Guests and Vikings

Trip Start Jun 20, 2005
Trip End Jul 07, 2005

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Thursday, June 30, 2005

June 30 (Thursday), Krivan

Most of the guests are due to arrive today and assemble in the evening at the Viking Pub in Zvolen for a get-to-know-you party.

When we arrived at the hotel in Zvolen, my cousin Leon and his girlfriend Naz were there, as was my cricket mate Rosscoe from Australia and my family. We had a couple of beers with them, then my old school friend Alastair and his girlfriend Taryn showed up. They had come here by train via Vienna and, along the way, they had started chatting with an American guy. They discovered they were all heading to Zvolen and by further coincidence that they were going to a wedding. Realising that there can't be too many English-speaking weddings in town, they deduced that they were in fact attending the same wedding and that the American gent was my Uncle Tom.

So we all sat up on the hotel balcony having a few beers and swapping the usual 'how we got there' stories, of which there were some good ones. Before long it was 5pm, so people started to get ready to head to the pub. Just as we were leaving the hotel, our good Canadian friend Jon showed up, so I stayed around to help him settle in. Then, as I was leaving again, another collection of guests appeared, so I helped them get sorted.

The pub was nice, although people were all sitting down, which doesn't always lend itself to socialising. We played a game in which everyone was given a written question related to the wedding. They had to obtain the answer from someone other than myself or Jane and then answer it in front of everyone in either English or Slovak, whichever was not their mother tongue. That worked really well and got everyone mingling more. Eventually the evening progressed. Jane's family left first, which was understandable because they couldn't speak to many people and Janko was exhausted from picking up people from Bratislava and Vienna earlier that day.

Our good friend and former roommate Tim waltzed in, still wearing his backpack, at about 9pm, with a predictably wild travel story to tell. We were very excited to see him after however many years it had been. He is staying at Jane's house for the next few days, as is Louise. After a while, my workmate Mike Fry rocked up too, having had a crazy trip in which his suitcase was lost in Italy.

Everyone that we were expecting to come, came. The food was great, the beer was free for the guests and we all had fun, so it was a successful evening. Gradually, most people headed off until there was a hard core of about 11 left. We continued drinking till the small hours then stumbled back to our respective accommodations.

July 1 (Friday), Krivan

T - 1 till the big day. Everyone keeps asking if I'm nervous or worried but I'm not really. Probably tomorrow is when I'll start taking it more seriously but it hasn't really sunk in yet. Most of the Zvolen-based guests were off on day trips today but we are just pottering around. We had a big breakfast outside, followed, it seemed, immediately by an even bigger lunch. The lunch was awesome - chicken, pickles, klobasa sausage, potatoes and beer. Tim raved about it.

After a short break, it was straight into dinner, then some last minute preparations. By this time tomorrow, I'll be married, probably drunk and standing in a medieval castle. As you do.
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