My friend proposed me to join her for lunch in her appartement in a city located at only thirty kilometers from Žilina.
More photos on my Flickr!
Getting Považská Bystrica
I got direction from her to not get lost when I had to buy my ticket. I must met her at the station around 14:00 after having take the train of 13:30 going to Bratislava.
In the morning I went to the central station of Žilina, as I said it is perfectly situated behind the main square, five minutes walk through a shopping street.
At the station I had to show the city name I wrote on my phone, I couldn’t pronounce it correctly (and I still not able to pronounce it normally).
After a small tour in the city I came back to the station, trying to find my platform. On my ticket nothing was written about my train number nor its direction. I was quite lost, not sure about the time. Was is 13:25 or 13:38? One train going to Bratislava and the other to Prague… I asked different young person there to have confirmation but they didn’t speak English or they didn’t know. It was finally 2min before the departure that a girl confirmed me that I had to step in the Bratislava’s train. Platform appeared on the panel.
Hello my friend!
The train was slower than I thought but it left a bit earlier, then I arrived almost at the good time. She were there, I haven’t seen her at first but when she started to jump around I realized: we are here together!
She leaded me to her place, walking along the railway. We were happy and couldn’t realized that we did it, we finally met after almost two years. I learnt some stories about things we saw like the problematic green bridge highway over the habitation, or the exceptional suicide rate at some part of the railway we passed…
Familial diner and improving my slovakian
She prepared me to meet her mother, « she is really exited, she has never met somebody from France! ».
I was nicely received by them, the mother saying me hello in many different language but French 😀 The meal was very good and we drank the wine I brought. At the beginning the core of the meeting was for my friend to translate English to Slovak and Slovak to English. I was my hears all opened and tried to understand what they were talking. Slavic languages are similar and I had some Russian basis. I have learn some word and expressions, the most notable are « Dakujem » and « Prosim si vodu ». I also felt in love with one name « Budatin », town next to Žilina that my friend pronounce in such way that I was melting from cuteness.
The night came and we continued our conversation, reminding old souvenirs and news stories or experiences. I know that she will normally be in internship in Lublin, Poland. A city I want to see and which is near Lviv, Ukraine. So I could arrange a journey there with her 🙂
Visit of the town by night
While we were watching videos she told me facts about Povazska Bystrica and how soviets have ruined the town. she shown me a film made from old photos and postcards.
« There is nothing like that anymore » she sadly said. She were impressed to discover how nice the city used to be. She were surprised to recognize some street and squares which must have change a lot. We wearied our coat and took the old elevator. She presented me her town, the old church in the middle of the dorm building is one of the few remaining element of the pre-soviet area. It didn’t mean that they haven’t touched it by adding a second ugly tower to it.
We passed her elementary school to the cemetery and after reached the old town… the old charming square has been completely transform to look like a long empty street surrounded by soviet style buildings. A funny moment was when she shown me a poster in a clothes shop. The model who are illustrating it was our common friend from Erasmus, a Polish girl who lived one room next to ours. After having saw the other untouched building, the library, we came back for a warm tea and to finish the second bottle of wine made in Slovakia!
Train to Žilina
The night came hours ago and we I had to think about my train to Žilina, they run often but I couldn’t miss the last. I didn’t wanted to take a late train anyway. Mine was at 22:10 and my friend order a taxi to bring me quickly to the station, I wouldn’t get lost. As a tourist she asked the taxi to be paid in advance to prevent me to be screwed by excessive fare.
He drove for just three minutes and it cost two Euros. Finally something not cheap in that country 😀
In the small and empty station I bought my return ticket and started walking around. It was cold, the moon was almost full and some hard snow fell. In my wagon I found a nice wooden toy: a red train. I thought the child who forgot it inside would be sad, but it made my night 😀 Kind souvenir from Slovakia.