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Into Slovakia

by on 26 May 2011

At the urging our congenial landlord at the camp, we took a rainy afternoon for a high-speed trip across the border into Slovakia.

Through an abandoned border checkpoint on top of a ridge in the Carpathian Mountains, we rocketed over potholes and past wooden churches we might have devoted hours to. Our host, with whom we did not have a language in common, was determined that we see two memorials.

Signs of the war were everywhere, sometimes taking the eerie form of a kind of full scale diorama of the machines of destruction, sometimes rows of graves with the known and unknown.

It was very quiet.

We found a town with a closed museum, no postcards, and an alarming array of concrete high-rise apartment blocks. The sun came out, and we began to try the potholes in the opposite direction.

But not before we discovered signs of a more modern struggle right at our feet.

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