours. When we were done there, everyone was exhausted and just wanted to get back to the hotel in Levice.
We spent almost the whole day at the Slovakian school «Stredná odborná škola». During the day, we did many different activities. When we first arrived, we were of course warmly welcomed by Alena, and had a short excursion around the school premises. I think all of us agreed that the school in Levice was different from our school back home in Norway. We got to see the small library, the gym and the teacher’s working room. We also visited different classes, and one of them was the marketing class. They had prepared a few presentations for us, and informed us about their class and subjects. We also made a 3-lingual dictionary together with some Slovakian students. The dictionary consisted of both Norwegian, Slovakian and English words.
After we had taken place in the marketing lesson and made the dictionary, we took part in another class. Here we learned about the managing system for automation of machine production. We also learned about an equipment for backup information technology. The mechanic-students found this lesson very useful, and I guess they understood a bit more than the rest of us.
The biggest difference from the school in Levice and our school in Fræna was undoubtedly the lunch. In Slovakia the pupils gets warm lunch at school every day (which they of course have to pay for once a month). The lunch consist of warm soup, warm dinner and for example a fruit or a crossaint. All of us were very excited about the lunch we got at school – it was so delicious. I also think we got a bit jealous of the Slovakian students because of the food.
This was the big day, the day of the presentation. The theme was roads and transportation. Even though the meeting with a different culture was a bit different, it turned out good. The Slovaks offered local television to make this moment a little more special. Vibeke and Kai had the chance to impress with Slovak language experience. When the presentations were held they showed us life support.
After school we drove from Levice and into the little city Cajkov, where we met the mayor, surprisingly a woman. Cajkow is a little village that together with other small towns makes the Levice district. The city is known for their traditions, and also known for their wine production. We got to experience and see the Slovak lifestyle when we got invited to cakes and coffee. We tried on the Slovak national costume and I liked it a lot! Vibeke and Eric had their names translated to Slovak; Maryencha and Janencho. We also went to a few museums, even outside of opening hours! The Slovak knows how to take care of their Norwegian friends.
Our last night we went to this restaurant to say goodbye. The principal and the English teachers Alena, Vera and Slavo were all there. We had a diploma ceremony and said goodbye to our Slovak friends, before we headed back to Norway. We were all agreeing that this had been an unforgettable trip!
This day was, for the most of us, a sad day, as well as we were excited to go home again. We went from Levice at 9 o’clock in the morning. We drove from Levice to Budapest. We went from Budapest to Oslo. In Oslo we did our «homework» that was given to us about our trip to Slovakia. Then we went from Oslo to our city, Molde, with flight. This was a very long day, and the most of us were very tired and exhausted. We landed safely in Molde in the evening, and then went home.