I was contacted by a nice couple, Cathy and Mark from Virginia some weeks before our tour. They found my profile on TripAdvisor. Marks grandparents came from small villages from north-eastern Slovakia and Mark with Cathy wanted visit all of them. We only had one incomplete day for our exploring, so the itinerary and time management had to work well. We met in the sunny morning in Prešov and continued to the north-eastern part of the region.
Our first stop was in a small village Lipová in district of Bardejov with only 70 inhabitants. Be carefull, because there are two villages called "Lipová" in Slovakia and they are 400 kilometers (248.5 miles) far away from each other. Better make double check on your navigation (-: Lipová is a quiet village with many sounds of nature (birds singing) and high speed internet connection (paid by European Union). I arranged meeting with the mayor whose surname also appears in Mark´s genealogy. We don´t have a proof yet, but we think he can be part of Mark´s wider family.
We continued to a second destination to the village of Rovné. It is a bigger village than Lipová with population almost 500 inhabitants. I also arranged meeting at the town hall where we met very friendly and willing people. On the second floor of the town hall there is a school, or better say there is a class room with pupils of different grades. They just had an English lesson when we interrupted them. In the class room there was a wooden model of the old wooden church which was destroyed (burned out). A better word is a wooden masterpiece! Originally the church was situated close to the cemetery. When I mentioned the cemetery, there are four cemeteries in Rovné: Roman catholic, Greek catholic, military cemetery and the last is an ancient cemetery. In Rovné we also met the author of the wooden model, who is an amazing and talented person with the passion for history.
We left Rovné and drived to another destinations - villages Beňadikovce and Šarišský Štiavnik. We forgot nice weather in the village of Rovné and when we arrived to Šarišský Štiavnik the rain started to be very heavy. We took some pictures at the hill with Greek catholic church on it and moved southward to the artificial water reservoir Domaša built in 1967. During its construction in the 1960´s six villages were resettled/destroyed, among them Valkov - our last destination. Today is Valkov just a holiday resort with many lodging houses and cottages and it is an administrative part of the bigger village Bžany. We did a quick visit of the cemetery which is together with an old church the only building which weren´t destroyed because of building the reservoir.
Our plan was accomplished and we arrived back to Prešov on time. We spent a great time together, we met many friendly people, we saw a lot of interesting places. And maybe we will find some old family branches too. Thank you Cathy and Mark for your visit and I hope to see you soon!