How to plan a trip to Slovakia (www.travelslovakia.sk)

How to plan a trip to Slovakia

I have always wanted to visit Slovakia. My family is Carpathian/Rusyn on both sides and our origins are from Slovakia/Poland. In May 2012 I finally made my pilgrimage and decided to visit my homeland.
During the planning stages I discovered a company named Travelslovakia.sk (www.travelslovakia.sk) . From my first interaction with the company Lenka always provided me with quick responses to my requests. See I am not the easiest person to plan for. I love travelling but travel with the sole purpose of creating photographs. Travel and photography are my passions. With Lenkas help (and at least 50 emails) we worked through a schedule that would allow me to make a photographic ‘pilgrimage’. She also arranged for a tour guide named Milos (who is also an outstanding professional photographer) to assist us.

We were scheduled to have Milos pick us up from Budapest in order to start our journey North. My plan was to spend two days in Budapest taking photographs before starting my journey with Travelslovakia.sk.  Disaster struck us in Budapest when approx. $9700 USD worth of camera gear was stolen from me.  5 hours later around 4am Budapest time the police finally gave us a report.  Honestly, I seriously considered cancelling the rest of my trip. Instead we decided to continue the trip but only if we could replace at least our camera/lens/tripod the following day in Budapest. Luckily we found a Canon 5Dm2/24-105mm/and an adequate Slik tripod.
When I took the following photo I was pretty sick to my stomach. I was reeling from my losses.  But needed to move on and test out the new gear.

The following day Milos picked us up from the hotel though and our journey into Slovakia began. From the beginning, Milos enthusiasm, energy and passion for his country was infectious. Everything became brighter the minute we crossed into Slovakia.

I will give you a breakdown of our itinerary and suggestions for shooting in Slovakia in another posting.  But I must first tell you the rest of the ‘gear’ story. My favorite lens is the Canon 24mm TSE II. I just love it!! I was really heartbroken that I was going to have to complete my journey without this lens. Between Slovakia and Czech Republic I still had another two weeks of photography. My guide Milos told me that he knew some Canon people in Slovakia and that he would see what he could do for me. Try after try he kept striking out. I started to feel that I was the only person on the planet who shot with that lens. Finally, while shooting in Banska Stiavnica he smiled at me (trying to hide his great news) and said he located one of the lenses but that it was on the other side of the country. He said wait a minute let me call Martin (Martin is the owner of travelslovakia.sk). The next part of the story still really impacts me and touches me deeply. Martin agreed to pick up the lens for me and drive it half way across the country and we would meet him at a restaurant in Presov. Oh my god!! I was going to get my favorite lens back!!!!!


The following image from Levoca is one of the first images I took with the new lens.

This one too from Bardejov

 

I want to personally thank everybody at travelslovakia.sk especially Martin, Milos and Lenka. You all worked so hard on my behalf to make our trip fantastic. I will visit Slovakia again soon and you wil be the first people I call. Dakujem www.travelslovakia.sk

Also, anybody reading this post considering travelling to Slovakia. Please feel free to contact me as a reference and for photo advice.


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