taleblazing . . . travel tales from around the world   . . .
  . previous tale  .
playing password
. next tale  .
czeching out
. more tales  .
. . . . .

Check out Dennis' debut novel
Soul Identity - Dennis Batchelder's debut novel
. . . . .

family in the mountains
By Dennis Batchelder 12 January 1999

Uncle Jerry sent me an email, saying I ought to look up my great-grandparents' home town in Slovakia. Sounds like a good idea, right? Dan's grandfathers' home town is under water (a dam was built up near the Polish border), so we couldn't go there. But I had clues where to find the Kollars:
1) Close to the Bratislava airport (or where the airport was 30 years ago when Uncle Jerry and Aunt Helen visited).
2) Some cousin they met looked a lot like my great grandfather.
3) You can take a bus there from Bratislava
4) The town's name sounds like Ne-yaku-bo-von-yeh

Should be enough for us, huh? However, there were some other difficulties:
1) I never saw my great grandfather.
2) Uncle Jerry thinks the cousin is probably dead by now
3) Maps aren't written phonetically
4) There's lots of busses in and out of Bratislava
5) I didn't get the email until we left Slovakia and arrived in Prague.

So, no finding the roots. However, we did find a village called Kollarovec, up in the Carpathian mountains. We stopped and took pictures of it. I'm convinced that this is where my great grandparents originated. How do I know this?
1) The name of the town is a dead giveaway.
2) Everyone looks like what I imagine my great grandfather looked like
3) Every word they said sounded like "Ne-yaku-bo-von-yeh"
4) All the men in the town were named either Mike or John
5) All the women in the town were named either Helen, Mary, or Anna.

Seriously, though, the drive through the mountains was beautiful. There was 2 inches of fresh snow stuck to the trees - evergreens mostly. Very rustic buildings - houses, barns and wooden churches. Kids playing outside on skis. Dan got some good pictures, I think.

We're in Prague now. It's showing outside, which we hear will make the castle just beautiful in the morning. Tomorrow evening we drive back to Frankfurt, to fly out Wednesday morning. It'll be GREAT to get back home to our families.



family in the mountains - slovakia