I know more about Slovakia now, as we prepare this evening to play them at football, and on Thursday to vote whether to Remain in the EU with them, than I did when England and Wales were drawn in the same group as them and Russia in EURO2016.

I know:

  • I added White-backed Woodpecker and Pygmy Cormorant to my lifelist in Slovakia
  • Slovakia produces some surprisingly good wines, including red Dunaj, which are difficult to track down in the UK
  • there are cheap flights to Kosice from the UK
  • that Slovakia and the Czech Republic split apart without any violence but also rather remarkably without a referendum of the people – that really surprised me
  • EU funds are helping to protect important Slovakian, European, sites that are very rich in wildlife and whose future would be much less certain without Slovakia’s EU membership and without EU money (some of which is mine since the UK is a net contributor and I pay taxes)
  • pirohy tastes good
  • the Slovakian countryside has lots of Cuckoos, Turtle Doves and Red-backed Shrikes in it – it’s like going back in time
  • that although I met lots of very nice Slovakian people, I still want England to beat them at football please
  • I want to #Remain in the EU with people like Slovaks



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