Slovakia became independent on the 1st of January 1993. Prior to that, it was never a nation of its own. When they gained independence after the fall of the Soviet Union and the communism of the Eastern block, they broke off from Czechoslovakia. Maybe one of the most characteristic aspects of the country is its many mountains. The Carpathian Mountains reach across northern Slovakia and if you like skiing this is a country to visit. The gay scene is completely concentrated in the capital Bratislava. The city can take fame in that the New York Times, in 2005, selected it as one of the best five gay destinations because the guys on this small gay scene looked like they were picked out of Bel Ami's porn movies.