A Walk Through A Small Town In Slovakia

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I love buildings with character. Contemporary and modern houses with interesting mix of materials, quaint and charming cottages that beckon one in with promises of delightful times, traditional and transitional houses that also charm and delight with their mix of old and new elements giving then a unique character.

Wherever I am, one of my favourite things to do, is to go for a walk in the house suburbs. I know, I know, I’m a freak when it comes to architecture and design. I just love to spend hours gazing at thoughtfully designed houses and gardens and figuring out what makes them special. I could lose myself just house-gazing all day!

Besides, a lot can be deciphered about the people who live inside the houses just by observing the exteriors of the houses.

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In Ghana, the need for security spells sky-high fences and gates which make it quite difficult to fully appreciate the architecture and horticulture in the affluent housing suburbs, but things were pleasantly different in the Slovak housing suburbs. Low picket fences and gates, hallelujah! It is a house-gazer’s dream. 😀

Without further ado, I present some gardens that got me ooohing and aaahhing. Ddddrrrumroll, please!

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Lovely old couple on a bench, chatting the day away and watching over the garden!

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Great use of space and attention to detail. Love the flowers in the windows; imagine waking up to the pleasant smell of them every single morning!

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Romantic. Even has a cute little marble turtle, windmill and roses in different colours!

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Roses, roses everywhere! In so many colour varieties! Great garden! If I ring that doorbell, would The Beast appear and demand a daughter in exchange for a rose?? Hehe

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Meticulously manicured and well-tended to. My mind just buzzes with the possible owner profiles!

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I call this The White House. Contemporary, stark, imposing and great lush garden!

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With a white picket fence, yay!

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Tall lush hedges too.

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Beauty and privacy. Yum.

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On of my favourites. So many little details that make it so charming and beautiful!

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Just looooove this one! The tiny pond even had exotic colourful fish swimming away right underneath the surface of the water. Check out the tiny waterfall and gnomes on either side! I imagine the fairies and water sprites must come here to cavort every night!

Do you love garden and house-gazing as well? Where are some of your favourites? And which one of these gardens did you love the most?? Share your views in the comments section!

A Lazy Afternoon in a Slovak Garden Cottage

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The details of the morning are sketchy in my memory, but I do remember M arriving late morning, as excited as a tot about the great weather that day, especially after all the cool days we’d been having.

We decided to go off to see M’s aunt’s summer garden cottage. Slovaks love their gardens. Every house I’ve seen has both a front and a backyard garden. The front gardens are mostly flower gardens and beautiful manicured lawns and hedges, but the backyard gardens are vegetable and fruit ?gardens. For people who love to garden but live in apartments, summer cottages are a great way to own gardens. It’s very simple. One simply buys some land and builds a small basic cottage for storing tools and occasional sleep-overs, and cultivates the rest of the land. Many people take advantage of that option, apparently.

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Stepping outside, it was indeed very sunny and also quite hot! Sunny days in Slovakia do not always translate to hot days, I had found that out to my surprise, but that day was one of the few exceptions.

My beloved azure jacket was uncomfortably suffocating that day, coupled with tights under my dress, and I felt like a tipsy little maiden, light-headed with every step. The ever-staring eyes around were most unwelcome that day, with the threat of a faint hovering over me. In my head, a chanting litany, “Dear God, please don’t let me faint. Dear God, please don’t let me faint.” Over and over. (I mean, what if I caused an Ebola scare??!!)

M’s aunt is a bright smiling lady, with crinkling kind eyes that are always smiling and warm arms that readily engulf in loving embraces. Her garden did not disappoint, it was lovely. The garden was in bloom; so many varieties of fruits and veggies – strawberries, plum, apples, raspberries, blackberries and so many others, and all ringed by small hedges of rose bushes. There were many other cottages and gardens of differing sizes and interesting designs. I longed to go for a long walk and capture them all on my camera, but it was taking my all just to remain standing and not swoon.

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It was a beautiful lazy afternoon of watching my son having fun working in the garden, and being overstuffed with cakes and fruits.

For those of my dark-skinned friends who’d like to come visit, some survival tips I employ regularly in Slovakia where encountering English-speaking people is as easy as finding truly spicy food:

  • Practice being comfortable in the spotlight! You are going to encounter a lot of staring people. For a lot of them, apparently I was the first black person they’d seen in real life. It’s like instant celebrity status, where every eye is drawn to you as soon as you enter a room and people actually walk back to take a second look…and a third one. The double-takes and ogling are actually quite hilarious usually!
  • When in doubt, say “Ano!” (Yes!). It is always helpful to learn at least the basics of the language, but a lot of smiling and “ano!”s go a long way! hehe
  • Expect a totally different cuisine; you seriously should consider finding a way to store lots of Take-away waakye if you don’t know how to cook it….or just improvise somehow! Haha. You are otherwise doomed to spend the entire time eating sweet food which although tasty, can feel quite “not filling”. :/
  • Bring bottled water, lots of it. Seriously. All I can say is…the water takes some getting used to! 😛

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