Order No Rainbows

Life as an expat, Photography, Crafts, Vegan Food, Music, Art, Animals…..

One door shuts, another door opens

I’ve been blogging on this site for a number of years now and the inevitable has happened. I’ve reached the limit for uploading photos etc to the blog. And this blog would be nothing without the images. I’m going to continue blogging, but am separating my posts onto a number of different blogs. This will hopefully make it easier for me to manage, and for readers to find the posts they are looking for. So here’s how it will work:

For general stuff – craft projects, cat pictures etc, the new blog is at Order No Rainbows

Posts about books, movies, art and culture will be at Culture Notes

For vegan food, recipes and lifestyle stuff go to No Hairshirt Required

You will find posts about human rights, animal rights and environmental issues at The Part-Time Activist

My ramblings about teaching English as a foreign language are at Learning to Teach

And my stories and photos about life in Slovakia and my travels there and elsewhere will be at The uneasy ex-pat From 1 June 2016 my travel blog moved to Wandering, not lost
and from June 2017 it’s at A Life in Transit.

Thank you for reading this blog, and I hope you will continue to follow me on the new blogs




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Paeonies / Peonies

Whichever way you spell it, these are gorgeous flowers. A highlight of springtime in any garden

And they also look good in black and white

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New art stuff

I played with some stencils – on canvas with acrylic paint and marker pens

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My first trip to the High Tatras

The High Tatras are the mountain chain that separates Slovakia from Poland. I’d been to the Polish side before, when I visited Zakopane around 10 years ago, but I’d only seen the Slovakian side from the train as I passed by on my way to Levoca or Kosice. So in May I spent a weekend there, walking and visiting the pretty towns which are connected by a cog-wheel railway.

I stayed in Štrba, because the train from Piešt’any stops there and it seemed like as good a place as any to be based. It’s a very small village, but has great access to the mountains and the views are spectacular. It also has cool bus stops, funky folk art, cactus collectors and clean washing!

The train station at Štrba has a lot of vintage train station stuff. It also has great windows looking out from the platform where you take the train to the mountain towns.

Štrbské Pleso is a tourist town built near a lake. It is a pretty spot, but a bit spoilt by the fact that the hotels go right up to the water’s edge. It may have been a mistake to visit on a public holiday, as there were a lot of people there, and it was hard to have a quiet walk. However the mountains provided a dramatic backdrop, and as the weather stayed fine it was a pleasant place to spend an afternoon.

The next day was wet and a bit miserable, so I spent the morning wandering around from town to town on the train. The first town I stopped at was Tatranská Lomnica, home of the rather fantastic Ski Museum. Although it’s a small museum I really liked the way it was laid out and how the items were displayed. The town also had a nice park and a few souvenir shops which sold folk art and crafts, as well as some stalls selling cheaper items.

I moved on to the towns of Starý Smokovec and its neighbour Nový Smokovec. Sadly the weather was starting to deteriorate when I visited so I didn’t stay long, but there were some pretty buildings and churches. Then it was back on the train again, hoping the weather would clear up before I reached my next destination.

And it did clear up – for a while, so I got off the train at Popradské Pleso and had a walk in the woods. The views of the mountains were amazing and the trees were enormous. There was still some snow on the ground and it was very quiet, apart from the roaring river, and there were a few other hikers around, but too many. The rain started again and it came down heavily, so I had to abandon my plans to see the lake, but I’ll do it next time.

I really enjoyed my trip to the Tatras and I’m looking forward to going back again during the Summer. It’s a beautiful place with lots to see, fresh air and friendly people. Now I understand why almost all of my students recommend it as a place to go and why they go there again and again.


Spring flowers

That time of year when everything bursts into life and there are flowers and bright colours everywhere

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Aroud Piešt’any in early May

A nice walk through the park and along the river

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Squirrels in the park

I never get tired of these little guys

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It’s funny what you see lying around in the street

Not sure if it was occupied or not, but there it was, right in the street


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Blossom time

My favourite thing about Spring is watching the blossoms come out on the fruit trees. Beautiful in their own right but also a promise of things to come.

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Silly seagulls

These daft birds always make me laugh. They hang about the bridge waiting for tourists to come along and feed the ducks and swans and then swoop down and grab what they can

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by Evelina Di Lauro

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