My first trip to Slovakia was a moment in time I will never forget. The journey began on Wednesday, June 2nd. My cousin, Ginny and I met our other traveling companion, Andy, at JFK airport in New York. The flight departed at 5:00 p.m. and we had more than 8 hours in the air to Prague. It was the longest flight I have taken to date. I tried to sleep a bit, but found I was much too excited to truly rest. I read, watched a movie, and listened to lots of music on my iPod. We landed in Prague the morning of Thursday, June 3rd, and after a brief layover, we boarded our flight to Kosice, Slovakia. It was a small plane and I was surprised about the boarding back to front. The flight to Kosice took about 1-1/2 hours. It was raining and a bit foggy, but when I saw Slovakia for the first time I started to cry. Stepping off that plane was an emotional moment for me–to finally be on the ground of my ancestral homeland. This trip has been over 10 years in the making. After having to pass up several opportunities to visit Slovakia, I had finally made it. FINALLY!!!
We collected our luggage–my suitcase made it! I was relieved!
Our wonderful hosts, Stevo, Marta, and Pavel were waiting for us on the other side of the doors, with hugs and kisses and warm smiles! We picked up our rental car and then went on to Saris Park in Presov for a meal. I ordered pirohy–some were filled with cheese–my favorite kind–and some with jam, and sprinkled with breadcrumbs. I never ate pirohy with breadcrumbs on top–delicious!
Next, it was cappuccino and a piece of strudel. I was full!
We quickly learned that we would not have internet access and the cell phone coverage was very weak. I could send and receive text messages but could not get a signal strong enough to make any phone calls. After we settled in to our respective rooms, it was time to call it a day. I wasn’t sure how the time change would affect me. There was a thunderstorm during the night. I could see the lightning through the skylight and hear the rain, which was a bit heavy at times. I was excited about the next day because we would be going to visit Milpoš–my maternal grandmother’s village. But, it didn’t take long for me to fall asleep after such a tiring journey.