We Finally Got Balls in Slovakia!

Greetings from the High Tatras in Slovakia, a mountain range that isn’t all that high (it tops out around 7,000 feet) but is nonetheless that tallest range in all of Eastern Europe. What it lacks in height it makes up for in beauty, with fields of bright purple and yellow wildflowers and slopes of juniper and pine trees. William and I rode a gondola midway up the mountain and spent the day hiking and enjoying the expansive views. (And enjoying a cold beer before we tackled the final 2 hour hike back down a steep boulder trail to the village where we’re staying.)

We had hoped to spread the word about TWB when we were in London during the Olympics but even though we both wore our shirts the same day, which usually invites a lot of questions and comments, no one approached us on our walk through the city. Either the British are too polite to question strangers or else people were simply too caught up in Olympic fever to focus on anything else. But while the TWB promotion was a bust, we did have the joy of watching our friend Meb Keflezighi come in 4th place for the Marathon, just out of medal contention but still a fantastic finish for someone who had been injured not long before…

From London we flew to Prague and began our 3 week driving adventure through Eastern (and eventually) Western Europe. Today marks the end of our first week and so far we’ve taken in Prague (which we gave short shrift due to city fatigue), the spa resort town of Marianske Lazne (formerly known as Marianbad) and a national park known as “Little Switzerland”(where we stayed in an eco-hotel on the tranquil Labe River) in the Czech Republic. Yesterday morning we arrived in Slovakia and headed directly for the High Tatras and we’ll be here until tomorrow. So the pace has been a bit fast but hopefully we’ll be able to slow it down a bit…We’ll see!

For TWB team members, the most exciting news is that we finally got some balls! Yesterday, in the small High Tatra village of Stare Smokovec we were delighted to discover a couple of soccer balls in the display window of a mountaineering/ski shop. We rushed in and purchased both of them (they cost about $16 each…) and now we’re ready to score tomorrow on our drive towards Budapest. (We’re hopscotching around countries — we’ll return to both Slovakia (to see Bratislava) and the Czech Republic (to see the wine country of Moravia) a little later in the journey.

For those of us who Travel With Balls, it doesn’t really matter where you are in the world — the GOAL is JOY!

Peace & Blessings,