So this is the town that is to be our temporary home for our first ten days in Slovakia. It’s a small town of less than six thousand situated about 45km east of Bratislava. It is apparently named after a Slovak poet, which seems ironic as there is not much poetic about life here. Like much of Slovakia, what historical beauty the town may have had has long since been destroyed by years of socialist rule. It’s now a grim but functional town, with few redeeming features. The town has strong Hungarian influences historically.

There are two hotels in the town, and we appear to have chosen the better of the two – our Grand Apartment is indeed huge, and practical if not very stylish. However we opted for the convenient location and space for the dogs and cat over luxury, and it is indeed very close both to our new house in Šintava and the stables at Galanta. The restaurant is OK, and has the benefit of a menu translated into English which is proving a necessity at the moment when dining out.

There are Co-Op and Tesco supermarkets in the town, though for all the relationship they bear to their British counterparts we might as well be in an alternate universe. No Tesco Finest here! A few characterless bars and cafes, one of which was probably the most depressing  and grim place I have ever drunk a beer in. No smoking ban here in Slovakia either, smoking is permitted in up to 50% of the floor space of bars and restaurants.

On a more positive note, the weather has been a pleasant surprise so far. Noticeably warmer than the UK, today we are promised a rather warm 22°C which feels about right. Also the beer is cheap at around €1 a pint and we have two English channels, Sky News and Pick TV on our satellite TV – happy days!

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