sightseeing and other adventures in running shoes


Veronika Sliacanova

I am curious, enjoy good food and views. I hope you will enjoy reading about my adventures as much as I enjoyed them documenting!

Black and White (2019)

getting started. 1st year

It has been quite a year. So many things have changed! I will post update on my first work experience as an architect in a separate post. Nevertheless, I have quit my first job last year and moved on. With an upgrade, I have been earning better and have more spare time, so I have decided to invest into my own project.

It is no secret that I come from Slovakia and currently live in Germany. Spending Christmas in white or going for a nice hike in summer while visiting my parents is a part of my long term vaccation program. Thinking forward and starting a family of our own in close future, it have always wanted to buy a nice house there. Somewhere quiet, somewhere close to the mountains I grew up in. So I have been looking into housing market in Slovakia for some time. Year after year, I have been noticing that the prices are rapidly growing. So when I the positive change came, I have acctually made some appointments last Christmas.

January 2019

My target was an old house with a nice garden and reasonable price. My taste is quite particular and as I have some experience with construction sites, I have been looking forward to the carrying out the project on my own (and with some professional help). By accident, we came across the “ružový domček” in a small village underneath the Low Tatras. The price was plaing along and it was the perfect fit. So, I returned to Slovakia by end of January to sign the contract and get measurments of the house. Two months later, it was offical and I have become a new house owner. The planing process was in full bloom.

July 2019

The main house (60 sqm) was build in 1928-30 and it has a unique character. There was not much of furniture as it was uninhabited for over 20 years, yet we found some amazing documents of the former owner in the attic. It was made with astonishing precision and vaulted ceilings. I think that ist one of my favourite feature about it! So, when drafting new plans, I have always kept it intact. On the other hand, I have been dreaming of a modern livingroom with tilted roof. To combine those and get a use out of the attic we will have to expand (deconstructing the vaulted ceining to insert a staircase into it was not really an option). With preliminary draftes in hand, a short trip to the authorities to get the next steps straithened out was in order. This was my first time to see the place/ garden not covered in snow and I enjoyed little downtime in my new hammock.

September 2019

As my savings went into the house itselft, I have been saving up these days for reconstruction while paying back the loaned money to my parents. Nevertheless, we have decided to take two weeks off and invest some time and manual labour into the house getting it ready for the reconstruction (removing wall plastering, the cracked chimney and cleaning the attic). It was a great break from planing! We also had a ground surveyor to stop buy and get measurements/ heights of the plot. There are some pictures of shovel power in the gallery below.

December 2019

Revealing some secrets underneath the plaster, we have found out that the non-bearning walls are acctually bearing after all. We have been assuming that the vaulted ceiling is suppoted by steal beams (in our case railway tracks). Yet, the arched spans in marginal fields deviate from the others and we did not find any beams in those axis. The strange thins is, that 14 cm thick brick walls (compared to 46 cm of outer shell!) are in fact load bearing. What is more, they acctually built load distributing arches above the doors which also confirms the thesis. All in all, the concept has to be changed again.

Preliminary design

..coming soon.

Gallery 2019

Housing Project No. 14

This post has to be modified (31.05.2018) due to issues with copyright after I quit my job. My former boss made clear, I am not allowed to use any of data in my portfolio. I will tell You more over here [1].

It is funny, the last finished project was acctually No. 13 [2]. Now, to keep things organised, I am moving up to Project No. 14 – the best German clishe of all times 🙂

I have always liked reconstruction projects better than doing new designs. As I am not crazy creative, I like to have a starting point when drafting an approach. It is easier to find it, if you do not “cook only from water” [3] So, having to work with an old core is always a fun for me. What is more, you have during the transformation process the great dynamic of old/new.

First step, building survey – it is kind of spooky, yet so much fun for me. I loved spending semester breaks with head in ancient buildings (I should make a post on this!). Measuring and drawing, measuring again, and again. Trying to sneak in some quiet time and produce plausible plans can be hard, especially if you have to supervise two other active sites. Nevertheless, at some point I have finished and moved on to the second part – negotiating with building authorities what could be aproved. Recently, the building permit has been released and we are preparing the implementation these days.


Cannot be published.

[1] read more here very soon

[2] link here

[3] to cook only from water – it is a weird slovak expression translated literaly. Imagine, you are trying to cook a soup, yet the only ingredient you have is just water. You can only wonder, how tasty it will get in the end 🙂

(my) First Housing Project

This post has to be modified (31.05.2018) due to issues with copyright after I quit my job. My former boss made clear, I am not allowed to use any of data in my portfolio. I will tell You more over here [1].

Starting a new job two years ago [2], preparing and submitting an application for building permit was one of my first tasks. It took a while to polish the details and sign contractors – after a year of preperations, we were good to go. Quite enthusiastic, I emerged myself in regular site visits – coordinating subcontractors, material logistic and ensuring general progress. And I think I grew few grey hairs this past year. Nevertheless, I am glad to say, I have just finished my first housing project!

The design is not ground breaking, the general layout was already drafted before I started. What is more, we were building based on existing zoning plan and there were lot of other restrictions, e.g. the facade colour determined by the department of preservation of historical monuments – despite the fact, it is a new building. Welcome to Germany.

It is quite fascinating to look back and see how I put few abstract plans into real shape and watched to grow a real house in front of me. I guess, I did learn something and I would have done so many thigns differently now. Nevertheless, it turned out quite OK and the first tenants were so happy! And that is only thing what counts in the end.


had to be removed.


[1] read more here very soon

[2] read more here

sunny weekend in lake district

As the days are getting shorter, I find it easier to sit down in the evening and write. What is more, I have also recieved the bill for my domain recently, so I feel obligated to use the space I am paying for 🙂

I did not participate in any races this summer. However, I managed to go as spectacor. If you get asked to be part of someone´s support group, it is a honor to go. It is also plenty of fun, as you get to check out the course and feel the excitment. So I jumped right on the plane and flew out to the Lake District where my brother participated in Peak Skyline [1].

We arrived in Buxton few days in advance to check out the course and see some of Peak District as well. The drive from Liverpool to Buxton was very confusing and we have got lost several times, yet we have arrived. The next day, surprisingly, the sun was out. We have decided to explore the first half of the course. Jakub was doing his active recovery and I was working quite hard to keep up.. The next day, I went in the second half (starting from Manor Farm) with legs like I have already run the whole course the day before 🙂 Nevertheless, the weather was not british at all and the views from Roaches were worthed the squeeze. We have spent the whole two days talkign about strategy for the race and came up with supreme plan. The motto was, if you are not as fast as the others, then you definitely need good backups. On the note, Peak skyline was not in the UK Skyrun Series this year, so it was allowed to get refreshments or have a pacer – and we did a good.. Jakub has been running with the leading group but unfortunatelly cpramped on the last part, so he came out third. (I am still impressed and very proud of him anyway.) The last day, we have decided to stop by Shutlingsloe on our way to the aiport and take one more look at the Lake District and then we took off.

All in all, it has been about 80k of hiking, which was fun thanks to great company and delicious proviant we have packed (e.g. I was very happy to find that emergency apple on the end of the first day 🙂 ).



day 01 gpx-file  here

day 02 gpx-file here

day 03 gpx-file here

day 04 gpx-file here



As I have been determined to take picture of everyone onthe race day, there are many more pictures which could be found here.


[1] offcial website here . very fast course of 47,5km and  2.000 m elevation gain.

Journey to healthy habits #2 – Learning to fail and picking up the pieces

I am sitting on my balcony, feeling very disappointed – another weekend is over. Another lazy weekend – I have missed out on cooking delicious lunch for myself nor did I get some fresh dust on my running shoes.

Thankfully I have a glas of homemade elderflower syrup to keep me company. So, based on this fact, I cannot be as lazy and unproductive as I let myself believe. Since I have conciously started working on my healthy habits last year, I have probably had more bad days than the good once. You might say, I am not fully comitted to the case – and I would probably not argue with you. Nevertheless, I have made some effort to implement healthy habits into my life. The only problem is, to stick to those plans 100% of time. So, the biggest battle I have been fighing for last nine months was learning how to fail your plan and despite that find will to go on.

There are days, or sometimes even few weeks, when I do not feel motivated to go out, neither cook for myself. So, I end up in front of a screen, watching some cheesy movies while haribos keep me company. Sometimes its chocholate – other days pringles. And the longer the period lasts, the harder is it to get back on the track. I put on the weight and it makes it harder to run. I spiral down, I skip core training, do not strech. Even a thought of next training is exhausting because I know, it will suck big times. It will be hard, so I rather stay in bed. I pity myself and look for comfort in chocolate, again. At this point, I am pretty close to rock bottom. Unfortunatelly, I have already been there too often to start fresh. However, I am not smart enough to learn from it either.

So, I have been in this vicious circle for as long as I can remember. What a shame I do not remember my childhood days – I used to be so badass [in a good way]. Sometimes I look at pictures and try to remember what it felt like to acctually run uphill. Then, after the dark period is over, there come some good days, e.g. last September, when I finished the Ring of Steel [here] and I am so proud of myself. It seems for a little while that I am on the right path. Then, I get comfortable, which is on the borderline with lazy. Sooner than I can imagine, I slip up and end up angry with the world under bett sheets among chocolate.

Despite how it might look, I am making progress. I am learning how to deal with failure. I have recently realised that if I ever learn to master that, I will be more than halfway in. So, I have resently accepted the fact that I will fail regurarly and I started working on my comebacks. There are some points, which work for me.

  1. Start immediately. I used to cry myself into sleep with thought, I will do better tomorrow. Yet, that was a mistake. It was not different in the morgning. There was no lunch prepared in the fridge and I used to suffer big times if I try to go for a run, etc. So instead of getting 10-12 hours of useless sleep (I only need like 8 hours of good sleep) hoping the world will be magically a better place next day, I get on it right away.
  2. I begin with a simple step – food. I know, its crazy. However, if I want to train, I have to fuel properly. So, I would get into kitchen and prepare some meals, snacks including nice desserts. Food is neither the punishment, nor reward. This used to be my biggest mistake. Sometimes, I would try to punish myself by not eating sweets and snacking only veggies in order to get better. So I would end up with less than 1000 Cal a day and you can imagine, what would happen to your body after few days like that. I was “starving”  myself and was more likely to fail even sooner. So, to avoid that, I start a recovery phase with preparing a balanced meal for the next few days. So, that it makes easier for me to function when I am eating good food.
  3. On the first day of recovery, I would only go for a walk – nothing hard. Again, it is not helping, if I punish myself with muscle pain on the first training. It sure is not motivating for the next day. Additionally, I would do some core straightening moves, again, just enough to feel a bit stronger and good about myself.
  4. Then I would gradually add more load and keep up the good diet.

Unfortunatelly, I have not figured out the fifth step yet – how to find a balanced daily routine? There might come a small distraction my way and I am off – e.g. long hours at work, social event (read party/date weekend), rainy weather or sore throat, etc. So I get lazy like this weekend, and am ready to go back to the step one..

All in all, as I learnt to pick up pieces, the fear of failing is not so excrutiating anymore and I do not torment myself. I rather accept the failure as a part of process, which makes it a whole lot easier. This way, I do not have to start fresh for the millonth time, because I am seriously lacking motivation to go down that road again and again. I have realised, a sudden magical change into the perfect version of myself overnight will not happen – there is no amount of new notebooks or lists which could make that happen. I can only try to slowly implement the healthy habits into my current messy life with occasional hickups on the way. Nevertheless, today is another one of recovery starts. I have put veggies into oven (with lot of cheese in between), it might be done by the time I upload this article. This way, I can go to sleep and be sure tomorrow will be a better day.

Tiramisu Raspberries Treat

I have been cooking a lot lately and this time, I was not too lazy to take my camera out and shoot the delicious process. Because what point would be to upload food articles without any pictures? I have always been curious how packed those sinful favourites of mine are. Since I have started counting calories [read more here], I have been calculating the nutrition values as well.


200g    Raspberries [I am not a coffee fan.]

400g    Whipped cream 30%

500g    Mascarpone 40%

500g    Light cottage chees [Quark] 0.1%

125g    Amarettini [those delicious bisquits]

10ml   Amaretto 30%

25g     Brown sugar

15g     Vanilla sugar


10g     Cocoa powder [pure]


It is pretty simple – lay out the first half of Amarettinis into a glas bowl. If I were preparing food for myself, I would divide it directly into several smaller boxes, so I can easily take it with me to the work – more on this topic in the next step of Journey to healthy habits #2 [I will link it as soon as I am done with it]. Then heat up the raspberries, fast way to defrost and let them sweat till you have little sauce. I am not a patient person, so I do not wait till they cool down, I just take it off the heat and add the Amaretto [you can skip this step if you are not into alcohol or underaged]. You can add some cinnemon for a more complex flavour as well. Then just spread the mixture on the top of the first layer. For the cream, I like the version of mixing mascarpone with whipped cream – instead of adding foamed raw eggs. I do not like the idea of eating unprocessed eggs and what is more, the end product was even fluffier! If you are a aiming for light version [whipped cream and mascarpone are quite heavy in fett], you can fresh it up with cottage cheese [DE: Quark]. It is not so Italian but it is tasty :))

So, mix sugar and mascarpone, add cottage cheese. Make sure to mix it until it is completely smooth and then  add the whipped cream. You can also pour in few drops of Amaretto, the product will have a full and united flavour. If it is X-mas time, make sure to add some cinnamon as well. If you are going for a bold version, add little bit of white pepper :)) There are no limits here.

If you are satisfied with your cream, just spread it on the first layer. After covering the raspberries, add another layer of Amarettini bisquits, you will not regret it. Then just finish off with coccoa powder and let rest for a night. You do not have to be disappointed, there are usually some leftovers in the bowl and I guarantee you, you will be highly motivated to get out of the bed the next day –  I usually am. Just take a look at those pictures.

All in all, you will get about 1.5kg of Tiramisu – that is enough to feed a little army! So, even if you split it up with your friends/colleagues, you will still have something left in the end. To avoid bad conscience, maybe stick with 15 portions a 150g :)).

Bon appetite!


Review of 2016.

The beauty of each New Year to me is looking back and evaluating, maybe making new plans for the coming year. Last year, I hoped to have a better one than 2015 and looking at the charts, I can be proud of myself. I have improved. I might not have been hitting a lot of PRs but I have finally managed to incorporate sport into my mundane Mondays [1].



As I have mentioned before, I was able to train more regularly than last year. I have recorded 165 activities on So you can say, I did something three days a week! If we compare 2015 and 2016 in terms of elapsed time, I have only trained for 86% amount from last year. Yet, it was spread into more units – 165 vs. 136 the year before. So, you can say, I did more shorter units this year, apprx. 40min each day..

The overall distance numbers are looking brighter as well, check out the charts below.



…cycling about 108% of last years distance. [2] It would be about 36.5k and 103min weekly. If I take the fact under consideration that I only bought a new bike in July, I was riding about 70k in 200min weekly during the time, I acctually had a bike. What is more, if I keep up the trend, I will be able to hit 5000k next year!


running …significant improvement in running, about 145% of last years distance! [2] In average it makes 14.4k and 127min weekly. The altitude is even more impressive, 19,920m! It might be not a lot for those guys who acctually live in mountains but I have to travel some distance to get to those parts and only during weekends and holidays. So, I think I did well.


Putting things into a monthly perspective and including all kind of excercise looks more interesting – at least to me.


These graphics clearly show that March and June were the laziest months of the year! March could be explained easily, I was finalising my master thesis and it got my undivided attention. Concearning June, I have no valid excuse. FYI, June 2015 was also very poor – the mystery continues. On the other hand, September was great even this year and what is more, I have been training regularly two days out of three since then.

The average number for time spent training (excluding months June and September from the statistics) would be 19.8 hours in a month. (19.4 hours in 2015). My optimal training plan would imply 35-40 hours, so I have completed only 50% of my plan, just like in 2015. Yet, I have acctually managed to fullfill the plan, even it was only in September and October, a big improvement to the last year (I only managed to do 70-80% during busiest months). Another positive thought is that I have managed to do more kilometers in less hours than last year – hopefully, I am getting faster :-). So, let´s step it up next year!




[1] Yes, I am a big fan of waitbutwhy. If you do not know it yet, make sure to google it 🙂

[2] Graphics were exported from, using StravistiX extention for Chrome. It adds plenty helpful information and it is free.

Journey to healthy habits #1 – Counting Calories

Since I have become a real person, I have decided to start working on becoming a healty person as well. It is a working progress thing which is still going on, yet I have decided to share few toughts on the way as I am not sure how long will it take.


There are two major groups of people in this world.

A) those who think counting calories is ridiculous thing to do

B) those who are acctually counting them every day

Hypothetically, there should be a third group as well. It would include those few people who rely on their guts to know how much they are supposed to eat and live in balance without making conscious and obvious efforts to do so. I think everyone dreams to join their team but it is a long and complicated journey. As my guts are driven by Nutella and my instincts on eating healthy do not exist, I have recently started an experiment. I have been logging in all consumed calories throughout the day. I know what you think – I must be desperate. However, let me share few outcomes with you first and then judge me.


I use to be the the person laughing at the “cliché counters” and refused to join in. Nevertheless, I have lately had several conversations with different people whose opinions matter to me reagrading the topic of healty eating habits and knowing mine sucks, I have decided to do somethign about it. For starters, I am not great at keeping notes. I would buy a beautiful notebook to document things, e.g. to write a food diary. Yet, it would get tossed into the corner withing few days. Using modern technology, e.g. a food app was not crowned with success either. My problem is, I lack consistency. So, I have decided to comit to an experiment for three weeks – two weeks seemed too short to gain any results, one month seemed just undoable for me.  The aim was, to log down food I have consumed – simple overview without doing any evaluation at first. I think it was a very crucial step to do. Just eat like you usually would and understand how it looks like from a perspective of nutritional numbers. Do not make any changes yet – it is a piece of advice I did not stick to before. It is also a reason, why all my previous attemts shipwrecked. As soon as you start writing things down, you tend to make things look better – you would either start eating healtier in overnight or cheat and give up soon. Only a super hero would manage the first one. I know, each book recommends starting a food diary/counting calories to help you make smarter choices but who says, where your mistakes lie? Am I simply eating too many calories or am I eating the wrong kinds? I was lucky enough to grow up to see an example when eating chocolate and staying fit works along. So I assumed, based on my shallow observations, I just needed to do more sport to balance things out. Yet, again ist not as simple as it looks. How much is more? Do I have to something every day or is occasional hike on wekends enough? So even if you decide to lose weight by training more (it was always my aim to do so) you still have to count calories to know your Input.. I was perfectly aware of my Output, I do have a smartphone which is tracking my daily activities and I also own a sport watch as well. It is easy to do the calcualtion after an intense workout – patting yourself on shoulder after you just burnt 2500 Cal on a long ride, you believe you are entitled to refuel this with five chocolate bars. Because thats what the math says. I have been living like this for years and it would work somehow – sometimes I was not just metaphorically speaking about those five bars of chocolate. Nevertheless, I always knew deep down, it will not be enough to reach the goals in the end and a change is inevitable.

So I starting counting. I have installed the MyFitnessPal (read  more here) app on my phone, as I liked the idea of Input – Output equasion for each day. What is more, it is compatible with I use to track my sport activities (which works with my Suunto watch 🙂 ) it was super easy for me to join in, and even if you do not understand a word from previous sentence, you can always add the activities manually. It is simple and I would highly recommend doing so. You can log in the walked distance after running errands in the city, etc. Adding food is also quite easy, you either scan the barcode or add it manually, again. If you prepare your meal yourself, you can just scan the ingredients while cooking or you put in some more effort and calculate the final numbers for the meal as well. That is, what I tried to do as I have my problems cooking meals by following recipes and the main point of the experiment was to find out what I usually eat – not to introduce new meals to my plan. So, following recipes from the forum was not an option for me. It would have been a huge change plus I like my cousine.. There was no point to cook strange meals for threee weeks just to return to the old habits in the end. Of course, I keep my mind open for new suggestions but I usually alter them in the end to put my own note on it.. It was my only rule I set up, I am not eating anything because someone says is healthy. So, I ended up creating a spreadsheet to calculate the final nutrition values of meals I have cooked. (I will upload them to the food section over time).



  • I have to say, it was fun. For the first time I enjoyed writing a food diary. It was very time consuming, so be prepared to invest some long hours if you decide to conduct a similiar experiment of your own.
  • You can be hungry even if you have eaten a lot (speaking in language of Calories).
  • I have realised how uneducated I am about nutrition, I have no idea what acctually those numbers on the packaging mean. It is far more complicated than just simple calories counting.
  • Within three weeks, I have had my ups and downs. Of course, I have indulged in chocolate – I am only human. However, I now understand why it happend and how to get it under control.
  • I did not take the fun out of eating and cooking, yet I will be rethinking my choices in the future – especially when it comes to the chocolate granola (I am not eating those 1200 Cal for breakfast anymore when spending a day in office chair!)
  • Those three weekes were just a beginning and I might not have become smarter but I know, what knowledge am I lacking.
  • It was a very good experience, seeing my “intuitive” choices in a different light. Some important discoveries have been made regarding what I have considered to be healthy but it acctuallly is just a nasty food packed with empty calories.
  • I am ready to start optimising.

Horryfied by some choices I have made and discovering new friends in the fridge, I have collected some good quality data. Now, the next step will be evaluating and introducing few changes. Occasional slip-ups are allowed and to make the process sustainable, it is important, to make it fun as well – so including a lot of experimenting in the kitchen and learning a great deal about nutrition are in order. In the mean time, stay tuned for updates and some delicious recipes – starting with soups, my new dinner BFFs.

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