On Sunday Michal, Milka, Tomas Spisak, and I toured the Solivar (saltworks) Museum in Presov. The neighborhood is called Solivar after the salt mines in the area. These mines were being worked in the 1600’s, and closed down in 1970. It was amazing to see the engineering that went into the design of the equipment that was used to bring this necessity of life to people.
There were a number of families on the saltworks tour, on a Sunday outing. One family of a mom and dad and young daughter were in the tour group near us. We learned that the mom was from Slovakia and the dad was from England, and only spoke (British) English. The daughter spoke both Slovak and English. When she heard my American accent asking Michal for clarification of his translating the tour guide’s information, the little girl asked her mom, “What kind of English is that?” Since she knew English with a British accent, she didn’t know what American English sounded like.
Had an experience the other day that I had never encountered in my travels on European public transport; although I was aware of it. The transit system ticket control agent came onto the bus and asked every passenger to see their ticket. Bus tickets in Slovakia are time-stamped and are valid for the amount of time you purchased. A 50-cent ticket is good for 30 minutes and a 40-cent ticket is good for 10 minutes, and is validated by inserting the ticket into the time-stamp when you get onto the bus. Each of us handed him our ticket, he checked the time-stamp (and to see if we even had a ticket) and if all was ok, handed it back. If you do not have a valid ticket the penalty is up to a 30-Euro ($33) fine. It is much better to pay for a 50-cent ticket than to risk a €30 fine.
The image below is the steeple atop the “salt miners church” in Solivar. Note the miner’s tools below the cross.