Trip to Northeastern Slovakia and the Three Crowns with two friends.
Starting into a canyon in Slovensky Raj
Waterfall ladders in Slovensky Raj (Slovak Paradise) normally this would be an Ice climb at this time of the year, but we did get the whole place to ourselves
Miriam gave a presentation at one of our companion churches fellowship hall on Sat. night. On Sunday she preached in translation at the next door church, but I was rather busy chasing Esme and did not manage any pictures that morning.
Ursula was again making friends and running till exhaustion. Hungarian is just another language after all.
We visited a new village for us, where there is an interesting arts program. Children draw the pictures, the mothers cross stitch the designs and sew the patterns into very nice bags. As always we are welcomed in with great hospitality.
An impromptu talk for Miriam.
Esme and I run out the door.
And survey the land.
Epiphany for us meant remembering how much we like the snow and miss it when it does not come around (sorry to all the cold folks in N. America, but we were jealous), and for Esme it was the realization that she could walk.
The Blyth family all flocked to Bratislava for Christmas and then we traveled just a bit further to get to the mountains so we could all be together in one house for a few days again.
Cousins around a tree getting ready for Christmas Eve service.
Wow, what lucky people we are that this (and other treats) came to our door this Christmas.
Two good friends traveled across the ocean for a visit and to become Esme’s Godparents.
Esme on her Baptism day with her 4 Godparents.
Miriam’s birthday and the lovely cake.
Thanksgiving with the YAGM crew and the American teachers in Slovakia all together at the School in Bratislava where many of them teach. Lots of People, Lots of Pie.
On the Road Again. These two can road trip. One afternoon we did 5 hours without a stop and crossed a border into Romania. It doesn’t seem possible to me now as I write it, but they did it.
YAGM site visit in Gorogszallas.
Visiting with YAGM Thad and his host family in Gorogszallas
The market in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary with YAGM Mari and Thad
We are lucky to stay in an apartment of a Pastor while visiting Nyiregyhaza.
In front of the children’s house in Gorogszallas
Swinging around some great buildings
Into Romania for the first time for our family, which means among other things Orthodox churches. This is an amazing interior from Sibiu, Romania.
Night scene in Sibiu, Romania. The lighting was so good in part due to a Bollywood film production that was shooting that evening.
Houses with eyes
There are many working horse carts in Romania.
Great Outdoor Museum in Sibiu with many buildings from various periods, which have been transported and re-erected in a beautiful setting.
An old wooden church
Another night scene in Sibiu.
Camping without any lights in sight during a full moon in Transylvania
Esme is almost one year old, and we always try as a family to go camping on our birthdays.
A very nice field to sleep in.
- Morning mountain peak
Loading up the car for our weekend Fellowship retreat with the Bratislava International Congregation. We are headed to Svaty Jur a nearby village, where we will stay in a Lutheran retreat center along with a number of other member of the church. To say that we load up this car and leave Bratislava often is an understatement, but we actually haven’t been anywhere for two weeks!
Esme relaxing on our terrance before we depart.
Opening worship Sat morning.
Children’s Gospel Hour Sat. Morning.
The adult’s gospel hour
Some of Ursula’s friend.
Afternoon hike to the White Castle ruins.
More ruins and forest. Part of the group hiked up and around this castle and then back down thru some of the alleys and vineyards of the village. Part of the group continued up for some more time in the trees.
Dinner prayer (I think it was superman for those who keep track). Many other members of the church joined us for dinner.
Sunday morning, Miriam left for Bratislava to lead worship in the Maly Kostol, and we stayed in Svaty Jur for the closing worship of the retreat. Then every one elso left and Ursula and Esme and I hung out for a while waiting for Miriam to return to pick us up.
Campfire worship. The weather was turning out better than we thought so we returned to our idea of having a worship around a campfire. There is a burn ban in the village itself, for some reason with historical backing, but I had been told there was a fire pit up the hill. I went to check it out after our afternoon hike and found it with three people drinking wine. After a few minutes of mixed english/ slovak conversation (more english lets be frank). One of the guys asked me if I could make a fire. I said I actually needed to make a fire, and I would make one, if they would watch it for me for one hour and keep it going, so that I could return with a group of people for a worship service. We agreed, I started the fire, went back to the retreat center for dinner, and then the whole group made it’s way up the 45 minute walk to the fire, where we sang and prayed among the fifteen or so other people who had been drawn to the fire.
How many rooms has Ursula sleep in within the last two years. Alot.
After the Fire worship, the group slowly wandered back down to go to bed. One last group of us closed it down and then on the walk back we saw some live musicians in a tiny little cafe. We stopped in and next thing you know Pastor Kyle was strumming with them and I was stomping my feet.
Looking up at the bell tower
Miriam returned from Bratislava and we went on a little sunday afternoon walk in the village. Vineyards, stonewalls, playgrounds, etc. We all only really broke down right before bed on Sunday night. Ursula suffered a minor burn on a hot pan, Esme decided that she hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before, when she was happily awake from 2:30 – 4;30 for some odd reason. I was sore from playing football in the afternoon, and Miriam for some reason was just plain tired. Luckily for everyone I had no camera in my hand.