Bratislava, Slovakia 5. Slovakia protests and strange goings on

Bratislava, Slovakia seems like a nice modern clean city and has long shrugged off its image from communism that dominated Eastern Europe up until the early 1990s.

This the Hostel Blues which is in the main part of the city centre and is a good place which I stayed here for just two nights.    Unusually the guy behind the counter is a local, as opposed to a casual traveller.   He told me that the government offices near the castle have some protests.

IMG_20180326_170153541 1024

So when I took a look, this is mostly local people, with banners up in their local language.  I spoke to a local to ask what was going on.   Turns out a local Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak printed a piece in the local newspaper about serious corruption in the Slovakian government and connections to the Mafia.   Shortly after, the journalist was murdered.

Therefore the local people were protesting asking what the heck is going on. 

So, in a case like this I wonder if the EU and other heads of nations got involved to ask the Slovakian government how are they getting to the bottom of this.

After this I left Bratisalva, and went to my next place, Budapest…

1. Austria’s neighbour and travel hacks – 2. River Danube – 3. Strange mirrored museum – 4. Things I learned from my visit to Slovakia5. Slovakia protests and strange goings on

Bratislava, Slovakia 4. Things I learned from my visit to Slovakia

IMG_20180326_163032174 1024

IMG_20180326_191030840 1024

What I learned from my brief visit to Slovakia;

  • The country split off from the Czech Republic which was previously known as Czechoslovakia, which dissolved in 1993.
  • Some of the iron curtain legacies are used for history and curious amusement for western tourists who might be fascinated by socialism, like this firing range with eastern European weapons
  • This country is a recent (2004) member of the EU and uses the Euro currency. (since 2009)
  • There was a scandal involving the Slovakian government, the Mafia and shooting of a local journalist.  I’ll cover this in part 5.
  • wide bratislava pano 1024
  • easter 1024There is this nice outdoor display during Easter which I really like.   No political correctness here thank goodness.
  • The streets look clean and supermarkets like Lidl have incentives for people to recycle, you post your empty plastic bottles into a machine to get a printed voucher off your shopping.
  • IMG_20180326_172903139 1024There is a holocaust statue to remember the loss of Jewish people who met tragedy here.
  • This country shares the Danube river with Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary.
  • This seems like a modern and pleasant country and is quite cheap to eat out although isn’t a huge amount to do here, and I only stayed two nights.
  • There is a huge castle that overlooks the Danube.   Bratislava castle has some parts of it that date from the 13th century.IMG_20180326_170929271 1024

1. Austria’s neighbour and travel hacks – 2. River Danube – 3. Strange mirrored museum – 4. Things I learned from my visit to Slovakia5. Slovakia protests and strange goings on

Bratislava, Slovakia 3. Strange mirrored museum

IMG_20180326_164419077_HDR 1024 IMG_20180326_164416755 1024

I was walking down this street past this brewery and saw this strange place which was just 5 Euros for a ticket, its called Gallery Multium.

IMG_20180326_165107142 1024

IMG_20180326_165007148 1024

Each of these rooms is quite small, but the arrangement of the mirrors gives an infinite view, actually like with this bank vault cabinet thing has a slight curve to give a better visual effect.

TheGallery Multium can be seen here and is well worth seeing if you visit Bratislava, Slovakia.

1. Austria’s neighbour and travel hacks – 2. River Danube – 3. Strange mirrored museum – 4. Things I learned from my visit to Slovakia5. Slovakia protests and strange goings on


Fun with Bible & Data Science 1. Middle and shortest/longest

biblesqlA few years ago, I left my regular job doing IT for schools to learn databases and the SQL language.    So I needed to do some study and learn stuff for myself.

I found a dataset of an NIV bible from MySQL then dumped it to a text file then uploaded it to my Microsoft SQL Server lab set up.   I’ve added a few columns to show old or new testament, and I’ll add which type of book later (Torah, Prophets, Pauls Letters, etc) a little later.

One thing I have always wanted to do is to take the bible and do some data analysis and look for interesting patterns or transform the data into readable charts.   I’m not really interested in weird stuff that’s on the internet like Gammatria, more looking for patterns of things that would encourage me and other people to study more.

The book of Genesis has the first generations of men who all lived to a long time and therefore had a lot more than today’s 3-4 generations of a family alive at once which would have made family parties interesting.    I’d like to make some charts of all the prophecies Jesus fulfilled and some of the places Paul trekked to and make some fancy diagrams using Tableau or similar.

In my regular church, we are studying Psalms 119 which is the longest chapter in the bible.   Its often well thought that the middle of the bible is here.

But actually, is it?   Now, this depends on your bible and translation.   Also how many lines of text and size of print in a paper bible, if you go by counting the number of pages and divide this amount by two you could get this.

totalVersesIt seems most people agree that there are 31,102 verses in the bible, including the King James.

So my Database server says the same.


So, if I do a search to see where that is halfway…   It’s Psalm 103 : 1.   (I added a -5 figure so you can see the verses before.)

Some folks have mentioned the shortest verse is John 11 : 35 “Jesus wept”


Actually, Jesus wept, is the 7th shortest.  Wait, why is there hyphens and “See footnote”  seems my NIV has some differences from other bibles.   If I run this query without these, its Job 3 : 2.


With King James, yes Jesus wept is the shortest, at 11 characters.   I might try and push the Hebrew and Greek texts in some time.



Enter a caption

Here’s the longest verses in NIV and KJV.

I’ll cover more later.  Feel free if you would like me to look for some patterns of interesting things in the bible.


Israel like every other country still needs Yeshua (Jesus)

I saw this advert in Hebrew popped up on social media for a festival called Desert Ashram in the Negev village of Shittim in Israel which has 30 permanent residents.    (You will need Google translate)

Some of my Israeli friends have told me about these events.   You can see the fun-loving hippy spirit in many Israelis where they can get away from the rat race, enjoy the outdoors, camp and see live music.

I totally connect with this, as I love travelling and seeing places from the bible and famous films, I managed to meet Israelis when I have been travelling in Morocco, China, Ireland, Hungary and Germany by accident, as my ear has become tuned to picking up spoken Hebrew language.

As well as seeing religious and historical places, during the time I lived in Israel, I went to see concerts of secular Israeli music in bars (but I like Israeli Hebrew worship music too) also I like camping, hiking and exploring and I’m a bit anti-authority.

On the other hand, looking at a translation for this event shows lots of things of a completely different spiritual experience, Hindu/Kundalini, Buddhism, New Age, Tarot cards, and similar, which are forbidden in the bible.

Why is this?  I think often Israelis get jaded with religion and need to find a break.   Often, there is a need to cry out and ask questions about the meaning of existence.

On a few occasions, I’ve heard exciting stories from Israeli Messianic Jewish evangelists who show some chutzpah who go to these places to chat, pray with them, and tell them the gospel, as its probably one of the best opportunities for young Israelis to hear the authentic message of the Jewish Messiah.

This and this mentions more on festivals in this particular desert community.

Bratislava, Slovakia 2. River Danube

What’s interesting is Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest all share the beautiful Danube river.

Austria borders with Slovakia and Hungary, and they are all in the EU.

Slovakia only adopting the Euro currency in 2007, and Hungary using their own proprietary currency called the Forint.  Yet, there is quite a big economical divide between them, as Austrians earn double the salary of the other two.

I wasn’t sleeping on the bus, but I didn’t actually notice the border when went over it.   I just suddenly saw roadsigns in another language that was different from German.

IMG_20180326_170925165 1024

IMG_20180327_083859312 1024Just to the left of this concrete wall is the bus station where you can arrive into Bratislava via Flixbus.

Next to the river Danube where I am standing is a castle, and the government buildings.

1. Austria’s neighbour and travel hacks – 2. River Danube – 3. Strange mirrored museum – 4. Things I learned from my visit to Slovakia5. Slovakia protests and strange goings on


Bratislava, Slovakia 1. Austria’s neighbour and travel hacks

This trip was part of something I did during April of 2018.   I got invited to a wedding in Vienna, Austria.    This couple is friends I know from London, a Christian and a Messianic Jew.

Another friend of mine, his mum works in an airport on the outskirts of London (Standsted) let me know a few industry secrets; a cheaper way to get to Vienna is to fly to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia and take a bus over.

So this interesting airline ‘hack’ meant I then decided to see a few other places after the wedding.

This journey according to Google is 75km and one hour, but its a little longer than that, as the bus stops at the city centre and the airports of both nations.  It’s widely believed that the two closest captial cities in the Europe are Helsinki, Finland and Tallin, Estonia, but this is more at 90km. (by boat)

Popular German coach company Flixbus did a great deal to get over, although I recommend prebooking on your smart phone as the first bus when I got off the airport was full from prebooked passagers.

Austria is nice, but I’ve already been there before when I was doing some IT work the previous summer, and I love the Ringstrasse and the theatres and concerts there.   My friends who also came to the wedding all went home, so I took a bit more days off to see some of Eastern Europe.

1. Austria’s neighbour and travel hacks – 2. River Danube – 3. Strange mirrored museum – 4. Things I learned from my visit to Slovakia5. Slovakia protests and strange goings on