Easter in Slovakia

I’ve just returned from a wonderful wedding/Easter visit with my family in Slovakia.  In addition to reliving all the Easter traditions from my childhood, we welcomed a new baby, Mishka, born the day after Easter, and a new married couple to the family,  Stanka and Tono.  I’d like to share with you some photos of our visit.  More photos can be found on the Slovakia Heritage Facebook page:

Blessing the Easter Baskets.
Blessing the Easter Baskets.
The brilliant  yellow rape seed(canola) crop highlights the delicate Spring greens and pinks.
The brilliant yellow rape seed(canola) crop highlights the delicate Spring greens and pinks.
Families smoke their own ham(left,boiling) and make their own fresh Easter cheese from eggs and milk.
Families smoke their own ham(left,boiling) and make their own fresh Easter cheese from eggs and milk.
Two-year old Samko learns to strain the cheese in cheese cloth.
Two-year old Samko learns to strain the cheese in cheese cloth.
Eggs are decorated in natural dyes and age-old designs.
Eggs are decorated in natural dyes and age-old designs.
Since the end of the Soviet era, Slovaks have painted their houses in happy, bright hues.
Since the end of the Soviet era, Slovaks have painted their houses in happy, bright hues.
Soup begins the meal of blessed Easter specialities.
Soup begins the meal of blessed Easter specialities.
Family visiting with my mother's cousins Bozena and Marcel.
Family visiting with my mother’s cousins Bozena and Marcel.

Why is the 2014 Slovakia Heritage Tour ending in Krakow?

Through the ages, the shifting borders and national boundaries left a common culture in Eastern Slovakia and South Eastern Poland, on either side of the Carpathian Mountains.  Under the old Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867-1918, the regions were unified.   While exploring the Tatry Mountains in Slovakia or rafting down the Dunajec River you will see Poland a stone’s throw away just as your ancestors did. Why not visit?

Krakow's
People love to gather in Krakow’s ten-acre Market Square.

Consider beautiful medieval Krakow with its lively ten-acre Market Square, Renaissance Cloth Hall, and Wawel Castle on the banks of the Vistula River and you understand why Krakow is the perfect choice.

Krakow lies a short, 2 hours, drive north of the Slovakia border. It was an important medieval trading and academic center for today’s regions of Southern Poland and Eastern Slovakia. Because of this prominence, Krakow today is a bustling city of winding streets filled with exquisite architectural monuments chronicling this history.

Krakow's Wawel Castle on the banks of the Vistula River.
Krakow’s Wawel Castle on the banks of the Vistula River.

The decision to end the 2014 tour in Slovakia’s cousin city is also practical:   Continue reading “Why is the 2014 Slovakia Heritage Tour ending in Krakow?”