Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Slovakia and Slovenia are two different countries

I was recently on a river cruise in Eastern Europe on the Danube River. The journey from Nuremburg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary was not only relaxing but intellectually fulfilling. We stopped at two other German cities (Regensburg and Passau) and three Austrian cities (Melk, Linz and Vienna). We passed by the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava but did not officially enter this nation. While on the boat watching this beautiful city go by us, conversation among the tourists ensued. Some were calling it Slovenia and some were calling it Slovakia. I said to someone that this was Slovakia, not Slovenia but I since I wasn't 100% sure that Slovenia was a different country and not just another name of Slovakia I didn't push the point.

Now that I have my internet access back, I double checked. Slovenia is a different country from Slovakia. Slovenia has a very long history, most recently it was once a part of Yugoslavia since 1945 and gained independence when that country broke up in 1991. It is east of Italy on the Adriatic Sea.

Slovakia became an independent nation recent also, when Czechoslovakia split up (often called the Velvet Divorce) into two distinct nations, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in 1993.

It is easy to see how this mistake is made since all this history happened within two years of each other.

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