Monthly Archives: July 2012
It’s been Scorchio in Slovakia for the past two weeks. Even the High Tatras, which usually shivers during the summer months, is experiencing 37ºC. The weather map is looking a lot like the BBC Fast Show sketch starring the brilliant Caroline Aherne. Scorchio!
Trucks spraying water have been touring Nitra to cool down the roads. And the regional buses have finally decided to turn their air conditioning on. Even as I sit, writing this at 8am, the first ambulance sirens have begun to float up from the town. The elderly have been collapsing from dehydration, and heat related deaths are being reported, most recently a 94 year old woman in Košice, eastern Slovakia.
The last time I experienced heat like this was on a visit to the Dead Sea in 1999. At least back then I could wallow in mud all day. No luck here as Ján and myself are both on strict work deadlines. So, we are trapped inside, Wimbledon-style with curtains closed and the sweat slowly pouring off us and over our computers. The apartment building we live in usually insulates well. Toasty warm in the winter, cool as a cucumber in the summer. But with the constant heat, even at night its been stickily sticking at 28 degrees, it is now a hot box. A sweltering trip around Nitra last night found that electric fans and aircon units have sold out. All the town had left to offer was a tiny desktop fan, but we were pipped to the post and came home empty handed.
Ján tells me that Slovakia never used to be like this, when he was younger it was a big deal when the mercury hit 27°C, now it regularly goes above thirty-five. Global warming? Who knows, right now I am too hot to think about it. I’m sure when it has cooled down I’ll become enraged and pledge to be carbon neutral.
One saviour we have had is the Nitra Kupalisko. (Nitra Lido). Located between Nitra castle and the river, it has five huge pools, a water side, beach volleyball pitch, bars, and restaurants. We have headed over at 4pm everyday this week to cool off and drink tall ice cold pints of Corgon beer.
Lido’s are big business here in Slovakia. On Tuesday, five thousand people chose to cool off in Nitra Lido! And I’m sure there will be many more days of swimming. Slovakia shows no signs of cooling off just yet…
Postscript; That evening we had a huge electrical storm in Nitra. It was a mere respite. It remains Scorchio!