Day FOUR on the TOUR!

Trip Start Dec 12, 2010
Trip End Jan 05, 2012

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Friday, July 15, 2011

The previous day we had visited SLOVINIA which is in Austria, after a one hour drive this morning we would be arriving for a walking tour around Bratislava in SLOVAKIA before moving on to Prague, in the Czech Republic, (a four hour drive) a country of which I had heard so many great observations.

The hotel we left from that morning was really comfortable with a super soft bed and pillows. We slept well however I was up at 5.30am showering because I wanted to use the net before we left. Having a cable to link my computer to the net was an absolute BONUS and I was so excited that my photos could be uploaded to facebook whilst I showered! Breakfast was plentiful in a buffet style with a great cup of coffee (even though it came out of a machine) that complimented it well. Fresh mini croissants with a lovely blackberry jam was the favorite part next to the fruit and yoghurt which I have missed so much during my travels.

We left early from Vienna amidst relaxing, piped classical music in the bus which was very fitting as Vienna was home to Beethoven, Mozart and other classical geniuses. I learned a couple of interesting pieces of  trivia,  one that Van Gogh lived in Vienna as a young man desperate to become a classical musician, however when he was refused entry to the Conservatorium he decided on a career change  and became an artist instead. The other piece was that as home to Hitler at one time he stood on the Grand Palace Balcony addressing the people and telling them of HIS plans for HIS people. Not long after he moved to neighbouring  Germany to live because the people of Vienna were not as supportive of his 'ideas' as he had wished.

Bratislava was a city that I had never heard of and just like the cities before it the gorgeous buildings and architecture had me oohing and ahhhhing from the moment we started. The floral baskets window boxes and displays were amazing and all in very good condition thus influencing my decision to integrate this ‘trend’ into my home when I return. This is a very small but important city as the capital of Slovakia and the walking tour covered almost all of its 9km wide boundaries easily.  It was quite easy to walk around to all the important locations/monuments. This city particularly love sculptures and many are littered throughout the cities streets and lanes. They also have THEIR version of the Hop on Hop off bus trip via a very old fashioned car pulling a trailer which was really amusing. We met the ‘tram’ at various locations and the wandering tourists would point, take a photo (with a smile) such was its unusual appearance.

I chose to lunch alone in a very small alfresco Cafe and sat listening to the English and local University students behind me discuss where they will take their ‘skills’ after their studies are complete and degrees are in hand. I was particularly interested in their comments that  Australia or Canada were ‘the countries to be’ right now and felt proud that while Europe appears to be doing it really tough Australia is holding its own still.  The group of five young men were full of enthusiasm and expressed a speedy beginning for the next stage of their lives and I was really pleased considering the challenges they face in their homelands right now.

Back on the bus and we arrived some four hours later into Prague and I wasn’t disappointed by what I observed. The Walking tour was a few hours in duration and took in late afternoon and early evening to optimize the aesthetic experience of the sun setting behind the back drop of the Old Castle which sat high up on a hill. The River in the foreground shimmered with strategically placed lighting and when dusk arrived the Castle looked as though it was floating up in the air a very surreal picture that I will remember vividly.  I was really exhausted by 9.30pm hence opted out of staying in town for a couple of hours free time and caught the tram back to the hotel with 4 others talking all the way about what a great night it had been in such an interesting City. I shared a room with a different Room mate that night and slept like a log. The following day we had ‘free day’ which after comparing our individual ‘places of interest to visit’ my roomie and I decided to share together.
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