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 Editor's Review
Let’s be clear: Slovakia grew out of the former Czechoslovakia, and should not be confused with Slovenia which emerged from Yugoslavia. OK? Slovakia, whose capital is Bratislava, is a gorgeous country of mountains, high lakes, and huge national parks, all dotted with a multitude of romantic castles and medieval palaces – some in ruins, most pleasingly restored. The High Tatras, part of the Carpathian range, are perhaps the best known area. Forming a boundary with Poland, they offer superb scenic landscapes year-round and rapidly developing snow sports facilities in winter, as yet unspoilt and uncrowded. There are a hundred ski centres in the country, with almost 1,000 lifts. The mountain lakes are clear, cold and tranquil – and absolutely beautiful. The mountains contain some of the largest cave chambers in Europe including one enormous ice-cavern (Dobšinská ladová jaskyna). Bratislava, is a most attractive city – busy like any capital but at a comfortable pace, especially in the cobbled and largely traffic-free Old Town, and making full use of the Danube riverside. The ‘Bratislava’ castle overlooks both city and river and known as the ‘upside- down castle’ from its four-tower inverted-table profile. Further south on the Danube slopes, Slovakian vineyards, including a Tokaj, are well worth exploring.

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